Fixed Wireless Broadband – A Compelling Alternative

By    August 8, 2014

I spent this past week with our North America, Caribbean and Latin America sales teams and partners. Connecting the Unconnected and Underconnected resonated with the interactions these groups.  It was enlightening and refreshing to learn about all of the opportunities and applications they were executing on – with multiple common applications and challenges but also unique considerations not only between North America and South America; but also within sub-regions of each.

Industrial and Transportation Markets

One of the common themes was the level of activity in the industrial and transportation markets – perhaps a reflection of the improving economy.  Both regions are deploying PTP and PMP systems, using Cambium’s entire portfolio to enable the following applications:

  • Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks;
  • Extend the video surveillance to remote critical infrastructure implementations;
  • Platform-to-ship and ship-to-ship networks.    

In the North America heavy rail market the use of PTP 650 to replace leased lines and reduce the operating expenses was highlighted; but more interesting was the advancement of positive train control driving the need for PTP and PMP networks.   The objectives were consistent across the various applications – improve operational efficiency of the organization; and or improve the safety of the employees and surrounding community. 

Video Surveillance continues to be a significant demand driver for fixed wireless broadband networks.  The uniqueness of the implementations across various market segments is worth mentioning.  

Enterprise Video Surveillance

An automobile dealership with facilities across the US and Canada is implementing video surveillance at each of their lots to not only to reduce theft, but also provide evidence to counter injury claims made by visiting patrons; and allow sales staff to respond quickly to customers browsing the lots.  

Residential Video Surveillance

Residential security firms are now providing video monitoring services to multi-tenant dwellings and facilities (parking lots in particular) where transport of the video can effectively only be handled by FWBB.  

Government Surveillance

National, State and Local governments in both continents continue to deploy video surveillance networks to protect life and property – nothing new there except the rapid expansion of High Definition cameras providing evidentiary quality video that demands far bigger pipes to transport that historic low quality black and white video.

I was also pleased to see an ever increasing level of sophistication in the networks being designed with particular focus on Quality of Service, Multicast as opposed to Unicast, and information assurance technics to secure the networks beyond encrypting the traffic.  Clearly, the end customers, network operators and system integrators are looking beyond simple data rates in selecting the equipment providers and in designing their networks. 

FWBB is largely thought of as an alternative to Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Fiber, and Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) (aka “Cable”) networks providing broadband access to residences.  What the last three days have reminded me is the extensive use of FWBB to provide communication networks to industry and enterprise – globally!