Look Before You Leap: 7 Checkpoints Before Ripping and Replacing Fixed Wireless Access

By Matt Mangriotis

Everyone wants better broadband. Right now, service providers are looking to expand their coverage and service offerings with fixed wireless access (FWA). When comparing solutions, service providers must take a lot into account before ripping and replacing equipment. They need to know the deep details of the technology, their customer needs (and what service levels subscribers need and can afford), the environment (including spectrum availability and noise) and the cash flow of their business. It is unlikely that you will be around to rip and replace again if you make the wrong decision.

Choose carefully. Sharpen your pencils and be sure to understand how technology can impact the many facets building a service provider business that is profitable and growing over the long term.

Here are 7 key things to look for:

  1. Broad frequency support
    1. Which frequencies does the technology support? This gives you more options as the network evolves.
  2. High throughput with channel size options
    1. What maximum throughput can the system support in available contiguous spectrum, and how many subscribers per sector does it support? This will expose how well the solution will fit into the environment.
  3. Sustainability and hidden costs
    1. Profitable businesses are fanatical about keeping the cost per user sufficiently lower than the price the market will bear so they can continue to invest in the business:
      1. What about the ongoing costs of centralized management and license fees? Find the fees and identify who will pay them. If subscribers can’t afford it, your business will have to pay the fees.
      1. What proof do you have that the new vendor will keep up and do so without forcing you to rip and replace again?   
  4. Interoperability
    1. No network operates in a vacuum, and interoperability issues can escalate costs fast. Does it work well with upstream and downstream elements in the network, including:
      1. Millimeter wave fixed wireless
      1. Ethernet switches
      1. Wi-Fi 6 indoor and outdoor access points
      1. Narrowband IoT fixed wireless options
  5. Security matters
    1. Every day, there are security issues. Can you keep the network safe and be nimble with security changes with a lean staff?
      1. Do you have positive control over password access and make systemwide changes easily?
      1. Are there multiple layers of security?
      1. Is the OTA encryption across the entire network?
      1. Are there advanced management traffic security protocols, including SSH and TLS?
  6. Planning the network
    1. Are there tools to model in detail the height, distance, power and other factors?
    1. Can you generate LiDAR-based models with 1-meter precision to optimize installations?
    1. Is there a field application so technicians know that the installation is done right before they leave the scene?
    1. Can you design a downstream Wi-Fi network and build a materials list?
  7. What’s next?
    1. Can the system easily migrate to 6 GHz when that frequency opens?
    1. Can the system easily migrate to enable you to offer 5G Fixed solutions?

 Install Cambium Networks and make more money faster.

Cambium Networks delivers a field-proven low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). With more than 2 million PMP 450 devices providing high performance and affordable internet access around the world, 24/7 support, a community of more than 40,000 members, a proven history of supporting broadband service providers and a roadmap to 6 GHz and 5G Fixed solutions, you can count on Cambium Networks to provide technology solutions that make sense for your business for years to come.

David Milholen, CTE of Wireless Etc. says, “Since the birth of the Canopy system, we have been steadily growing with Cambium Networks’ products and solutions. We have been able to touch other markets and provide great service to the underserved.” What will you say after your first decade with your solution?

Cambium Networks is constantly upgrading and improving performance without requiring service providers to rip and replace equipment. We have a long history of making our networks futureproof and continuing to provide reliable and affordable connectivity when other suppliers have not. More updates for PMP 450 are coming soon.  Watch this space.

Whether you are getting started as a new service provider or an experienced WISP looking to expand coverage, Cambium Networks is making it easier for you to grow. Contact your Cambium Networks reseller and see how attractive and easy it is:

  • PMP 450 Small Bundle:
    • 1 – PMP 450m AP with cnMedusa MU-MIMO technology
    • 12 – PMP 450 subscriber modules (SM)
  • PMP 450 Large Bundle:
    • 4 – PMP 450m AP with cnMedusa MU-MIMO technology
    • 100 – PMP 450 subscriber modules (SM)

Proven Interoperable Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Solutions

Published January 25, 2023