Wireless Connectivity Optimizes COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

By Cambium Networks

Cambium Networks delivers wireless solutions for demanding connectivity challenges. The global COVID-19 pandemic uncovered multiple applications where access to broadband services significantly changed the lives of many people. There was no time for planning and trenching cables. Our channel partners and customer network operators rapidly deployed wireless backhaul, distribution and indoor & outdoor Wi-Fi access networks. Hospitals rapidly expanded care facilities, schools provided Wi-Fi for learning, and people could work efficiently from home. In each case, networks were deployed with the confidence that they would perform just as they always do – by just working.

There are dozens of service providers that have shared with us that their networks experienced immediate 30-70% increases in traffic peaks. They are pleased with the stable performance during the demand spikes when the pressure is on.

As a global community, we are moving to a new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic. While cases continue to tragically grow worldwide, many are returning to work. In the midst of the pandemic, I would like to spotlight a few of the success stories where our wireless networks have changed lives:

  • In the U.S.A., the FCC authorized the use of the 5.9 GHz frequency band to respond to the pandemic. Our team responded quickly and delivered software for existing equipment to enable operation so that Wireless ISP operators could rapidly expand capacity without fieldwork.
  • The Navajo Nation has solar-powered wireless broadband for education thanks to Sacred Wind Communications. The solution is shared in this Navajo Times article and this interview.
  • A health agency in New Zealand extended hospital Wi-Fi to new temporary facilities created to meet the surging number of patients needing care.
  • In Italy, a hospital had Wi-Fi access in newly created temporary facilities thanks to our partner WIFIDOM.
  • Ibersystem Solutions in Spain installed a system of indoor Wi-Fi access points (AP) and cameras throughout a hospital to reduce the time and material invested on each patient by directing a camera on each patient so they can check patient health and vital statistics via video instead of getting dressed with all the protection needed to approach one patient.
  • In Illinois, Maxwire Internet enabled local schools to provide “drive-in” connectivity for students so that they can continue their education. His solution is shared in this paper and this video.
  • Disaster Tech Lab is meeting demand for connectivity by rapidly expanding coverage areas and installing indoor Wi-Fi hotspots to connect caregivers, monitoring devices and patients.
  • St. John’s Church in Minnesota rapidly installed indoor Wi-Fi throughout their facility classrooms to offer support to local families thanks to MVTV Wireless.
  • In the Texas panhandle, Resound Networks rapidly deployed cnPilot outdoor Wi-Fi APs to provide free “Drive-In” Wi-Fi in school parking lots.

We are investing in improving the reach of high-speed wireless worldwide.

  • We responded to the need for public Wi-Fi with a special promotion to reduce the cost of fixed wireless multipoint broadband distribution paired with outdoor Wi-Fi APs for public Wi-Fi to the education community.
  • In North America, we quickly created an online “bootcamp” training experience to enable the remote training and certification for our partner base. The sessions were very well received and resulted in certifying over 50 new resellers.
  • In Europe, we are sharing best practices and ideas with our resellers and network operators with weekly “Smart Updates,” virtual training sessions and webinars. We have created connectivity “bundle kits” that can be rapidly deployed to extend networks and quickly provide Wi-Fi in new locations.
  • In the Asia Pacific region, webinars enabled partners and end users to share best practices on providing connectivity for hospitals and schools.

Each one of us should pause for a moment and be thankful for the heroes who have provided connectivity during the pandemic. I encourage you to nominate a person or provider to join our Connectivity Hero Award winners and celebrate their contributions.

At Cambium Networks, we are preparing for whatever is coming next.

Published June 9, 2020