Communities can't wait for fiber. That's why Jade Communications of Southern Colorado is using next-generation millimeter wave technology to build a next-day gigabit-speed network for Manassa, Colorado. With a wireless Cambium solution in place, long-term customers are onboarded faster and don't have to wait for competing providers who are still installing fiber.
The city of Manassa, Colorado is a family-oriented community. Jade Communications, named “Innovator of the Year” in 2020 for helping families and students during COVID-19, has historically offered 50 and 100 Mbps plans to residential customers in this city. 80% of their customers’ bandwidth is downstream, but throughout the pandemic, there was an increase in upstream traffic from those working from home, attending remote school, and smart home devices. Jade noticed users were requesting more upstream and sought out to meet the increasing need for symmetrical services.
There were no funding opportunities for fiber to Manassa, and there were several obstacles when it came to trenching cable. Families in Manassa did not want time-consuming construction projects in their front yards. Plus, it would cost Jade $10,000 to $15,000 per home served to bury fiber – and they could provide the same service for 90% less when using fixed wireless technology. This led Jade to choose easy-to-install fixed wireless solutions to connect the community before competitors who were building out fiber could reach the homes.
Jade communications chose Cambium Networks’ 60 GHz cnWave V5000 distribution nodes (DN) and V1000 client nodes (CN) as their fixed wireless solution. They currently have over 65 units installed and twelve city blocks receiving services. Jade plans to migrate many of their users to the 60 GHz cnWave equipment.
Jade, which has 4,500 subscribers, called their customers to inform them of their eligibility for next-day gigabit service. Currently, about 2,700 of their customers are served with Cambium fixed wireless access products, whether it’s 60 GHz cnWave or the PMP 450 line of products. Customers prefer fixed wireless technology because they can rapidly get service without having their yards dug up – and they don’t have to wait for other service providers to build out disruptive, expensive and timeconsuming fiber networks.
Jade has established a reputation for providing excellent service at affordable prices. The company started out with over 30 cnWave users, knowing that most customers will want to stay with them when it comes time to upgrade to gigabit service. All of their customers are getting more than 500 Mbps and up to 2 Gbps connections.
Because 60 GHz cnWave reduces the cost to deliver gigabit service by 90% when compared with fiber, Jade can recoup the cost of installation within three months of onboarding a customer. Jade is also passing these savings on to their customers. Now, their customers are getting the bandwidth they need at a rate they can afford. This is especially supportive for the community as it belongs to one of the lowest-income counties in Colorado.
For the area’s school district, the IT director previously used fiber optic equipment. With wireless solutions, they are now accelerating a cultural movement where schools can easily assign digital homework – no more handing out binders of work to students.