Cellular networks give operators a significant opportunity to offer internet and triple-play services to suburban and underserved customers using fixed wireless access (FWA). FWA has been successfully used for years in rural areas underserved by wireline broadband services. The distances involved the deployment of expensive outdoor consumer premise equipment (CPE) with line of sight to the cell site. So, connecting a new customer has been a complex, expensive, and time-consuming process, and this has somewhat limited the use of FWA.
Today, FWA is a viable broadband access technology for urban and suburban areas thanks to advances in LTE, CBRS and 5G wireless technology. It is also because of the availability of high-performance indoor home gateways that can be easily installed by the consumer and do not require line of sight to the transmitter.
Sub-6 GHz 5G NR wireless connectivity can provide quality 50-200 Mbps service, while 5G NR mmWave offers the potential of low latency and fibre-like speeds for gaming and virtual reality.
Once the radio access network capacity is installed, connecting customers is fast; installation takes minutes and costs are low – essentially just the cost of the home gateway. Even when there is a need for new RAN capacity, the overall deployment costs are shown to be up to 40% lower than fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).
FWA enables mobile operators to offer competitive broadband services to the home and generate a return on 5G investment, but it’s also for fixed line operators. It can complement a fiber access strategy enabled by new spectrums, such as 3.5 GHz CBRS in the United States. FWA provides an alternative to fiber for that last connection to the customer home that can be deployed quicker, more flexibly, and potentially at lower cost.
Let’s look at the cost differential between outdoor and indoor CPE for FWA. Outdoor CPE requires a weatherproof unit with mounting brackets and cables to connect through the wall to a second unit that provides the network and Wi-Fi connectivity inside the home. These installations can be complex, expensive and time consuming for a service provider.
For FWA today, consumers require only one unit that looks like a typical home gateway. The consumer can purchase one on their own and (assuming it’s provisioned on the network) all they need to do is plug the device in and they can be online in minutes. For the operator, there are no installation costs involved. For the consumer, there’s no need to schedule a technician visit and no impact on the building (no holes for the cable and external enclosure). LEDs help the consumer locate the unit in the home for best network performance.
CommScope’s NVG558 FWA gateway
is available today with options for LTE, CBRS, and sub-6GHz 5G, and mm Wave 5G is in development.
The NVG558 also delivers a great Wi-Fi experience. It can support tri-band Wi-Fi 6 and will also support voice services with voice-over-LTE or voice-over-IP. Optionally, it can also support IoT connections with Z-Wave, Zigbee and Bluetooth Low Energy radios, and supports Docker containers, which makes it easy to download and run applications on the gateway. In effect, it becomes an edge computing platform for deployment of new services.
The availability of 5G and advanced indoor gateways like the NVG558, FWA will play an important part in connecting consumers to high-speed broadband services.
Join our upcoming webinar
on 22 June 2020, in partnership with Total Telecom
as we explore key use cases for fixed wireless technologies, and to understand where it should fit in your broadband offering, full details below:
A home broadband revolution: Exploring the use cases and potential of 5G fixed wireless access
Monday 22nd June, 12:00-13:00 BST
• Harvey Wright, Head of 5G, Optus
• Michael Martin, Director Radio, Transport &Network Operations, Sunrise Communications
• David Burns, Chair, UKWISPA
• William Webb, CEO, Webb Search
• Erol Hepsaydir, Head of RAN and Device Strategy and Architecture, Three
• Malcolm Latham, Portfolio Marketing Director, Home Networks, CommScope
CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) is pushing the boundaries of technology to create the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. Our global team of employees, innovators and technologists empower customers to anticipate what’s next and invent what’s possible. Discover more at www.commscope.com