Verizon CEO McAdam stressed that the early phases of Verizon’s 5G service will use fixed wireless to deliver 1Gbps broadband service. “Let’s be clear on what we mean by 5G – we call it wireless fiber,” McAdam said. “This will allow you to stop anywhere from 200 feet to 1000 feet from the home … and make it a wireless last leg into the home.”
There is no doubt that high-speed and reliable wireless last leg is a dream. Earlier this year, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told investors the company is looking into gigabit Wi-Fi technology instead of its Google Fiber strategy. Schmidt said that it is “cheaper than digging up your garden”. It’s also much faster.
But since 3GPP 5G standards won’t come out until 2019 or 2020, service providers should probably not hold their breath. But maybe there is a way to realize the 5G “wireless fiber” vision today?
Fixed-wireless, aka Broadband Wireless Access, is a popular technology which allows high-speed internet to be beamed from a remote base station to a subscriber unit. The technology is standard, easy to deploy and has a modest cost of $500 to $1000 per subscriber.
BWA is already serving millions of rural households and businesses in the US and many other countries around the world. It is also widely used for private networks in industries operating over a large area, such as ports, mines and utility companies. Smart City applications such as CCTV also use Fixed-Wireless.
In recent years, large train operators have also embraced fixed wireless technology to bring WiFi to their passengers. The FCC is promoting 3.5 Ghz band, named CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) to provide wireless broadband in the US.
But as we all know, there are no free lunches. BWA has it challenges. The holy grail of BWA is delivering high-speed internet to satisfy today’s bandwidth-hungry services over a narrow and noisy spectrum.
RADWIN is the market leader in high-performance BWA. To allow service providers to offer high-speed and reliable broadband, we introduced RADWIN JET, a Point-to-MultiPoint BWA solution equipped with a bi-directional beamforming antenna.
Bi-directional technology redefines wireless broadband capabilities. It allows service providers to squeeze the maximum capacity out of its available spectrum, deliver best-in-class interference immunity and over a greater range. JET’s bi-directional beamforming allows subscribers to enjoy a fiber-like experience, while wireless internet service providers can do more with less infrastructure.