Cambridge Broadband Networks Group (CBNG) has unveiled its new structure and launched a comprehensive development program to enter new fixed wireless access (FWA) markets.
Driven by the evolving challenges within the industry, CBNG and its affiliated business Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited Africa (CBNLA) are the result of an essential restructure of the Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited (CBNL) brand. CBNLA will continue to provide equipment and services to the company’s African customers, while CBNG will provide innovative solutions for operators and WISPs worldwide.
Having reset its existing manufacturing and supplier relationships, CBNG plans to creat significant advances that will shake up the FWA industry as momentum builds around 5G. These include new software services and next-generation solutions to meet ever-changing market demands, which will be offered alongside CBNG’s pre-existing platform.
As part of its vision for FWA and proven solutions, CBNG will continue to supply its VectaStar platform, which gives operators the ability to deploy cost-effective, high-quality networks while negating the need for large investments in new infrastructure. The VectaStar product has already been utilized worldwide in 50 countries by dozens of organizations – including seven of the top ten mobile network operators (MNOs) for mobile backhaul, small cell backhaul, enterprise access and ISP networks.
With FWA gaining traction and popularity in North America and the Middle East and North African regions, CBNG sees particular growth in these markets. The company will also look to develop solutions to address the different market challenges that operators and wireless internet service providers (WISPs) will face in delivering the fast, reliable connectivity.
Additionally, CBNG will further its aim to provide reliable, accessible and predictable high-capacity technology without hidden extras for those working in the licensed enterprise, backhaul and resident access spaces.
Providing security for the U.S. national monuments is one of the primary concerns for the National Park Service. What these treasures have in common is the minimal availability of wireline connectivity to support video surveillance and other security systems. This is the case for the Statue of Liberty National Monument located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, which is supported by a network of video cameras, generating hundreds of megabits of traffic. All of this traffic needed to be off-loaded from the island to the mainland’s fiber network.
Siklu’s millimeter wave (mmWave) solution was been deployed by Convergint at the Statue of Liberty to deliver high speed, secure and interference-free Gigabit fiber extension to Liberty Island in the New York Harbor.
The major challenge of this project was the absence of high-speed network connections. There was no wireline connection between Liberty Island on one end and Manhattan or New Jersey on another. Additionally, due to the harbor’s heavy ship traffic and water reflection interference, it was problematic to connect the island with the mainland using conventional wireless radio connection. To upgrade Statue’s security system, the National Park Service reached out to Convergint Technologies.
Siklu’s mmWave links, which were used to connect Battery Park and Liberty Park to Ellis Island, and ultimately Liberty Island, reduced the height requirements for the Statue’s wireless network. Due to the narrow pencil beams used in mmWave, the network’s radio connections can avoid heavy ship traffic of New York Harbor, and thus do not need to be mounted on hundred-foot towers. Additionally, the mmWave’s frequencies, along with the narrow beams, help to ensure that not only interference is not a concern for Statue’s network connections today, but it will never be an issue in the future.
The surveillance network consists of an array of Axis HD fixed, pan-tilt-zoom, and thermal cameras that are now all connected to the mainland via Siklu mmWave. The recorded video footage is reviewed and managed by the security team through Genetec’s Security Center unified platform. The project was successfully deployed at the beginning of 2020. As a result of its vast capacity upgrade, the Statue’s security system received a high-speed, secure, and interference-free connection with the mainland. Additionally, with the amount of available capacity, the Statue’s network is ready for future scalability and is capable of supporting any additional applications that may arise.
In a first for television and wireless, Good Morning America (GMA), the TV news show, will partner with Melody VR to broadcast a musical performance tomorrow from Central Park in New York City both on broadcast TV and to virtual reality (VR) goggles and cellular headsets around the world.
The video signal of musicians Marshmello and Kane Brown, including four different camera angles, will be backhauled to a data center using a path-diverse, dual-path, active-active fixed wireless internet service with auto failover, provided by Natural Wireless. The network is capable of delivering speeds of 10/10 Mbps to 10/10 Gbps speeds with 2 milliseconds of latency over the millimeter wave spectrum bands.
“Every one of our locations has dual paths so it has multiple antennas on each building. Each fixed wireless antenna connects to a different fixed wireless path, so If anything happens to one path, the onsite router automatically fails over to the other wireless path,” said Benjamin Tansky, director, channel partner sales & special Projects, Natural Wireless.
The GMA performance will be accessible on any smartphone in full 360-degree video through the MelodyVR app.
Fans will be able to choose between multiple points of view, including up-close-and-personal on stage with the musicians. It sounds like the kind of experience that the carriers have been promoting as possible through 5G, but Tansky insists that his company provides it today.
“I hear that 5G is a ton of bandwidth and ultra-low latency,” he said. “But the truth of the matter is that is what we provide today with our millimeter-wave fixed wireless. All the hype surrounding 5G is a bunch of noise.”
A 16-year-old company, Natural Wireless has provided temporary internet hookups for a number of special events for such companies as Amazon, Sony, Google, Skype, Porsche and the NFL. It operates on both lightly licensed millimeter wave and licensed microwave spectrum across the greater New York City metro area.
“There is a place for millimeter wave in our network when people want 5 gig or 10 gig circuits, but it has to be engineered right and our team creates an infrastructure that blends millimeter and microwave technology. It really comes down to the architecture,” Tansky said.
For years, I have told people that cell phones cannot be served by satellites for two reasons:
First, the signals from satellites are too weak for cell phones to receive, and signals from cell phones are too weak for satellites to receive.
Second, the inability of satellites to confine their signal coverage to a small area the way a ground-based tower does makes frequency reuse in reasonably sized geographic areas impossible.
“The issue of signal spread can now be addressed with encryption,” Ernest Worthman, the executive editor of Applied Wireless Technology, told me. “Also, receiver front-end sensitivity has improved significantly over the years. That helps solve the weak signal issue, plus they are closer to Earth, anyway.”
Whether the current technology of low-Earth-orbit satellites overcomes the hurdles for serving cell phones, it apparently works well for providing wireless internet service. Worthman said that there is some talk that the satellites may carry voice communications from smartphones.
UbiquitiLink, a Falls Church, Virginia, company, has plans to orbit thousands of satellites that will be able to connect with stock smartphones. Sometimes the connection will support only low-data-rate text messages, and sometimes, perhaps voice. The company expects to have 24 to 36 satellites in orbit in 2021 that will provide connectivity at least once every hour, according to information published by the company.
According to a Bloomberg report by Todd Shields, Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies plans to launch 11,943 satellites into orbit for its Starlink fleet, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon plans to launch 3,236 internet-beaming satellites into low-Earth orbit. Already, 1,338 satellites occupy the low-Earth orbital space.
By the way, many astronomers whose instruments use both light and radio waves to make observations have concerns that sunlight reflections and radio emissions from the planned thousands of low-Earth-orbit satellites will interfere with their work, perhaps in substantial ways.
“We will have to learn how to operate our electronics to detect weak cosmic signals in the presence of satellite signals at other frequencies that will be millions of times stronger,” Harvey Liszt, spectrum manager with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, told Bloomberg’s Shields. A statement from the International Astronomical Union said the sunlight reflections can be detrimental to the sensitive capabilities of large ground-based astronomical telescopes.
Outer space is not the empty place the early astronauts explored, anymore.
5G is going to require a massive number of cell sites to achieve the low latency and high speeds envisioned. New sites will include everything from macro sites to small radios hung off of buildings or lamp posts in dense urban environments. And with these sites, additional fronthaul and backhaul will be required.
iGR’s new market study, Global Front/Backhaul Build Spending Forecast, 2018 – 2028: Connecting 5G around the globe, presents a summary of fronthaul and backhaul options for 5G and includes a ten-year forecast of front/backhaul build spending in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific between 2018 and 2028. The study also includes a discussion of global operators’ progress towards 5G and profiles of dozens of front/backhaul vendors.
“Fronthaul and backhaul will be critical to support a variety of planned 5G use cases,” said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR. “And as our cost model shows, mobile operators around the world will have to invest significantly to provide the fronthaul and backhaul that will be necessary.”
iGR has created a network build cost model based on the amount of data the network is expected to be able to support and deliver. The cost model includes three major components: RAN (base station equipment and small cells), core (LTE EPC and 5G new core), and front/backhaul. The front/backhaul spending component is presented in iGR’slatest market study.