August 30, 2016 —
With Google Fiber is reportedly cutting costs and staff in favor of wireless, the company’s vision of fiber to the home is being hotly debated by investors and those in the industry.
While there is no doubt that fiber to the cell site is crucial, Google Fiber’s mid-course correction is a reminder that fixed wireless is not only a solid option today but a key component of the 5G future.
The Information.com wrote last week, “Wireless is a much cheaper way to offer broadband service than digging up streets to lay fiber cables in cities across America.”
As if to emphasize this point, Sydney-based NetComm Wireless announced a master purchase agreement last week with Ericsson NBN for a fixed-wireless solution, with a deployment of 120,000 units. Machine-to-machine and fixed-wireless services have increased 74 percent to nearly $60 million at the operator.
AT&T also plans to use fixed wireless communications to meet its Connect America Fund broadband deployment requirements of 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.
It is clear that the carriers are seriously looking at fixed wireless as a component of 5G. Verizon is conducting a “pre-commercial” 5G field trial in Dallas to see if 5G can be an alternative to fiber to the home. Testing includes outdoor to indoor penetration to an apartment, delivering Ultra HD 4K video content on multiple end user devices on the 5G wireless network.