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.
I have, for some time now, been writing about how one of the first and best use cases for 5G will be fixed wireless broadband. So far, that platform has not seen a lot of action. However, I do think that is about to change.
In recent missives, I have discussed why and how it has great potential, even return on investment. Carriers have stuck their toe in this water from time to time as well, but only skimming the surface. I really do not believe they have seen the possibilities…until now.
It appears that T-Mobile is about to get serious. They may see this as a vector that can give them an early edge while the others catch on or catch up. This was one of its main points in their latest FCC filing. T-Mobile’s Legere boasts that T-Mo can provide a “true alternative to fixed broadband.”
It sounds awesome. To be able to get consistent speeds up to, even beyond, 100 Mbps, reliably, would really put a dent in the encapsulated market owned by the few “cableopoly” ISPs like CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, etc. Especially if T-Mo can do it cost-effectively. Their ultimate goal is to deliver those 100+ Mbps wireless broadband speeds to 90 percent of the population and in-home service to over half the country’s households by 2024.
T-Mo has the resources to do this. It is looking at its 2.5 GHz spectrum for deployment. Point-to-multipoint (PMP) should have very good propagation characteristics here. Make it 5G technology and the pot gets even more interesting. 5G will up the ante with multi-user MIMO (MuMIMO), frequency aggregation, beam forming, network slicing, and a few other goodies. Throw in self-organizing networks (SON) and the end result is almost too good to be true.
The only real issue is reliability. We all know that the higher in frequency we go, the more fragile the link. And 2.5 GHz propagation characteristics are much better that 5 GHz and up. If someone puts up a high-rise in your line of sight (LOS), unless the signal can be picked up as a bounce, with sufficient signal strength, you are up the, proverbial, creek without a paddle. That means a truck roll for the provider.
Secondly, signal strength becomes a concern. It is not like a cable or fiber pipe where every termination provides a -30 dB, or whatever signal level. We also know that signal strength is a function of distance. Therefore, if you are at the end of the practical propagation footprint, service can be touchy.
Fixed wireless is not a cure-all for every situation or population. However, there is a good argument as a primary case for fixed wireless in underserved, hardwired areas, aka, rural America. That moves some of the impedances out to the edge a bit. Most rural areas have fairly clean LOS’s. Even in tough terrain, once the sites are up and working, not much will change. Therefore, for this model, it is, definitely, a good solution. In fact, a recent 5G test conducted by the University of Sussex, and Plum, in the 3.5 GHz band, researchers modeled the complicated ways in which 5G signals will interact with buildings and trees. Despite these conditions, the test recorded data speeds that were as much as 100 times faster than average broadband (which is about 30-40 Gbps).
What will make or break this is the integration of advanced technologies. While RF hardware is much improved, making for better antennas, front-end sensitivities and selectivities, and such — the biggest challenge to FWA is bandwidth. While mmWave offers some relief, it brings other challenges with deployment metrics. That is one good reason to look at the lower bands, such as 2.5 GHz.
Densification is where the dollars are, but the more users on the band, the narrower each user’s pipe gets. It is the same with hardwires, but they start out with a much wider pipe so they have a lot more available bandwidth, up front. That is where these new 5G technologies and better specs will have to step in and work some magic.
In the end, there are many other options that will help make next-generation fixed wireless access (FWA) work. Frequency reuse and other manipulation technologies, and coverage area metrics, for example, offer flexibility in network design. This enables new capabilities that will allow all kinds of geographic footprints to be covered with multiple hardware sites using beam steering, adaptive power control, frequency manipulation and other technologies.
This next-generation is not your mother’s FWA. T-Mo may just be on the fast track with FWA as a, workable, business use case for 5G. However, we will have to wait and see how this takes shape after the merger (which will happen, eventually). It might get really interesting with the combined resources of Sprint and T-Mobile.
Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBNL) has expanded its portfolio with two products designed to address the emerging fixed wireless residential access and smart city markets. The company has launched a dual-band 60 GHz and 5 GHz VectaStar Edge residential access platform as well as a small form factor, integrated antenna variant of its VectaStar solution.
The new ‘VectaStar Edge’ residential access solution leverages the high capacity and economic price point of 60 GHz solutions but adds a secondary 5 GHz radio solution for network operators keen to maintain exceptionally high service levels and availability all the way to the home. VectaStar Edge is a natural complement to CBNL’s existing 10-39 GHz portfolio and enables operators to target the price sensitive residential market.
CBNL is also announcing the launch of VectaStar 600 Flex. With horn, parabolic and integrated antenna options available and a range of mounts, the new product consolidates all the features of CBNL’s existing portfolio into one common, highly versatile platform. The new smaller form factor and integrated antenna option reduce the footprint and visual impact of the product making it ideal for supporting smart city deployments, fixed wireless security and surveillance solutions and campus-wide connectivity such as for hospitals, universities and schools.
Businesses are leading the 5G revolution, and AT&T is going to give its business customers a full 5G toolbox. We’re the first carrier to publicly lay out what we’re making available to help businesses get the most out of this technology.
America’s 15 million businesses increasingly look to technology to drive outcomes, but their needs range drastically – from connecting a single location, to using networking to connect smart facilities with the latest technologies like artificial intelligence and mixed reality.
This is why our approach to 5G in business isn’t focused on just one solution, but instead brings multiple pillars that reflect our customers’ diversity and needs. Real solutions that we’re bringing to the market today. We’re building our networks to allow fiber-based connectivity and LTE to work efficiently in parallel with 5G solutions, maximizing the impact of a business’s transformation.
Our standards-based approach comes to life via 3 main service pillars:
“The 5G services we’re rolling out and combining with our advanced network capabilities will help businesses fundamentally change for the better,” said Mo Katibeh, CMO, AT&T Business. “It will open up opportunities to increase revenue, reduce operational costs, and ultimately create amazing new experiences for employees and customers. Whether it’s a local startup, a growing regional company, or national enterprise, these 3 pillars are going to be groundbreaking.”
LTE ushered in the age of mobilization for the American worker. Almost every business has employees that use mobile devices. Whether it’s for employee communication, or for point-of-sale devices, mobile technology is more important than ever.
It is critical that any mobile 5G experience for business allows seamless transitions between Wi-Fi, LTE and 5G.
This is why we will deploy a standards-based nationwide mobile 5G network in early 2020. That network will allow for seamless handoffs between Wi-Fi, LTE and 5G, virtually anywhere a business customer may go.
So far, we’ve confirmed plans for two new 5G devices in 2019. In addition to the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot we launched in 2018, we’re working with Samsung to offer two Samsung smartphones this year.
In the parts of the 12 cities where our standards-based mobile 5G network is live today, we’re working with businesses to create and innovate new experiences. As we expand the network, these businesses are helping us pave the way for the astounding impact 5G will eventually have nationwide.
We also opened a space within in our AT&T Foundry in Plano, Texas specifically dedicated to prototyping solutions for industry verticals. We’ll soon be bringing 5G to this space, allowing us to co-create 5G solutions with our customers as well as explore the future of enterprise innovation.
Whether it’s for primary connectivity or as a secondary connection to enable reliability, businesses look to fixed wireless solutions to help serve a wide range of needs, like setting up new locations faster.
With a fixed wireless solution, a quick service restaurant could get their point-of-sale devices working the same day they open, and keep their devices connected even if primary connectivity is ever interrupted.
AT&T Business now offers AT&T Wireless Broadband, which has data options and flexibility to help meet each business’s specific needs. In the coming weeks, we will offer multiple speed tiers up to 50Mbps. This solution builds on our leading fiber distribution. Nationwide, over 8 million business customer locations sit within 1,000 feet of our fiber, and we connect nearly 2.2 million locations with fiber today.
This current fixed wireless offering helps lay the groundwork for our customers to upgrade and take advantage of AT&T 5G when its available in their area.
Edge computing is expected to bring a sea-change in how businesses can use cellular data to massively improve their operations. Edge computing allows businesses to route application-specific traffic to where they need it and where it’s most effective – whether that’s in the cloud, the edge of our network or on their premises.
AT&T Business now offers AT&T Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC). This edge computing solution uses our own software-defined network to enable faster access to data processing, and gives flexibility in how businesses manage their cellular traffic through on-premise hardware and software. With MEC they can process low-latency, high-bandwidth applications closer to where they’re used to help create new outcomes and capabilities.
This could mean new machine learning opportunities and more connected devices. Healthcare facilities could process and transfer data-intensive images between devices in the exam room, and transfer that information to the doctor in near-real time. Or manufacturers could process connected sensor data and robotic operations on a scale they couldn’t before.
Plus, the data that runs through AT&T MEC can be routed to their cloud or stay within an enterprises’ private environment to help increase security.
AT&T MEC can be deployed today using LTE or 5G connectivity, for both mobile and fixed wireless applications. Looking at a smart factory as an example, robotic production lines and autonomous forklifts are just two potential uses.
We’ve recently announced deals with AT&T Stadium, and Rush University Medical Center to set up 5G with a focus on MEC.
“Healthcare systems use a lot of networking power, and 5G is going to be a turning point in how mobile networks are used in caring for patients. Using multi-access edge compute, the possibility of robotics and increased telehealth are two aspects of healthcare that we’re planning to explore,” said Dr. Shafiq Rab, senior vice president and chief information officer, Rush University Medical Center and the Rush System for Health. “Ultimately, it’s about creating better outcomes for our patients. 5G combined with MEC will give us the foundation to provide patients better service, and increase the quality of care we provide.”
As we look to the future, edge computing solutions are expected to become available to serve broader metro environments, and will give things like autonomous vehicles, AR/VR and drones new life.
We’ll be sharing more about our edge computing services this year.
We’re the First to Bring Everything Together for Businesses
AT&T is using these three pillars to help businesses move into the future. It all works together to give them the best tools to operate more efficiently, reach new customers, and increase loyalty. We are bringing the business experience into the future with 5G.
“5G is the gateway to an entirely new world for businesses, but it needs multiple technologies coming together to achieve its true potential,” said Jason Leigh, senior research analyst at IDC. “Leveraging the low latency, increased connection density and high bandwidth power of 5G will allow businesses to deploy integrated solutions that accelerate their own digital transformation, and drive productivity improvements, efficiency gains and enhance customer satisfaction faster than ever before.”
“AT&T Business brings solutions to life that allow businesses to innovate and shape the daily lives of consumers,” said Katibeh. “Our new mobile 5G, fixed wireless, and MEC services can help take businesses to the next generation of connectivity.”