CommScope is entering the fixed wireless access market with the introduction of an integrated antenna solution based on xRAN open interface specifications. The open interface allows wireless operators to mix and match radio access network (RAN) hardware from multiple vendors to varying requirements.
The company will highlight the technologies at Mobile World Congress 2018, February 26-March 1, in Barcelona, Spain. The integrated 5G radio/antenna solution will be available for trials in mid-2018.
“Our integrated antenna will enable the full capabilities of 5G millimeter-wave spectrum bands while offering maximum flexibility in an evolving air-interface environment,” said Farid Firouzbakht, senior vice president, RF Products, CommScope. “As a contributing member to the xRAN organization, we endorse the benefits of an open baseband interface for enabling more innovation in the wireless marketplace.”
CommScope’s 5G radio/antenna solution supports millimeter-wave spectrum and works on a completely virtualized baseband with an open interface. This solution integrates a beamforming active antenna array operating at 28 GHz and will be available for trial with a third-party baseband platform to create a 5G access network.
Fixed wireless access is a method for delivering broadband internet access, voice and video services to homes or businesses without a wired connection and is one of the first 5G use cases. With CommScope’s new solution, wireless operators can use commercial off-the-shelf servers to trial virtualized network functions for fixed wireless access applications.
The CommScope solution includes:
A base station antenna with full 120-degree beam-steering of four independent MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) ports, using a 256-element antenna array. An integrated remote radio unit with an effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) in a compact enclosure of less than 10 liters volume, passively cooled and optimized to fit within concealment solutions.
February 23, 2017 — Siklu Communication has launched a beamforming millimeter wave (mmWave) system for deploying 5G fixed wireless access networks. Known as the Multihaul, the antenna extends Siklu’s multi-gigabit product line to a plug & play point-to-multipoint topology.
Fixed wireless access over the mmWave bands is becoming the choice of tier-1 service providers as well as internet giants, because it is ideal for fiber-like wireless systems that can complement fiber plants, according to Siklu.
5G fixed wireless will also allow service providers to generate revenue from 5G networks faster, by expediting time to market and meeting existing consumer demand for gigabit throughputs.
The MultiHaul is designed for mass delivery of 5G fixed wireless access to the home. It brings the advantages of multi-gigabit capacity, immunity to interference and always-on reliability – to a cost effective small form factor. The system takes advantage of Siklu’s beamforming technology to auto-align links, creating a true plug & play system. It is designed to scale service providers’ networks fast and with low overhead, using proprietary planning and management tools.
“The market interest in a multi-gigabit millimeter wave solution for 5G fixed wireless access is huge,” says Siklu President, Izik Kirshenbaum. “We are currently conducting field trials with several tier-1 operators. The MultiHaul complements our best-selling EtherHaul line, and enables extension of fiber grade service to the level of single family homes and any street furniture. We’re also seeing interest in the MultiHaul for surveillance and safe city applications.”
February 21, 2017 – The first commercially available 5G fixed wireless internet architectures, is now available according to Mimosa Networks. Known as the urban MicroPoP and rural GigaPoP, the systems feature Mimosa’s Spectrum Reuse Synchronization (SRS) technology, which lowers cost and increases spectral efficiency, according to the company.
“Our approach introduces wireless where fiber ends, and scales to connect dense urban and hard to reach rural homes at a fraction of the cost of fiber-to-the-home,” said Brian Hinman, CEO of Mimosa Networks.
Spectrum Reuse Synchronization combines Massive MIMO and antenna beamforming with precise time coordination of transmissions, which eliminates the interference caused by other nearby radios. As a result, a single access point is able to reuse channels.
Mimosa favors deploying solutions in lower, sub-6 GHz spectrum. But with less spectrum available, efficient spectrum reuse techniques are critical to achieve scale. While Mimosa’s SRS technology is spectrum-agnostic, when deployed in these lower frequencies, Mimosa’s solutions expand residential fixed wireless opportunities where millimeter wave solutions struggle in near- and non-line-of-sight areas.
“With a severe shortage of lower frequency spectrum, Mimosa’s real innovation is in developing new technologies to reuse that critical spectrum geographically to reduce the amount of spectrum required to scale a gigabit speed network,” said Jaime Fink, chief product officer of Mimosa Networks. “The wireless last mile is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ scenario. We must take advantage of fiber where it’s available, use millimeter wave frequencies for reliable short-range backhaul, and most importantly, promote spectrum sharing and reuse techniques in the lower frequencies that are needed to reach people’s homes.”
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.
It’s easy to find people that don’t trust DISH Network’s Charlie Ergen, but it’s hard not to get titillated by some of the technology plays that he brings to Sprint and Clearwire. To Sprint, he brings a multimedia package – mobile and fixed video, voice, and data. Additionally, his company brings a fixed-broadband wireless play using spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, which would complement the spectrum holdings of both Sprint and Clearwire.
The week, DISH and nTelos Wireless, a rural wireless provider, announced the commencement of a fixed broadband wireless test in rural Virginia using LTE technology, with speeds ranging from 20 Mbps to more than 50 Mbps.
As part of the demonstration, two wireless tower test sites were activated in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Waynesboro and Afton, Va. BandRich ruggedized outdoor routers with built-in high-gain antennas were installed on the roofs of the homes to receive the signal. Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent provided equipment and assisted in the installation.
The final story has yet to be written of the DISH/Sprint/Clearwire/Softbank merger-palooza. But with a significant portion of households in rural America underserved by wireline broadband, a fixed wireless LTE solution just might find a home in the country, no matter who provides it.