There is growing appeal of fixed wireless access (FWA) as an alternative to fiber-class access methods, according to a white paper released by OVUM, a market-leading research and consulting business. Skywire Networks, one of the most active and fastest growing Ethernet providers in New York City, supported the white paper initiative.
Commenting on the findings, Daryl Schoolar, Practice Leader at Ovum stated, “For more than a decade, there has been great interest in operators using fixed wireless access, or microwave, as a viable “last-mile” technology, however, the technology was potentially unstable under certain environmental conditions and could not accommodate high capacity transport.”
Schoolar continued, “Our research clearly shows that operators today using point to point fixed wireless to connect their customers to the internet can offer speeds and performance guarantees on par with those operators that are using end-to-end fiber alone for network access.”
The following are some of the reasons the market for fixed wireless access remains an attractive option.
Access. In the U.S. today, there remain both highly populated and thinly populated areas without access to high-speed Internet. This includes major metro areas like New York City, not just rural America.
Speed. Fixed wireless access has a significantly faster install time than other fixed broadband networks, especially if an operator must trench fiber to reach the customer.
Cost. Fixed wireless has a much lower upfront cost to build than fiber. This lower cost makes reaching certain locations more economically feasible. For carriers, fixed wireless provides a reliable and economic way to extend their network reach.
“Interest and adoption of FWA as an access path for enterprise-class, full SLA Ethernet continues to rapidly grow,” said Alan Levy, co-founder and CEO of Skywire Networks. “The white paper findings, further validate our business thesis that fixed wireless access technology can compete directly against other technologies, including fiber, in their ability to transport Ethernet. Consumers, enterprises, and carriers use the Ethernet and internet layers, not the layers they’re transported on, to enable their networks.”
The white paper provides a summary of the topic as well as an overview of the FWA market and examines the drivers for FWA adoption and features an interview with Emeka Ibekweh, managing director of technology at Ascend Learning, a public charter school with ten sites, all in Brooklyn. In the white paper, Ibekweh states that, “Ascend Learning encountered speed and connectivity issues due to its dependency on slower speed T-1 connections prior to contracting with Skywire Networks back in 2013.”
“Ascend Learning’s school district currently has over 4,000 students in grades kindergarten through high school. Given that technology is built into the way students as young as kindergarten learn, we couldn’t fulfill our primary educational objectives without high-speed broadband Internet access,” said Emeka Ibekweh, managing director of technology at Ascend Learning. “Skywire Networks has been a true partner to us by providing stable and reliable service where we can run all our applications with ease.”
The OVUM White Paper can be found Here.