As a new GSMA report confirms the cost-effectiveness of utilizing high-quality mmWave solutions when deploying Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) networks, Cambridge Broadband Networks Group (CBNG) has highlighted the critical role that mmWave will play in providing the high capacity needed for 5G.
FWA traffic is growing faster than previously expected, due to increased home-working and use of streaming video services. To help with this demand, mmWave can be utilized alongside 3.5GHz to supplement existing capacity with high bandwidth connectivity, essential for providing rapid internet services to businesses and homes, commented William Webb, Chief Technology Officer at CBNG.
“With 3.5GHz being more suited to mobile access, mmWave considerably improves the business case for FWA by offloading capacity demands. As such, operators are better off basing their FWA networks predominantly on mmWave to meet higher data consumption,” said Webb.
It is essential for operators who want to be successful that they get the set-up right from the very start, continued Webb. FWA works best when there is external Customer-Premises equipment (CPE) and installing the wrong type of CPE and having to replace it could prove extremely financially detrimental to the overall cost of the deployment.
To understand the issues, it is worth considering both the capacity and demand. Adding 3.5GHz 5G to an existing mobile network might triple overall network capacity, depending on existing spectrum and cell configuration. But with mobile data demand growing at 30 percent a year, a tripling of capacity only provides for around five year’s growth in mobile. Therefore, 3.5GHz networks may be operating near capacity by around 2026.
“Now consider that the average broadband home uses about 20-50 times as much capacity as the average mobile subscriber. Just having one tenth as many FWA connections as cellular will immediately increase total network loading up to five-fold – resulting in severe capacity constraints to both mobile and FWA users,” said Webb. “The only viable approach to having a significant number of FWA customers is to use mmWave, where the much greater bandwidth and ability to form non-interfering beams results in much more capacity”.
CBNG is a specialist in mmWave fixed wireless access solutions for mobile operators, WISPs, and other providers interested in delivering gigabit broadband to those without fibre connectivity. CBNG’s solutions can sit alongside 5G mobile networks or stand alone for independent operation.