Wireless beats satellite in last mile

Terrestrial wireless technology could be used to provide broadband connections to the final 15% of UK homes not covered by fiber connections, Analysys Mason claims.
The firm said the wireless element would be sufficient for households of average usage, after modeling low, medium and high-use scenarios, but only if the number of base stations and spectrum available was increased, in a study for the UK government’s Broadband Stakeholder Group.
It found the average cost of deploying a wireless connection to low-use households ranges from £260 (€297) to £560, while in the second case the range is £920 to £2,100 per home.
The lowest technology and spectrum cost combination is FDD-LTE deployed on a dual frequency network running 800MHz and 2.6GHz, the firm states.
Analysys Mason also evaluated the role of satellite connections finding that the technology would be best deployed in areas lying beyond the reach of wireless networks, due to higher rollout costs.
“Much of the discussion about superfast broadband in the UK has focused on the deployment of new fiber networks. This report shows that emerging wireless and satellite technologies can also meet some likely consumer demand scenarios in a cost-effective manner, particularly in rural areas,” senior manager Philip Bates said.
The firm costed 3G, 4G and Wimax networks, and assumed no charge for using existing fiber networks as backhaul.