The Outlook for Fixed Wireless Access in a 5G World

One major concern for any wireless network is, of course, the availability of suitable spectrum.  FWA networks can use a variety of bands although there are two broad spectrum categories that will likely see the first 5G fixed wireless broadband implementations: mid-band and mmWave.  Mid-band are the spectrum bands between 2.3 GHz and approximately 6 GHz. Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) have used many of these bands for many years – particularly the unlicensed ones – to deliver Internet service to rural and/or underserved communities. 


"The bands that CBNL pay the most attention to and have developed solutions for, both in the US and internationally, are between 10 GHz and 40 GHz.  The bands between 24 GHz and 47 GHz are really what the FCC has set up to support 5G strategies and allow the operators to begin their deployments in earnest,” said James Childs, VP of US Strategy for Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited, or CBNL. "CBNL has its origins as a business building point-to-multi point systems at 3.5 GHz.  In the first ten years of the business, we saw opportunities in the higher bands."

James also sees opportunities for FWA in higher spectrum bands: “There's lots of talk about what we need to do to make 60 to 90 GHz much more viable - it's currently existing under a lightly licensed framework.  There have been recent changes by the FCC that have allowed for multi-point systems, for instance, at 60 GHz.  You can get a gigabit of capacity across half a kilometer at 60 GHz."

Read the full interview here.

Cambridge Broadband Networks Ltd (CBNL) was established in the year 2000 when ten engineers from Cambridge University secured private equity funding to develop an innovative solution to the increased demand for mobile communications. From this vision, CBNL developed its VectaStar platform which has gone on to establish the company as the clear market leader in point to multipoint microwave. VectaStar networks are now deployed by service providers in over 50 countries for mobile backhaul, small cell backhaul, enterprise access and ISP networks. Our customers include over 100 service providers, including seven of the world’s top ten mobile operators.

With headquarters and in-­house R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK we are part of the world-­renowned Cambridge technology cluster. Privately-­held, CBNL has international offices in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Dubai and manufacturing facilities in China.

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