Tarana, a company that does fixed wireless access (FWA), announced today that with a software upgrade its G1 product can now provide up to 1.6 Gbps. And the bandwidth to each home can be split between the uplink and the downlink depending on demands in a particular area. This means that in the best-case scenario, customers could get FWA speeds of 800 Mbps symmetric, according to the company.
“Our system is not a stop-gap to fiber,” said Tarana CEO Basil Alwan. “This technology, this next-gen FWA platform, is an alternative. We’re announcing a version of G1 called X2, which will double the performance of the system. It’s going to work with the existing remote node, so you don’t have to change the remote node to do this.”
Customers will just need to download software to get the X2 version.
Alwan said most customers will want more downlink speed than uplink. “A very good gig service with a nice uplink will be available on this platform,” he said. “We provide different options and customers decide what to do. It can be symmetric 800/800 or a normal suggestion is 4.5-1 as the ratio because most people use more downlink.”
The company doesn’t serve end users directly. It provides its FWA technology to operators. About 190 customers are now buying Tarana’s technology.
“This is the most important message: wireless can now provide really high bandwidth home broadband,” said Alwan.
Tarana installs its base nodes on a tower to communicate to multiple remote nodes. And it installs its remote nodes, or mini-base stations, about the size of a paperback book, on the side of customers’ homes.
The company has previously said that its FWA gear is better than other providers’ because it has created silicon, software algorithms and its own antennas from scratch, specifically designed for FWA. It especially touts its ability to provide non-line-of-site connectivity.
Solving for non-line-of-site has been a big challenge for Tarana, which has invested over $400 million in its technology.
But Alwan said it makes all the difference in quality for FWA. “Homes require about 50 times the bandwidth as mobile. In mobile if you’re at the edge of the cell, soon you’ll be somewhere else. But at home you still want a high-bandwidth system at low latency.”
Last week Nextlink said that it was using Tarana’s FWA to bring gigabit broadband service to communities and rural areas in 11 states.
One of Tarana’s goals is to help close the digital divide in the U.S.