Updated: Jun 22, 2020
Of the many, many lessons we’ve taken away thus far from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that the world has demonstrated an essential need for wireless connectivity. Cambium Networks, a former Motorola company provides indoor and outdoor wireless solutions on a global scale that enables enterprises, industries, utilities companies, service providers, and governments to continue delivering reliable communication networks as technology continues to grow and advance.
Having just announced its initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ exchange, the company has undeniable value to its global partners such as Facebook and Bluetown, particularly in India with key Indian telecommunications operators.
According to the company’s chief executive, Atul Bhatnagar, India is extremely valuable to Cambium Networks. “We work closely on key projects and initiatives related to government agencies with stakeholders from the manufacturing, hospitality, education sectors, smart city developers, entities working on community improvement, and telecommunications service providers.”
Two months ago, when the company announced that it was working with Facebook Connectivity on multiple initiatives including incorporating Terragraph mesh networking into its 60 GHz millimeter wave (V-Band) Gigabit wireless radios, consumers were only somewhat aware of the extraordinary benefits this would bring to consumers across the world.
The solution aims to provide last mile access to subscriber homes, enterprises, and multi-dwelling buildings, as well as transport for video surveillance and public Wi-Fi networks. Additionally, it serves to operate as a backhaul for 4G or 5G network traffic.
Basically, this means that in areas where fiber optic connections are not economically viable, individuals who live and work in those areas will now have Gigabit connectivity, the next-gen internet service which transmits data up to 1,000 megabits per second.
At that rate of speed, you can download a full HD movie in just minutes (but who downloads movies still? You better be streaming legally), update your iPhone or Android’s operating system in seconds, and join video conferences (yes, Zoom and Microsoft Teams) with ultra-high definition video.
But how will Gigabit connectivity factor into the 5G’s growth and what does that mean for Wi-Fi? We spoke with Bhatnagar to answer this question.
The company’s engagement with Facebook Connectivity, according to Bhatnagar, provides for active collaboration with industry leaders, enabling Cambium Networks to bring wireless technologies into the conversation that solves contemporary problems.
Specifically, both Cambium Networks and Facebook Connectivity are working to coordinate the use of unlicensed wireless spectrum between wireless backhaul and Wi-Fi radios, enabling the efficient use of unlicensed spectrum, and increasing throughput.
Currently. The company’s portfolio of Gigabit wireless solutions provides connectivity from the cloud to the client with:
Gigabit speed wireless access
Faster rollout of Wi-Fi connectivity
Optimized performance of network infrastructure
Communications infrastructure for smart-city applications
But why all of a sudden does it seem that Gigabit is the next big thing? Many in the industry believe that Gigabit internet service is “the next-gen” internet service.
“This expansion of high-speed internet access means increased opportunities for more engaging and productive learning environments, highly-effective telemedicine, and more broadly, the economic growth that has been associated with high performance connectivity over the past 20 years.”
As for utilizing and implementing these technologies into our current digital infrastructure, Bhatnagar shared that the company’s wireless solutions “help to deliver amazing outcomes that solve critical connectivity challenges, including education, healthcare, public safety and bridging the digital divide.”
Is 4G Still “Acceptable” Today?
But for those of us who are still on that 3G and 4G game, how does this technology, specifically Terragraph mesh, help shape the future of 5G growth? Is 3G gone? Is 4G still ‘acceptable’ based upon our current digital landscape?
“End users want reliable connectivity at a fair price,” Bhatnagar emphasized. “They are indifferent to the underlying technology. Our experience with different technologies, use cases, and frequencies gives us an edge in rapidly developing solutions with an industry-leading total cost of ownership. Our new multi-mode 60 GHz Terragraph-enabled wireless mesh solution provides Gigabit speeds at a fraction of the cost and time of deploying fiber.”
Does Wi-Fi Stand a Chance?
Our follow-up to this is how, if at all, 5G and Wi-Fi work together (or against) this notion? Does Wi-Fi even stand a chance?
Cambium Networks believes Wi-Fi can live harmoniously. “Networks should be reliable and easy to operate, while doing so in an efficient manner. 5G and Wi-Fi will coexist to meet the capacity needs of the end-user. It is this diversity that enables network operators to select the technology that delivers the best price/performance in a given application.
Debunking the ‘Fake News’
Historically, networks have been designed around connecting the home, office, or remote locations together. Essentially, the focus has been on connecting locations.
However, times have changed. “The work environment is now fully transportable,” Bhatnagar explained. And he’s not wrong. Since COVID-19 has been at large, our world has gone completely digital.
“Secure wireless communications enable workers to have immediate contact to collaborate and improve decision-making. This has permanently blurred the line between “home” and “office”, and it has created a requirement for reliable and fast connectivity that has economic value for both the end-user and the network operator.”