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.

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.