Network Communications News (NCN) October 2017 - Page 44

WIRELESS NETWORKS Lights, camera, action! Dan McCarthy, sales manager UK, Ireland and Nordics at Cambium Networks, examines how wireless operators can prepare for the video era. A s next-generation video applications continue to grow in popularity, ser vice providers’ networks are being pushed to the limit. Streaming video is the leading reason for increased demand for bandwidth among residential end users. Couple this with the rapidly growing number of devices in the home and it is not unusual to find an average residence with multiple concurrent streaming video sessions.  In 2021, the amount of video traffic on our networks is expected to grow even fur ther, with Cisco’s annual Visual Network Index forecast predicting that one million minutes of video every second will be transmitted. This will see video account for 82% of all IP traffic. While fibre is often touted as the number one access mode to meet this demand, providing the infrastructure in rural or hard-to-reach areas presents both economical and logistical challenges. Here, providing high-speed, high-bandwidth terrestrial connectivity is not always practical, or even possible, meaning the onus falls on wireless network operators to keep up with demand. Unprecedented demand Meeting this increased demand and providing reliable connectivity for business and residential customers at reasonable and competitive prices is essential. As well as being able to meet customer demand for throughput at peak periods, wireless operators are vital in delivering on Government Universal Ser vice Obligations and connectivity targets. 44 | October 2017 Add video to the equation and delivering the required bandwidth becomes even more complex, with many wireless ISPs reaching a point where their deployed hardware is unable to keep up with demand. When many operators started out, small networks and limited connectivity were the norm, but as demand for bandwidth-hungry services has grown, existing networks cannot scale effectively enough to deal with it. The obvious solution to this problem is for operators to replace their existing equipment, but in the current climate this is easier said than done, with the cost and time of traditional network migration methods being major pain points. Sustainable solutions To avoid these costly and unnecessary hardware upgrades, network operators need reliable information to model their network to meet end-customer demand while managing a successful business. Scalability is an essential factor in this and 802.11ac wave2-based subscriber modules can enable this. The ePMP Force 300 from Cambium Networks, for instance, provides up to 500Mbps headline data rate, operates in the unlicensed 5.1-5.9 GHz frequency band and has a 25dBi reflector antenna to support long-range connectivity. Other important factors for service providers when considering network upgrades include scalability and effective frequency reuse. Various solutions are emerging in the market to help meet these requirements, including ones designed to reuse spectrum which is becoming a precious commodity. For example, Video streaming is creating a headache for operators, but what is the solution? with up to 1.36 Gigabit throughput capacity, Cambium Networks’ new Point-to-Point gigabit throughput solution, the PTP 550, features non-adjacent asymmetric channel aggregation capabilities to efficiently consolidate limited blocks of spectrum to deliver the capacity demanded by advanced network operators. Network planning and management tools to help operators model network performance to design for current and projected needs is also of utmost importance. A built-in cloud-based controller enables wireless operators to manage networks remotely via the cloud, ensuring bandwidth can be allocated where and when it is needed and network support or modifications can be provided more quickly. With solutions such as these, WISPs should be able to equip their network with enough bandwidth to deal with the predicted surge in video traffic and become broadband heroes in those areas which can’t connect to high-speed broadband via more traditional, terrestrial means. More information: Cambium Networks 01364 655 500