Fixed wireless uses the mobile network to offer fixed broadband services and can be offered everywhere an operator has coverage. But the cost of supplying and installing an outdoor antenna can make delivering the service uneconomical in some cases, according to NetComm.
NetComm says the new Residential Gateway makes it easy for the customer to install and yet still ensures optimal performance in locations with good signal reception.
According to NetComm, having the option to install an indoor or outdoor device will significantly increase the potential market opportunity for remote locations, where distances between the base station and end-user equipment are large, outdoor antennas are needed to ensure optimal link budgets.
“The biggest challenge when rolling out a fixed wireless network is making sure the solution can be deployed cost-effectively at scale,” said NetComm Marketing and Communications director Els Baert.
“We have spent a lot of time and effort working towards solutions that give operators the best performance and can be easily installed. This results in lower activation costs for operators and the ability to get customers connected faster.”
The CAT 18 – 4G LTE Residential Gateway uses the same technology as its outdoor counterpart and the results in a reduced number of qualification and testing cycles for the introduction of the new device given that the outdoor version has already been approved in the network.
Baert says the CAT 18 – 4G LTE Residential Gateway looks like a standard residential gateway, providing Wi- Fi, voice and Ethernet connectivity in the home, but instead of having a wired input, it uses a SIM card to connect to the 4G LTE network.
It has a powerful dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi network allowing end-users to connect to multiple Wi-Fi devices, such as tablets and notebooks, simultaneously – and also features voice capability, “making it the ideal all-in-one device for home and small businesses”, notes Baert.
Netcomm says that with fixed wireless looming as a major use case for 5G, its new self-install technology could help operators connect a very significant number of new customers faster and more cost effectively.
“There are millions of customers around the world who still don’t have access to fast, reliable broadband,” says Baert.
“By making a fixed wireless connection much easier and more cost effective, we are really opening up the fixed wireless market for operators. The arrival of 5G will add further exciting opportunities for these operators in the fixed wireless space.”
NetComm has indicated that the CAT 18 – 4G LTE Residential Gateway will be ready for testing in Q1 2019, and will be presented at the Broadband World Forum in Berlin from 23 to 25 October.