Fixed-mobile broadband provider Radwin this week partnered with Microsoft to develop and use White Space solutions to deliver broadband Internet to unserved communities, including rural regions of the United States.
The relationship is part of Microsoft's Airband Initiative, which promotes the use of TV white spaces -- the name commonly given unused spectrum in UHF television bands -- to bridge the digital divide by 2022. This bandwidth is in the 600 MHz frequency range and enables wireless signals to travel over hills and through buildings and trees, wrote Microsoft President Brad Smith in a July 10, 2017 blog.
"The addition of innovative TV White Space solutions to Radwin’s portfolio, which complements our sub-6GHz and mmWave fixed wireless offering, would enable our service provider customers and partners to extend their footprint by connecting more remote subscribers in challenging deployment use cases, penetrating through terrain obstructions and vegetation, and therefore helping to close the digital divide," said Sharon Sher, president and CEO of Radwin, in a statement.
In addition to fixed wireless access, Radwin's broadband solutions include backhaul, private network connectivity, video surveillance and broadband on the move for trains, vessels and vehicles. Customers include service providers and enterprises, according to Radwin.
The rural market is ripe for disruption, Sprint Chief Technology Officer John Saw told Broadband World News in an interview this week. If the federal government authorizes the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, each company's spectrum -- for example, 2.5MHz for Sprint, 600MHz and mmWave for T-Mobile -- will help the "new T-Mobile" disrupt rural broadband with a high-quality, cost-effective fixed wireless service, he said, building on a topic he raised during a presentation during the Wells Fargo 5G Forum in late June. (See Sprint CTO: Rural Ripe for Disruption With Fixed Wireless.)
Bringing Connectivity From Class to Home
Using TV White Spaces, some Virginia students have access to broadband at home and school. (Source: Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp.)
Alternate technologies such as white spaces have been making a difference. In Virginia, for example, the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp., used TV white spaces to extend schools' broadband networks into students' homes so they could connect for homework, family members could get career and job resources and residents could access health, education and other benefits.
In February, Packerland Broadband -- which currently is upgrading its fiber infrastructure across Wisconsin to support its telecom, Internet and TV services -- inked a
partnership with Microsoft to use its TV white spaces solution to deliver broadband to the 82,000 people living in rural regions of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan over the next four years.
"Partnering with Microsoft allows us to bring new services and push our services further into the rural landscape in our region and beyond," said Cory Heigl, vice president of Packerland Broadband, in a statement. "We are the people we serve, and in this part of the world, we want to make an impact for the better. Our partnership with Microsoft will help us to influence lives by improving at-home education, enhancing economic opportunities, keeping up with health care advancements and furthering the agricultural innovation of our rural communities."
Deutsche Telekom just signed an infrastructure project with the Gigabit Region Stuttgart, home to 174 municipalities and almost 3 million people, one of many partnerships the German operator has inked in its bid to grow revenue and business.
Mobile and cable operators represented half the managed SD-WAN services market share in this fast-growing space, while other broadband providers such as ISPs and satellite operators also appeared on Vertical Systems Group's ranking.
By slashing subscriber pricing by more than $30 billion annually, Low Earth Orbit satellite companies led by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk as well as OneWeb have the potential to usher in a whole new era of broadband.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.
The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
In this Broadband World News and ADTRAN webinar, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will highlight emerging MDU broadband Internet trends and challenges. In addition, Kurt will outline the next-generation service creation and delivery platform, built on open standards, that allows service providers to connect millions of underserved MDUs, enables creation of user-driven services, and reduces operational complexity and costs.
Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.