The development of Cambium’s 60 GHz fixed wireless solutions was supported closely by Facebook and Qualcomm
Cambium Networks announced the release of new solutions based on 60 GHz millimeter wave technology the reportedly delivers a multi-gigabit performance that was previously only achievable by fiber. The development of Cambium’s solutions was supported closely by Facebook and Qualcomm. RCR Wireless News spoke with Cambium President and CEO Atul Bhatnagar and Qualcomm Vice President and General Manager, Mobile & Compute Connectivity Business Unit, Dino Bekis in more detail about the solutions and how the companies came together to weave a “fabric” of superior connectivity.
Cambium’s multi-gigabit wireless fabric extends multi-gigabit throughput from Wi-Fi into wide area networks connecting businesses and residences in urban and dense environments. 60 GHz cnWave can also be used as wireless backhaul to Wi-Fi or other access networks at a fraction of the cost of wired networks.
Bhatnagar explained the concept behind the term “wireless fabric,” commenting that the solutions weave together different applications, which all need different capabilities, into a single pane of glass that can be accessed in the cloud, making the management of a network and all of the technologies within that network simpler.
“It’s not 60 GHz in isolation — its Wi-Fi 6, its 60 GHz, its cloud management of all of those things functioning together,” he said. “That’s the fabric, and you can customize that fabric for a purpose-built network depending on your needs.”
Another fabric of sorts is, of course, the tying together of multiple companies, each with its own contribution to make.
“We believe in providing very high-quality broadband connectivity, yet affordability,” Bhatnagar said of Cambium, adding, “The affordability part comes from innovation. One needs to use silicon from a partner like Qualcomm and our expertise comes in MU-MIMO architectures, antenna design, indoor and outdoor architectures. That combination is the system design, and Cambium, Qualcomm and Facebook worked really closely together because one company cannot do it.”
Specifically, the Cambium solutions are supported by Facebook Connectivity’s Terragraph technology and Qualcomm’s latest 802.11ay compliant technology, and when used together, they significantly lower cost of ownership and faster time to market than alternative last-mile wired networks.
Bekis offered his own perspective on how the companies have woven their expertise together: “At the end of the day, Terragraph is a way to cluster different base stations and allow for a level of management and to distribute traffic. Think of it as a meta network. The work we’ve done with Facebook is taking advantage of the core technologies and allowing them to establish a sort of base-line foundational framework. Companies like Cambium build on that foundation and say ok how do I take this core technology […] and turn it into usable fixtures that operators and end users can see the benefits of.”
Coupled with intelligent management software, the new Cambium solutions enable a very low total cost of ownership that delivers connectivity at a fraction of the cost of trenching fiber. According to the product announcement, it is also an ideal complement to cable networks struggling to deliver the symmetrical performance now needed as 60 GHz cnWave delivers symmetrical multi-gigabit performance (up and down), an especially critical capability in today’s work-from-home environment.
“The entire focus becomes not just speeds,” commented Bhatnagar, “but the manageability, and installability of networks. Communications technologies are pervasive and are going deeper, so management and reliability are very key. It’s no longer that you’re just watching Netflix on your network; you’re running a mini enterprise in your home.”