Tarana Wireless, Inc.

Mountain Broadband: The Power of ngFWA

Mountain Broadband uses ngFWA to serve more customers with faster speeds and less infrastructure.

Challenge: Mountain Broadband’s growth has increased their need for greater sector capacity, higher speed tier offerings, and support for more subscribers per tower.

Solution: With just 4 G1 Base Nodes (BNs), Mountain Broadband replaced 15 radios from 4 different vendors on a single tower — increasing capacity, total subscribers, and link speeds while reducing complexity.

Results: Mountain Broadband can now offer their customers plans of up to 100 Mbps with the ability to scale up to 600 Mbps.

Speeds: From a maximum of 30 Mbps with legacy equipment to 100+ Mbps for G1 with most links capable of 400 – 600 Mbps, a 20x improvement.

Distance: The network is comprised of links from less than a mile (1 km) to 8.7 miles (14 km).

Subscribers: Up to 1,000 subscribers per tower, a 3.3x improvement over the legacy system.

Visibility: Many nLoS and NLoS links due to trees and other foliage.

Radio Planning: From k=2 to k=1.

G1 customers understand the value of a wise investment is not made up by just one number but instead consists of many factors. Mountain Broadband, a G1 customer based in the mountains outside Denver, Colorado, shared with us how they were able to simplify their network while increasing capacity and ARPU.

It Started with a Single Tower

It all began with the tower shown above. On this tower they had 15 different radios from 4 different vendors. As you can imagine, this represented significant challenges in deployment and operations. Each different vendor was added in an attempt to meet rising needs in capacity and capability. As the current technology’s ability to meet demand was exhausted, they added another. 

This had the effect of increasing complexity (4 different management systems) that made it hard to operate and troubleshoot. For example, each system required k=2 spectrum reuse — i.e., no two adjacent sectors can operate in the same channel – so arranging 15 radios across limited available channels was a challenge. It also made it difficult to coordinate spectrum use between the different platforms which meant higher self-interference – further reducing achievable link speeds and sector capacity. This meant fewer subscribers per radio and slower speeds. In Mountain Broadband’s case, their highest level of service was 30 Mbps with a range of 15 to 50 subscribers supported per radio.

The Next Generation of FWA

To address these challenges, Mountain Broadband looked to Tarana’s G1 platform for a way out of this spiraling maze of too many vendors, difficult operations, and poor performance.

G1’s innovative breakthroughs create an entirely new paradigm for building and growing fixed-wireless access networks. G1 features field-proven technologies such as cancellation of interference from intra- and inter-cell sources as well as asynchronous interference from other networks, precise Tx and Rx digital beamforming enabled by teraflops of real-time signal processing on both ends of the link (in a unique distributed massive MIMO architecture), perfect multipath integration for excellent NLoS and nLoS link performance, and k=1 spectrum reuse.

Armed with this technology, Mountain Broadband was able to expand their capabilities and reach more customers while reducing complexity and costs. The same tower configuration shown above, with 15 different radios, was replaced by just 4 G1 Base Nodes (BNs), all managed by a single platform, the Tarana Cloud Suite (TCS).

The table below shows a summary of the benefits that G1 has delivered in Mountain Broadband’s network:

Legacy G1
Number of radios
Highest speed tier
30 Mbps
100+ Mbps
Tower capacity
~1 Gbps
9.6 Gbps
Max subscribers
Number of management systems
Radio planning
k = 2
k = 1

These features were crucial for Mountain Broadband and represent a new way to design and operate large scale fixed-wireless networks. “Our footprint will be entirely different with Tarana,” said Benjamin Hammond, Mountain’s CTO, “and our customers will be much happier.”

With G1, Mountain Broadband can reach more customers, with faster speeds, than ever before. It does so through the power of next-generation FWA (ngFWA).

If you just can’t wait to learn more, check out our other blogs or some of our favorite customer links. Or reach out to us at info@taranawireless.com. We’d love to hear from you.