Tarana Wireless, Inc.

NMSurf: Overcoming Obstacles Using ngFWA

Thanks to G1, NMSurf is well positioned to expand their coverage, offer higher ARPU plans, and increase customer satisfaction.

Challenge: Getting around common obstacles that routinely impair or completely prevent links.

Solution: G1’s NLoS advantage and perfect multipath integration achieve better links regardless of obstacles.

Results: By rotating a remote node (RN) 180°, a technician was able to use G1’s multipath capabilities to turn a good link into a great link.

Speeds: NMSurf offers their customers packages of up to 400 Mbps, a 16x improvement over what was possible before.

Distance: The network is comprised of links from less than a mile to 14+ miles, achieving 300+ Mbps even on the longest links.

Subscribers: Up to 1,000 subscribers per tower, a 4x improvement over their legacy system.

Visibility: Many nLoS or NLoS links due to buildings and foliage.

One of the toughest challenges for outdoor wireless is obstruction: buildings, trees, moving vehicles, and so on. Achieving clear line-of-sight (LoS) is great when it happens but the vast majority of wireless links will be near or non-line-of-sight (nLoS, NLoS).  It is imperative for large-scale fixed-wireless access deployments to have a way to handle obstructions, ideally without sacrificing speed or reliability. 

Tarana’s Gigabit 1 (G1) is a Next-Generation Fixed Wireless Access (ngFWA) platform designed explicitly for operators to overcome previously insurmountable obstruction challenges.

A Local Internet Provider

NMSurf is a wireless internet service provider based in New Mexico covering Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Española, and the surrounding rural communities. A local internet pioneer, NMSurf was the first company in the Santa Fe area to deliver fixed-wireless broadband technology to its customers.

As an operator with plenty of wireless experience, NMSurf knows what it takes to design and deploy a reliable, high-speed connection. They know obstructions are a significant reason why many wireless links either perform poorly or are not possible at all.

It was with this in mind that an NMSurf technician recently attempted to bring up a wireless connection for a local business. Distance was not a problem but there were many mature trees surrounding the building and along the street as shown in the photo. “This kind of link wouldn’t have happened before Tarana,” says Albert Catanach, President and Founder of NMSurf.  “There would have been no way through.”

Getting Around Obstacles with G1

When the technician first brought up the link, he saw a decent alignment metric (a number indicating wireless connection strength) with the Tarana remote node (RN). Then he remembered one of Tarana G1’s strengths – perfect multipath integration – and turned the RN 180° away from the direction of the tower, pointing at a nearby building instead. Suddenly, a good link became a great link. 

G1 is designed to take advantage of multipath environments to get around obstacles. It collects multiple versions of the signal as it bounces off obstacles to recreate a better, stronger signal. Legacy FWA equipment does not have this capability which is why it seldom performs well in NLoS conditions. This is a big drawback when the majority of connections are obstructed to some degree.

NMSurf’s experience is not unusual. Operators are discovering how G1 conquers previously insurmountable barriers to connectivity. This opens up new markets for the operator who can now reach subscribers that were unfeasible before.

Currently, NMSurf is in the process of switching its 5,000 customers to G1. Not only will these customers get more reliable service at greater range, they also get higher data rates which directly translates to higher ARPU. With G1, NMSurf is able to deliver speeds of 250 Mbps at distances of 12 miles with even higher speeds (600+ Mbps) closer to the tower. 

With G1’s easy installation, NMSurf was able to rapidly deploy almost 200 subscribers as of May 2022, with many more to follow as their expansion continues. The table below summarizes the incredible benefits G1 has delivered in NMSurf’s network.

Legacy G1
Highest speed tier
25/7 Mbps
400 Mbps
Tower Capacity
1 Gbps
9.6 Gbps
Max subscribers (per tower)
Number of management systems
Radio planning
k = 2
k = 1


Rising demand for high-speed broadband presents wireless operators with a fantastic opportunity to grow their businesses both in number of subscribers and ARPU, which directly drives profitability. However, this opportunity only exists if the operator is able to reliably reach new customers and deliver greater speeds. Obstacles are a significant barrier that must be overcome for true growth.

G1 turns opportunity into reality through:

  • Superior coverage, especially in NLoS and nLoS conditions
  • Reliable, high performance: 4 Gbps sector capacity (9.6 Gbps per tower)
  • Up to 800 Mbps combined UL/DL per-link rate with resulting higher-speed service tiers
  • High subscriber counts (up to 250 per sector/radio)
  • Interference and noise cancellation enabling full k=1 spectrum reuse
  • Near-licensed spectrum performance with unlicensed spectrum
  • Simplified radio planning, installation, and management
  • Less hardware (radios, switching ports, etc.)

These features were crucial for NMSurf and represent a new paradigm for designing and operating large scale fixed-wireless networks. “Tarana works better than any other tech we’ve tried,” said Catanach. Thanks to G1, NMSurf is well positioned to expand their coverage, offer higher ARPU plans, and increase customer satisfaction.