Tarana Wireless, Inc.

NMSurf: Overcoming Obstacles Using ngFWA

Thanks to ngFWA, NMSurf is able to make better, faster connections that were impossible before G1.

One of the toughest challenges for outdoor wireless is obstructions. This can include trees, buildings, moving vehicles, and so on. In fact, the vast majority of wireless links are obstructed to some degree, meaning they will be near line-of-sight (nLoS) or non line-of-sight (NLoS).

This is a significant problem for wireless operators who can’t control where their subscribers are located. They also typically don’t have the ability to do things like cut down trees. The problem is only exacerbated by the fact that legacy fixed-wireless access products are generally optimized for LoS operations rather than the NLoS reality operators must deal with in the field.

It was with this in mind that the engineers at Tarana developed the Gigabit 1 (G1) platform. Among its many design features is perfect multipath integration which can help get around obstacles. It does this by taking advantage of bounced signals from other objects (like buildings) and uses those to get around obstacles that would otherwise block the signal.

This NLoS advantage was recently validated by a Tarana customer, NMSurf. A local internet pioneer based in New Mexico, NMSurf was the first company in the Santa Fe area to deliver fixed-wireless broadband services to its customers. With years of wireless experience, they know obstacles are a significant reason why a wireless link can either perform poorly or is not possible at all.

So when an NMSurf technician recently attempted to bring up a wireless connection for a local business they knew it would be tricky. There were many mature trees surrounding the building and along the street as shown in the photo above. Shooting straight through the trees created a usable signal but it could have been better. Remembering G1’s ability to use multipath, the technician turned the G1 remote node (RN) 180° away from the direction of the tower, pointing at a nearby building instead (see photo below). With that change, a good link became a great link.

Figure 1: View from RN to nearby building where signal is bounced (tower is behind RN) 

This is not an isolated occurrence. Many operators are discovering for themselves how G1 conquers previously insurmountable barriers to connectivity. This opens up new markets for operators who can now reach subscribers that were unfeasible to serve before.

The benefits don’t stop there of course. G1 also brings higher speeds as well. This allowed NMSurf to change their previous plans that maxed at 25 Mbps to connections of up to 400 Mbps. Faster speeds means higher revenue, greater market competitiveness, and more satisfied customers. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The table below shows just some of the benefits NMSurf has been able to achieve in their network:

Legacy G1
Highest speed tier
25/7 Mbps
400 Mbps
Tower Capacity
1 Gbps
9.6 Gbps
Max subscribers (per tower)
250
1000
Number of management systems
4
1
Propagation
LoS
LoS, NLoS
Radio planning
k = 2
k = 1

With rising demand for high-speed broadband, operators have a fantastic opportunity to grow their businesses both in number of subscribers and ARPU. G1 is a superior tool to make opportunity a reality.

To learn more about NMSurf and their experiences with G1, check out their case study here.

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.