SUCCESS STORY: CCS helps Talk Straight close digital divide in rural UK
High-growth UK ISP Talk Straight is leveraging CCS’s MetNet 60G solution to create a new path to Gigabit broadband connectivity in rural regions of the UK. The internet service provider tested CCS’s mmWave fixed wireless access solution as part of a proof of concept that could quickly and cost-effectively extend gigabit symmetric broadband services beyond the reach of existing fibre networks. The successful project in West Yorkshire has paved a new path to revenue for Talk Straight – from which it has plans to expand to reach more locations in the UK.A recent report from Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, estimates that 190,000 properties across the UK still cannot access an acceptable broadband connection and more than 880,000 children live in a UK household with only a mobile internet connection. When the pandemic hit in 2020, this need for broadband connectivity was underscored as the digital divide expanded even further.
Talk Straight, which has been historically focused on providing internet and communications solutions to schools across UK, successfully deployed a proof of concept using CCS’s Metnet 60GHz mesh fixed wireless network to extend broadband to Garnett Wharfe in Otley, West Yorkshire – a community of 250 properties where many homes lacked access to high-capacity broadband. Built on the industry’s first self-organising, 60GHz mmWave fixed wireless technology, Talk Straight delivered a fixed wireless multi-gigabit network that is powerful enough to support residential, campus, smart city and business customers.
“Students are going back to the classroom and offices are reopening, but at-home connectivity demands continue to increase. We still need to get rural residents and students on a level broadband playing field,” said David Tindall, CEO at Talk Straight. “The MetNet 60G solution is very easy to install and offered speed and ease of deployment. As a result, we have the confidence we need to build a business case for expanding this deployment to more residents and businesses that need a better option for high-speed broadband.”
NEWS: Ontix Delivers Boost to Six Westminster Markets With New Superfast Public Wi-Fi Service
Leverage CCS Metnet’s 60G solution, next-generation wireless infrastructure-as-a-service provider Ontix is providing a major boost to six key street markets in the London borough of Westminster with the roll-out of a new, fast public Wi-Fi service benefitting traders, customers and visitors. The Westminster Markets Wi-Fi Network is delivering superfast Wi-Fi connectivity to street markets located in Church Street, Berwick Street, Strutton Ground, Tachbrook Street, Maida Hill and Rupert Street.
The new free-to-use public Wi-Fi service offers gigabit-speed outdoor wireless data connection, helping to speed mobile internet browsing and data downloads for traders and their customers. The service – part of an umbrella Wi-Fi network being deployed by Ontix throughout Westminster – also includes Passpoint™ connectivity, which streamlines network access in Wi-Fi hotspots and eliminates the need for users to find and authenticate a network each time they connect, ensuring seamless network access and roaming between hotspots. This is excellent news for the business, visitor and residential communities across these key Westminster Markets, and it’s great to see our Metnet 60G solution delivering gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity to boost trade and support digital inclusion.
COMMENTARY: Best technology mix will deliver ubiquitous gigabit connectivity
Since the pandemic began, bringing with it new connectivity challenges and data consumption demands, consumers now having a much clearer experience of what good and bad internet provision looks like.
Until now, video and TV was perceived by many as the primary high-bandwidth service that would drive data demand, while services such as Zoom and MS Teams were seen as niche business applications. With 77% of UK homes now regular users of Zoom, customers in the post-COVID world are increasingly realising that they need more bandwidth – especially with multiple people in a home simultaneously streaming symmetrical video services. It’s therefore crucial that customers adequately provision when signing broadband supplier contract with a service provider and, more importantly, to ensure that they’re getting the promised speeds. Ultimately, what matters to the customers is still delivery and their overall user experience – technology is transparent, but service remains king.
When it comes to delivering the levels of connectivity and performance demanded by customers, there are still many places where it’s simply not economically viable to take fibre, and that isn’t restricted to rural or remote locations globally, since it includes many suburban areas. The key metric for providers is still cost-per-premises-connected, and a mixture of fibre and wireless is now being recognised as absolutely crucial for deploying solutions quickly and cost-effectively. With solid, reliable FWA connections able to be rolled out in just a few weeks versus, in some cases, in excess of 18 months for fibre, the importance of wireless and FWA is only set to grow.
What we’re currently witnessing in the industry is a dramatic change in cost-performance curves. Volumes will inevitably reduce costs, and where once wireless was considered an inferior service that cost more to deliver, now it’s being recognised as a superior and more practical service – and deliverable at a much lower cost.
At an industry level, partnerships will continue to be pivotal in reaching large sections of the community to deploy into and securing maximum coverage for gigabit service. Fibre companies will increasingly work alongside FWA companies to deliver the right outcomes for customers, and the industry is becoming accustomed to looking at a mix of technologies to deliver multi-gigabit services, using the most appropriate technology in whichever setting. Global harmonisation around specific bands can also drive standards and, in turn, act as driver for greater volumes and lower costs, as we’re seeing in 5G and Fixed Wireless Access implementations, across the 60GB band, and with Facebook’s Terragraph.
It should also be noted that much of the innovation in this technology is taking place in the UK, which is playing a leading role in driving forward what is a radio revolution. As one of the earliest UK innovators, CCS and our Metnet 60G mesh millimeter wave Fixed Wireless Access solutions have proven themselves to be a key enabling technology in this coming transformation.
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INDUSTRY: GSMA and Analysys Mason explore benefits of mmWave
With 5G roll-outs and adoption progressing quickly, the GSMA Intelligence team has taken a look at the mmWave ecosystem and explores when and where mmWave solutions can deliver most benefit - and cost-efficiencies. Their report evaluates the cost-effectiveness of deploying mmWave 5G solutions in six different scenarios, including dense urban areas, fixed wireless access (FWA) and indoor deployments, in the period between now and 2025.
You can download the full report and executive summary here.
A new study from analyst firm Analysys Mason has also explored the status, costs and benefits of 5G mmWave deployment in Europe, reporting mmWave spectrum in Europe delivers a wide range of connectivity use cases for mobile broadband users – including in public mobile networks, 5G fixed-wireless access (FWA) services into homes and offices, and a variety of other consumer, enterprise and industrial uses.
"The study finds that mmWave spectrum might be especially useful in locations where volumes of data traffic from mobile devices are particularly high – such as outdoor coverage to address mobile data demand at stadiums, large events, festivals and tourist sites, or indoor coverage for music halls or within homes and offices."
You can read the full report press release here.
EVENT REVIEW: Martin Harriman at Project Rollout
In March, our Executive Chairman Martin Harriman took part in a lively and illuminating discussion at ‘Project Rollout’, the brand new event from the team behind Connected Britain and Total Telecom. Martin joined an expert panel – including Steven Leighton, CEO at Voneus Broadband, David Burns, Managing Director of Boundless Networks Limited and chair of UK WISPA, and moderator Iqbal Singh Bedi, founder of Intelligens Consulting – to discuss the pivotal role of wireless broadband technologies in delivering the Gigabit Britain ambition.
Here are Moderator Iqbal Singh Bedi’s top 5 takeaways from the discussion:
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