This is the first of a series of blogs, that will show how the AIR Gigaray solution can be utilized in the US. In the next few weeks, we will address LATAM, Europe, MEA and APAC with Australia and New Zealand in a separate blog.
The focus of the blog will be on the use cases and spectrum.
What is AIR Gigaray?
The AIR Gigaray product series is comprised of AIR Gigaray and AIR Gigaray Integra. Both are DOCSIS based Fixed Wireless Access solutions. The key difference is that AIR Gigaray is a DOCSIS vendor neutral solution which allows for any type of DOCSIS equipment being utilized either through a Remote PHY device or with a standalone CMTS at the tower site.
AIR Gigaray network architecture:
AIR Gigaray requires an air-conditioned indoor room at each sector antenna site as the frequency conversion from the DOCSIS frequencies to the transport frequency happens within the AIR BSI modular chassis.
AIR Gigaray Integra on the other hand has been developed in partnership with Harmonic and does not require indoor space at the tower sites.
It is comprised of Harmonic CableOS vCMTS and base stations with integrated Remote PHY devices from Harmonic. Frequency conversion happens within the outdoor base station unit so there is no need for additional indoor equipment. Harmonic CableOS, as its core which with a single cluster supports:
- 25.000 subscribers
- 112 sector antennas
- 160 Gbps of downstream traffic
CableOS is completely scalable so additional capacities in all three categories can be added.
AIR Gigaray Integra architecture with remote Phys integrated into the base station antenna:
It is not required, that there is a direct fiber connection from the core to the sector antenna. Multiple PtP hops are also possible.
At the customer premises, the CPE is comprised of an outdoor and an indoor unit. On the outdoor side, there is the AIR Gigaray CPE .
While on the indoor side, a standard, widely available, cable modem is being used with a standard DOCSIS architecture.
As the Gigaray product series is a FDD based system, a frequency pair is required in order to achieve maximum throughput with a minimum guard band of 150 MHz between downstream and upstream.
In recent auctions conducted by the FCC, several spectrum bands were auctioned off that are a very good fit for the AIR Gigaray fixed wireless access solution. Those that stand out are:
- 24 and 25 GHz
- 28-31 GHz
- 37 GHz
- 47 GHz
All of these bands are supported and can be combined utilizing either of them for the DS and US regardless of the gap between them.
Each ninety-degree sector antenna supports between 100 and 500 MHz of spectrum bandwidth in each direction.
In the mmWave spectrum bands mentioned above, throughput and distance achievable per sector with 100 MHz of spectrum is:
As a result, the maximum throughput of a sector antenna in the licensed mmWave bands is:
There are two types of CPE units, that support all mmWave bands allocated for PtMP usage by the FCC. The difference between them is the spectrum bandwidth that they support. It is either 100 MHz or 175 MHz.
There is no difference in distances achieved with either of them and the throughputs are:
In the US, we took advantage of license exempt and loose licensed spectrum in the higher mmWave bands.
A special version of AIR Gigaray and AIR Gigaray Integra were developed in cooperation with Harmonic and GeoLinks. AIR Gigaray Integra utilizes the following bands for its operation:
- 69 – 71 GHz for the downstream
- 81 – 83 GHz for the upstream
To achieve higher coverage range, instead of using a ninety-degree sector antenna, three thirty-degree antennas are being used. Each antenna uses its own 500 MHz of spectrum bandwidth. This is being made possible by the large portion of downstream and upstream spectrum range available.
The three shared antennas can share a single Remote PHY device, or each antenna can utilize its own for maximum performance. Throughputs available per sector are:
Like in licensed spectrum bands, same throughputs to the CPE are possible:
Who can benefit from the AIR Gigaray platform?
The predominant technology currently being used by the WISPs in the US are various solutions based on the 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum.
Even though, the band offers the advantage of distance and no license is required, it does have severe limitations as well. Limited throughput and spectrum congestion which results in interferences limit the WISP`s in providing state of the art broadband. With the growing rate of data consumption by users regardless if in urban or rural markets severely impacts WISP`s readiness to compete with more traditional operators and newly introduced technologies like Starlink or 5G.
By taking advantage of the AIR Gigaray product series, gigabit throughputs to the end users with latency below 12 ms and a variety of additional services are possible. AIR Gigaray series would make any WISP capable of competing with anything they would be facing in terms of competition and even expand their markets by providing superior services to even the traditional incumbents.
When Cable Operators are planning network expansion it can be either through traditional cable plants, fiber or fixed wireless.
The dilemmas that are considered are time and cost vs. capacity and integration. Fiber and cable plants take a very long time to build and are tied to lengthy procedures with permits etc. Implementing Fixed Wireless into an existing Cable Operators ecosystem can be challenging as well as no matter how one would twist and turn it, it is still the introduction of a new technology.
AIR Gigaray on the other hand, utilizes standard DOCSIS components on both the head end as well as the CPE side (cable modem) and is thus compatible with any OSS/BSS and billing software already being used.
With gigabit capacities it is arguably the simplest and most efficient way for a cable operator to expand its network while being capable to provide same speeds and services to its FWA subscribers as to those on the existing wired networks.
For the winners of the USD 9,2 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction, AIR Gigaray offers a unique possibility of meeting their obligation within the designated time frame with high cost efficiency.
We have designed the solution with RDOF in mind and made sure it can support any of the tiers the winners have bid in, including gigabit. Air Gigaray CPE supports 2 Gbps in the downstream and 550 Mbps in the upstream regardless of which spectrum band would be utilized. As such, it fits very well into any and all requirements for RDOF rollouts.
Providing high-speed broadband to rural, urban or suburban communities is simple and efficient with AIR Gigaray and we are here to walk with you on the path to next generation broadband. Reach out today if there are any question or concerns we can help with in regard to AIR Gigaray, AIR Gigaray Integra, implementation, services, RDOF or any other topics.