Millimeter wave – Is it the new “wireless fiber” technology?

by Rajesh Abbi

June 29, 2018

What is the Problem?

  • High bandwidth demand is driving the need for fiber deployment in fixed access
  • Fiber deployment is difficult and costly
  • Millimeter Wave wireless technology can deliver high bandwidth equivalent to fiber – some are calling it “wireless fiber”
  • Can Millimeter Waves be used instead of fiber for cost effective deployment?

Key Takeaways

  • Millimeter Wave technology has growing potential
  • While Millimeter Wave technology is not economical in all cases, there are several scenarios where it offers significant benefits over fiber
  • Network operators need to carefully analyze the cost/benefit equation for each deployment scenario to determine if Millimeter Wave technology should be used

Executive Summary

A new wireless technology has been growing steadily over past few years. Millimeter Wave (mmWave) technology is being developed to enable significant expansion in available spectrum and bandwidth for the upcoming 5G Mobile network revolution.

While 5G Mobile is the main driver for Millimeter Wave technology, it has significant potential in the fixed wireless space as well. In fact, it is being touted by many as the “wireless fiber” technology. It is being promoted by the WiGig Alliance and standardized by IEEE under the IEEE 802.11ad standard.

In this white paper we discuss the benefits and challenges of this new technology for use in fixed wireline applications.

Key Words:Millimeter Wave, mmWave, Wireless drop, 5G, Fiber