Of the many, many lessons we’ve taken away thus far from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that the world has demonstrated an essential need for wireless connectivity. Recognizing the global demand, Cambium Networks, the former Motorola company, is a global provider of indoor and outdoor wireless solutions that connect people, places, and things. The company enables enterprises, industries, utility companies, service providers, and governments to build powerful communications networks that deliver amazing satisfaction reliability across end-users.
Having announced its initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ exchange, the company has undeniable value to its global partners like Facebook, particularly in India with key Indian telecommunications operators, where there is a huge connectivity disadvantage.
According to the company’s chief executive, Atul Bhatnagar, India is extremely valuable to Cambium Networks.
“We work closely on key projects and initiatives related to government agencies with stakeholders from the manufacturing, hospitality, education sectors, smart city developers, entities working on community improvement, and telecommunications service providers.”
But what about areas that were poised to lead the way in 2020 before COVID-19 hit? In a recent report from Moody’s Analytics, findings reflected that it won’t be urban powerhouses like New York City that make the “most dynamic recoveries”, but rather “areas that either were or were poised to lead the way in 2020 before everything changed”, according to the report’s author Adam Kamins, senior regional economist at Moody’s Analytics.
So what cities are expected to stand above all others? Just this week, Forbes outlined 10-cities:
Two months ago, when the company announced that it was working with Facebook Connectivity on multiple initiatives including incorporating Terragraph mesh networking into its 60 GHz millimeter wave (V-Band) Gigabit wireless radios, consumers were only somewhat aware of the extraordinary benefits this would bring to consumers across the world.
The solution aims to provide last mile access to subscriber homes, enterprises, and multi-dwelling buildings, as well as transport for video surveillance and public Wi-Fi networks. Additionally, it serves to operate as a back-haul for 4G or 5G network traffic.
Basically, this means that in areas where fiber optic connections are not economically viable, individuals who live and work in those areas will now have Gigabit connectivity.
For the uninitiated, Gigabit internet service is the next-gen internet service which transmits data up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps), or 1,000 megabits per second.
At that rate of speed, you can download a full HD movie in just minutes (but who downloads movies still? You better be streaming legally), update your iPhone or Android’s operating system in seconds, and join video conferences (yes, Zoom and Microsoft Teams) with ultra-high definition video.
Now, imagine if an entire city had that connection capability. Five-months into the coronavirus pandemic and we are still “following” social distancing requirements and stay-at-home orders.
But, how do we really know the percentage of a geographic area that is truly abiding?
A World Health Organization expert claimed that the UK was ten days late in implementing strict social distancing measures. But how would he know that? Now privacy enthusiasts may not agree, but by utilizing observational infrastructure developed through technology (implementing gigabit connectivity) could lie at the heart of these types of global crisis responses.
In other words, welcome to a global use case for smart cities. Smart cities use information and communication technologies to streamline urban operations on a large scale. For example, collecting traffic, noise, air quality, energy consumption and movement data in order to help make diligent, safe, and sustainable decisions by authorities and lawmakers. Now more than ever, this type of technology seems all the more necessary.
But how will Cambium Network’s dive into smart city technology help push this globally sought out resource forward? The future for smart city technology is much closer than we think.
“In the coming years, everything that can be measured will be,” Bhatnagar shared with me. “This includes traffic speed and density, weather related parameters, pollutants, various environmental factors, and indicators of potential threats. These measurements will provide raw data that will be passed to operations centers, where predictions will be generated based on the associated decision-making algorithms. These systems will create informed recommendations and deliver the best possible action to maximize efficiency, security, environmental responsibility, and safety.”
But how does the company anticipate these solutions to come into being? Millions of sensors will be embedded at strategic locations to provide the relevant information in what Bhatnagar considers to be a “seamless manner.”
“An all IP-based wireless network will be the medium of choice, because it provides the flexibility to connect from 2 meters to hundreds of kilometers, with sufficient high-capacity throughput to simultaneously support streaming video, voice, and data applications.”
As for Cambium Network’s global partners such as Facebook Connectivity, the two tech giants are working on a multiple initiatives, which includes incorporating Terragraph mesh networking into its 60 GHz millimeter wave (V-Band) Gigabit wireless radios; enhancing Express Wi-Fi solutions with next-generation Wi-Fi mesh technology, combined with Self Organizing Mesh Access (SOMA); and working on joint Telecom Infra project (TIP) initiatives and Smart City infrastructure prototypes to standardize and optimize the deployment of wireless backhaul for fast and efficient Wi-Fi deployments.
With COVID-19 still at large, we continue to patiently wait for our world’s tech giants and medical professionals to join forces to discover and release what we would hope to be a better mechanism to monitor and/or address the global pandemic.
“The pandemic has shown the undeniable value of wireless connectivity to connect people in their residences,” Bhatnagar explained. “Wireless connectivity enables people to work at home, to move education courses online and to enable hospitals to rapidly expand facilities.”
But how would we describe the stability of our technology sector as the coronavirus continues to spread? Bhatnagar outlined some ways in which our digital transformation will continue to move forward, permanently:
Video has proven to be effective and efficient in uniting people for professional and business affairs. Large and small groups equipped with devices will continue to consider this as an option for any meeting.
Secure wireless communications now enable workers to have immediate contact to collaborate and improve decision-making. While this has permanently blurred the line between home and office, a social protocol will be developed in the interest of balancing precious time.
To provide business continuity and public safety, key factors will be monitored, and data will be passed to automated analysis systems.
Indeed, trends will be spotted much earlier.
Public safety systems will measure crowd density and traffic patterns.
Wireless communications infrastructure will enable sensors and cameras to be placed exactly where they are needed at a fraction of the cost and time, when compared to fiber infrastructure.
Wireless networks will constantly evolve. They have now proven to be a lifeline for people and businesses, and they can easily and efficiently connect the last 30 kilometers from the fiber backbone to the device. The performance and reliability of wireless is proven; the next step is to focus on improving the economics so that all developing communities can be connected.
Networks will soon be automated to perform monitoring and healing functions without physical human intervention. Scalability is the key, and automated access points with a cloud-managed infrastructure provide the ability for self-healing networks that can be managed from a cell phone or other device.
As for the naysayers and those who continue to spread misnomers surrounding smart technology, Bhatnagar has some debunking to do.
“Think of smart city connectivity and integration as a wireless “fabric”—the weaving together, in effect, of individual threads to create a stronger whole. Already, wireless technology is proven to be reliable, safe, and affordable, able to connect any location and communicate with sensors, exactly where it is needed.”
Post-coronavirus and COVID-19, the demand for these technologies will of course be astronomical, but “like any fabric, blanketing wireless coverage will be tailored to meet the needs of the immediate environment. This is done by designing the network to satisfy demand with an eye on the long-term need to share data across multiple applications. While wireless networks are composed of specialized radios optimized for a variety of applications, network operators must focus on selecting the right technology—which must be resilient and affordable in the near term, and continue to perform as demands evolve and grow.