Beyond 5G: The Roadmap to 6G and beyond

4G LTE used to deliver Fixed Wireless Broadband Services

Posted on Posted in Applications, LTE, Wireless Broadband

CableFree 4G LTE Advanced is an ideal way to offer Fixed Wireless Broadband Services

The underlying technology of LTE can be used for fixed as well as mobile customers to offer Fixed Wireless Broadband to rural, suburban and urban customers, using outdoor or desktop CPE devices. 4G was launched as LTE with 3GPP Release 8 onwards. The latest version in shipping products is Release 13 (LTE Advanced Pro). Later releases offer greater feature set as well as higher capacities (256 QAM modulation, 4×4 MIMO, Carrier Aggregation, and more) and upgradable up to 5G.

“Fixed” refers to the use of permanently installed outdoor CPEs as opposed to mobile handsets. These outdoor CPEs are typically mounted on building walls, rooftops or poles to get Line of Sight (LOS) or near-LOS to the nearest LTE tower. The CPE has an internal high gain directional antenna which gives longer range/capacity capability than the small omnidirectional antenna of a mobile handset.

Example: LTE-Advanced Tower for Fixed LTE 4G service

One or more CableFree LTE-A towers are installed in a region to give Internet access to fixed subscribers. Customers within several km of the tower can have a CPE installed (indoor or outdoor) to receive internet access. An example here in the Middle East:

CableFree Fixed Wireless LTE Tower in Iraq
CableFree Fixed Wireless LTE Tower in Iraq

A CableFree LTE-Advanced installation in Iraq, used for Fixed Wireless Broadband Service for residential and business customers

The operator can then install CPE devices within a given coverage radius (10–20km typically) from the LTE tower.

Example: CableFree Outdoor Fixed LTE CPE

CableFree LTE CPE Outdoor for Fixed Wireless
CableFree LTE CPE Outdoor for Fixed Wireless

A CableFree Outdoor LTE CPE. Features high gain antenna, internal modem/router, Power over Ethernet, in a weatherproof casing

Inside the cover of the CPE there are 1 or 2 Ethernet connections, a SIM card socket, and LED readouts for signal strength and activity, which aids the installer. The CPE is mounted on a pole and manually pointed towards the nearest Base Station. A Cat5e/6 Ethernet cable takes the internet feed into the building.

CableFree Outdoor LTE 4G CPE
CableFree Outdoor LTE 4G CPE

Example: CableFree Indoor Fixed LTE CPE

Other Options for Fixed LTE are Indoor (Desktop) CPEs. These have the advantage of not requiring any outdoor installation: they can be purchased by end users, and self-installed by simply inserting a SIM card and powering up.
Range from the tower is lower due to having a lower gain antenna, plus any LTE signal attenuation going through walls/windows into the building. Several km range from the LTE tower is typical for this deployment.

CableFree LTE Desktop B42 B43 CPE
CableFree LTE Desktop B42 B43 CPE

A CableFree Indoor Desktop LTE CPE with Wired LAN ports, Dual-band WiFi and optional POTs (analogue phone ports)

The rear panel of the CableFree Indoor Desktop CPE shows the 4x LAN ports, GBE port, DC power. The SIM is inserted internally. An optional battery compartment underneath is ideal for regions/sites with intermittent or unreliable power:

CableFree LTE Desktop B42 & B43 Rear Panel
CableFree LTE Desktop B42 & B43 Rear Panel

Rear of the CableFree Desktop LTE CPE: Fixed LAN ports

A mix of Outdoor and Indoor LTE CPEs can be used in the same network. The LTE CPEs are available in versions to cover all common LTE bands.  Category 4 and Category 6 CPEs are already shipping, and higher speed CPEs available in the future for capacity upgrades.

CableFree LTE base Station products are software upgradable including to future 5G technology.

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