Cable Industry Is Not Counting on Fixed Wireless 5G
Report says that while fixed 5G can deliver fast speeds, it’s “significantly hampered by interference issues, coverage challenges and backhaul and deployment obstacles”
November 14, 2017
DENVER—Will fixed wireless 5G connections be able to replace wired connections like DSL, DOCSIS or fiber in to the home? In other words, might 5G providers be able to beam high-speed wireless services into wired rivals’ homes to steal broadband internet customers away from providers like Charter and Comcast? This question is addressed in this document, according to a recent
article in fiercewireless.com.
The report says that while fixed 5G can deliver fast speeds, it’s “significantly hampered by interference issues, coverage challenges and backhaul and deployment obstacles.”
It predicts that fixed 5G services might initially be used to deliver services into multi-dwelling units and that cable operators might consider using it to reach specific locations while they build out fiber connections. But Arris and CableLabs (the authors of the report) definitely don’t present fixed 5G as the panacea that some in the wireless industry have touted it as. They’re not recommending that cable operators immediately switch over to 5G.
Perhaps this explains why cable operators are installing more and more fiber strands in their networks. Altice is planning on going with fiber in nearly its entire footprint; Comcast, Charter, Cox, Liberty Global and other major MSOs are planning on going deeper in to their networks with fiber. “Operators are clearly feasting and fattening up on fiber these days,” according to lightreading.com.
Comcast intends to spend several billions of dollars on its Fiber Deep program over the next four to five years to extend fiber links further into its HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) network while eliminating amplifiers and other active devices. It plans to install more than 1 million additional optical fiber nodes in its network over that time. Altice is installing FTTH (FiberTo The Home) networks across its territories in the US, France and Portugal and so far, the international MSO has deployed fiber links to more than 10 million homes passed in France, nearly 4 million homes passed in Portugal and 150,000 homes passed in the US. Plans call for extending the three-nation fiber rollout to more than 22 million homes passed by the close of the decade, according to the same article.