In the old days, outdoor fixed wireless access (FWA) was primarily used for one simple yet powerful application – point to point (PTP) cell site backhaul. As cellular technology improved and capacities increased, so did the point to point gear you used to connect the towers. Yet the deployment of these links remained fairly vanilla connecting point A (the tower) to point B (the wireline PoP). The backhaul link was cited on the same tower as the RAN, making site acquisition and power supply simple. These links were typically in the licensed microwave bands from 7GHz up to 38GHz and were deployed as one offs.
Today you will find PTP fixed wireless access has expanded its role dramatically to include Internet access for enterprises and residential MDUs. With these applications, your PTP network now can become quite complex with potentially dozens of links connecting, relaying and crisscrossing a city. In addition, as capacity demands have increased to Gbps, the market is moving to mmWave bands of 60,70/80GHz. With more links - frequency coordination, what capacity to deploy, where to locate end points and establish a connection to the Internet all drive a trend towards more complex PTP networks.
If only there was a tool that could automatically determine the lowest cost, best performing network design taking into account all of the design requirements for avoiding self-interference, meeting SLAs and tying into an Internet POP. We at Siklu have been in the mmWave PTP business for over ten years and have watched this trend evolve. As leaders in the mmWave industry, we saw clearly the need for more advanced network design tools beyond the simple Link Budget Calculator everybody offers. With this need in mind, we have launched this year the first release of our SaaS Wireless Network Design Engine (WiNDE) which does all of the above and more. With WiNDE you can simply plug in the locations that need service, where the POP is, what capacities are needed for each location and what level of performance/ is desired. The tool will automatically determine the optimal network design, what equipment is needed and where, output both a BOM and configuration files for each node in the network. Doing in a matter of minutes what can take experienced network design engineer hours if not days to develop.
Siklu stands alone in offering this level of network design automation, and we are offering free trials to all of our customers over the summer. Whether you have an immediate need today or tomorrow, we encourage you to take a test run of WiNDE and see for yourself how this industry leading tool can reduce your time and cost planning complex PTP wireless network projects.