ABTN Service No Longer Acceptable for Rural Customers

There was a time when the argument was commonly made that rural Wireless Internet Service Providers needed to litter Access Points with 100 or more CPEs in order to properly monetize a sector. 

This meant offering customers packages that amounted to little more than a handful of megabits per second.  After all, rural customers had few options and should be happy with whatever they get.  This is what’s called ABTN service.  “Anything’s Better Than Nothing.”

Except they aren’t, as it turns out, very happy ABTN.  Not at all. 

They want broadband.  Real, Netflix-streaming, VoIP-calling, home security video-monitoring, online gaming, fast downloading, high speed broadband.

And they can get it.

The FCC’s broadband definition of 25/3 packages is only the starting point.  The real benchmark is fiber to the home (FTTH), and more service providers are starting at 25 Mbps links and topping out at 100 Mbps or more, even in the most rural of environments.

This has moved the residential market to RADWIN.

From business to the home

For years, RADWIN offered the industry’s flagship base station, the RADWIN JET with game-changing beamforming technology.  It was quickly and widely adopted by Enterprise Service Providers (ESPs) that focused on high capacity, symmetrical SLAs to business customers.  Carriers and ESPs was where RADWIN could be found.

Get the RADWIN JET Brochure

Now, with an extension of the JET base station platform and the release of an innovative and elegant subscriber unit, residential-focused WISPs can offer the same carrier class service.

Are all beams created equal?

On the heels of the JET, several new beam-based antenna products have been introduced to the market by both broadband radio manufacturers and third party companies offering OEM product amplifiers.  They still fall short of the JET’s performance in noisy RF environments, Non-Line-of-Site conditions and over meaningful distances.

This is because beamforming antennas are in fact not a new technology; not when the JET was launched and not when others entered the market years later.  While the performance is likely greater than that of standard sector antennas, there is nothing inherently special about beamforming on its own.

However, RADWIN JET utilizes an incredibly compact integrated antenna array of 32 very small elements. In addition, JET bi-directional beamforming antenna is used for both uplink and downlink transmission rather than for just the uplink only to deliver the highest industry capacity for longer range and radio interference immunity that is second to none. It employs an unmatched level of frequency re-use and the most advanced modulation scheme to gain more capacity from the available spectrum.

It is only the sophisticated marriage of this bi-directional beamforming antenna technology with RADWIN’s unique and patented air interface that still makes JET the highest performing base station available.

Beamforming is fine.  Bi-directional beamforming combined with a unique air-interface is what makes the difference.

The Air-Interface

The JET beamforming antenna technology was developed and is manufactured very specifically by RADWIN for the industry’s most unique Air-Interface (AI).

First, RADWIN has the best interference mitigation techniques available in any radio before even considering the antenna technology.  Achievements include:

1) Forward Error Correction that allows for the correction of corrupted packets without costly retransmission when possible.

2) A patented fast Automatic Repeat Request that allows for necessary repeat transmissions to be initiated without having to wait for a request from the end-user application (e.g. TCP).  This results in an incomparably fast ARQ that ensures super-fast retransmission of errant data and avoids the end-user TCP protocol from being badly affected upon interference appearance.

3) Based on the above fast ARQ, a unique automatic adaptive modulations algorithm is performed to achieve higher throughput than other typical Air-Interface can do.   

Second, RADWIN has invested hundreds of engineering man-years in the design and implementation of a TDMA AI that is not even resembled by a competing MultiPoint product. The TDMA – a Time Division-Multiple Access method, implemented by RADWIN, guarantees short and constant latency which means very small jitter.

JET AI also performs a scan, not a transmission, of each subscriber unit to which it is connected.  Only when a subsciber unit calls for or pushes data, will the base station deploy one of the antenna beams to the specific remote unit.  Each beam is 8 degrees horizontal and in this way, the JET is more accurately described as managing individual point-to-point links.  Each link is independent of the others and does not impact the performance of any of its peers. 

Further, data is gathered on the quality of each subscriber connection.  This information is then used by the base station to dynamically and autonomously choose the channel size for both the uplink and downlink that is optimal for each link.  This can be optimized for capacity and latency.

The results include perseverance in even the most noisy of environments, higher true user throughputs achieved at much longer distances and non-line-of-site (NLOS) performance that doesn’t break the laws of physics, but might make one question them every once in a while!

The Subscriber

RADWIN now offers a Subscriber Unit (SU) with innovation worthy of its base station.  Like the JET, it out-punches its weight class.  It is incredibly compact (7.2” x 7.2” x 2.3”) yet includes a 16 dBi, 30 degree embedded antenna.  An extra gain antenna can be utilized with RADWIN’s TurboGain accessory that is an elegant slide-on attachment that transforms the unit into a 23 dBi 10 degree antenna, and of course other large gain antennas can also be used for especially long shots.

Maximum user capacity is 200 Mbps and it can be configured to deliver SLA connectivity through CIR (Committed Information Rate), either symmetrically or asymmetrically. 

The new WINTouch App

RADWIN's new WINTouch App is available via Google Play (Android) and the App Store (iOS). It makes subscriber unit installations a breeze, speeding up deployment times and allowing for optimal antenna alignment. The demonstration video pretty much says it all so check it out below. 

Watch the Video


Service providers intent on providing ABTN service have no shortage of options.  Those negotiations will revolve primarily around the price of a subscriber.  But more serious players can now count on RADWIN to deliver the best possible experience for their rural customers.  Those discussions will be primarily focused on Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). 

We look forward to having those conversations with you!

Kevin Fitzgibbons | U.S. Regional Sales Director, RADWIN