Why wireless won't make fiber un-necessary

Submitted by acohill on Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:03

Ars Technica has an article on problems with WiMax and cellular wireless networks. As customers increase their use of high bandwidth services, the wireless networks can't keep up, and the result is that companies like Verizon and Clearwire have started reducing the amount of bandwidth they make available to subscribers. Clearwire's much ballyhooed WiMax network, just a few years old, is already congested and inadequate. And the much hyped 4G cellular data networks are not going to perform any better. The things that people want to do with their wired and unwired devices is accelerating faster than the ability of wireless networks to keep up. The problem with wireless networks is that you basically have to replace everything component in the network except the tower to add more bandwidth, so you are looking at something like 80% of the cost of the original investment to get an upgrade. With fiber, you can add bandwidth incrementally to individual customers who need it at very low cost, and if you did have to do a systemwide bandwidth upgrade for all customers (very unlikely), you would be looking at only about 20% of the original investment.

Wireless networks simply don't work without fiber. But fiber networks don't need wireless. It's simply physics, and marketing hype loses out to physics every time.

A Broadband Properties top 100 company for 2013
A Broadband Properties top 100 company for 2012
A Broadband Properties top 100 company for 2011

Design Nine has been selected as a Broadband Properties / Broadband Communities top 100 company from 2008 to 2013.


Smart 21

Designed by Design Nine, the nDanville fiber network has won the Intelligent Community Forum's Smart 21 award for 2010.

Design Nine provides visionary broadband architecture and engineering services to our clients. We have over seventy years of staff experience with telecom and community broadband-more than any other company in the United States.

We have a full range of broadband and telecom planning, design, and project management services.