Technicolor has launched a new product – 5G Omni Outdoor CPE – which it says will allow service providers to more readily deliver 5G broadband to both B2B and B2C customers.
The device is deployed outdoors and delivers the broadband service to the home via the indoor residential router, including but not limited to Technicolor’s own Gazelle Ethernet products.
“We are leveraging our experience in deploying over 2 million units of LTE-enabled CPEs, to offer an innovative 5G FWA solution that can reduce subscriber acquisition costs while meeting the burgeoning demand for reliable broadband access,” said Girish Naganathan, SVP, Broadband Product Unit, Technicolor.
Naganathan explains that 4G and 5G outdoor CPEs traditionally require roof mounting, accurate pointing and line-of-sight, which usually requires an engineer’s visit, making installation both complex and expensive. His company wanted to transform this paradigm, making it as simple as possible so that customers could self-install the new unit. This is achieved because 5G Omni Outdoor CPE is equipped with an Outdoor5G antenna system that does not require line-of-sight alignment and therefore doesn’t need to be installed on the roof. It can be wall-mounted close to the window, or simply attached to a balcony railing. And it’s designed to cope with signal interference and reflection, so that it works well in urban and suburban locations.
Naganathan says the solution has garnered “significant interest” from operators seeking to replace existing DSL installations in places where fibre rollout isn’t planned. He argues that this unit provides a cost-effective option to deliver faster broadband to customers today, while enabling operators to gradually decommission their copper network.
“This is the foundation of Technicolor Connected Home’s new 5G FWA complete product line. You will see us rolling out a complete range of outdoor and indoor CPEs to fully enable 5G as an alternative home connectivity WAN solution. With our 5G home gateways, operators can provide FWA for a marginal cost,” he added.
It’s been extensively argued that FWA represents one of the most important ways of monetising consumer 5G in the short term, enabling faster broadband in areas that currently don’t have full fibre and delivering network diversity in case there are network problems. The biggest barriers though remain the cost and scaling the rollout to avoid extended wait times for service.
Providing 5G FWA units that can be self-installed by the customer not only reduces the cost to a far more affordable price point – greatly reducing the affordability barrier – but also relieves a significant bottleneck by reducing pressure on engineers. This provides a far better customer experience by allowing a customer to order their service via a website one day, and receiving their equipment through the post for self-installation the following day – boosting customer satisfaction and accelerating time-to-install.