By Chris Daniels
President, Telrad Broadband Wireless Division
The changing of the calendar is a big event. Like any fresh start, many of us become a bit reflective, if not philosophical. We ponder the question: What does happy look like in 2018?
I recently reconnected with my long-time friend and business colleague Jim McKenna, president of Redzone Wireless in Rockland, Maine. I could “hear” his smile through the phone line.
Jim deployed his fixed wireless broadband network in 2014 in one of the more challenging parts of the country with undulating hills and lots and lots of trees. He has grown Redzone’s coverage to more than 100 communities, 40,000 businesses and 225,000 households throughout Maine.
That’s quite impressive in three short years, and we’ve been privileged to be by Jim’s side throughout the expansion. But for every happily ever after, there was a “before.”
Jim and I first reconnected when he was deploying wireless broadband gear from a competitor. The equipment was not a good fit due to it not being a single vendor end-to-end solution. In addition, the solution was geared heavily toward mobile and not fixed wireless. He ended up replacing it all with Telrad’s fixed LTE RAN, evolved packet core, and CPE. When asked recently how we’ve made a difference, here’s what he said: “As a result, we realized 25 percent greater coverage and increased speeds of 5 Mbps over 20 MHz. The end-to-end solution also provided us with improved stability across the network.”
Even I was wowed by the numbers.
Other wireless providers, like Redzone, who were early adopters of our fixed LTE have found an end-to-end solution they can trust. Considering the terrain, this is no small feat. Having a high confidence that the network is reliable and downtime minimal provides a solid blueprint for seamlessly working with (not against) nature’s abundant beauty that often plagues telecom operators. Heavily-treed environment and rolling terrain makes for real challenges.
Much of the LTE equipment in the wireless broadband market is designed for mobility and not optimized for fixed wireless broadband. Telrad’s software programmable radios have a great competitive edge as do our connect rates in fixed wireless (92-95% in Redzone’s network). And our 4X4 radio provides an ideal platform for MU-MIMO (Multiple User Multiple-In Multiple-Out) technology, which is another capacity enhancing feature.
Equipment aside, it was what McKenna said at the end of the conversation that made me see what happy looks like for Telrad in 2018. He said: “Telrad is not just a vendor. The company is a partner that truly wants us to succeed. Telrad has given us all the personnel and technology resources to make sure our network is optimized, stabilized and that our customers are happy.”
Thanks, Jim. You taught us that your happy is the same as ours: trusted relationships based on tackling the challenges of wireless together.