Mimosa Networks Leverages Wireless to Deliver Fixed Broadband
Fiber is great for high-speed internet access – that is if you have the time and money to deploy it. But wireless can provide a very nice alternative to copper or fiber, and at a fraction of the cost, says Jaime Fink, CPO and co-founder of Mimosa Networks.
Fink and his partner are former 2Wire guys. As you may recall, 2Wire is the company whose technology helped power AT&T’s U-Verse portfolio of services. Today, through Mimosa Networks, Fink and company are now leveraging directional antennae, synchronization, and TDMA technologies to provide fixed broadband access to rural, suburban, and even urban markets.
The Mimosa Networks solution is a closed system that consists of a small dish, based on Wi-Fi technology, that connects to a multipoint access point that sits on municipal poles or rooftops. Backhaul is also part of the solution, as are partner-provided endpoints. The solution relies on chips from Quantenna. Upfront capital costs of the solution are in the $250 to $300 range.
It runs on 5gHz and 11gHz spectrum, and can leverage 3gHz spectrum as well, says Fink. Mimosa’s directional antenna technology helps prevent interference.
The solution delivers shared consumer bandwidth of around 250 megabits per second. The reach of the technology is 300 to 500 meters.
Mimosa Networks today has about 4,000 small ISPs in about 115 countries using the technology. To date, that’s been mostly for backhaul. But in the last five months the company has started deploying with ISPs in the U.S. and for multipoint.
It’s now well understand that fiber is a high-cost technology, says Fink. That’s been illustrated by the fact that Google has halted its exploration of fiber builds and recently bought Webpass, he says. So Mimosa Networks is moving on the fixed broadband wireless opportunity, he says, noting that Brazil is its biggest growth market, and that buildings there are not wired, so fiber will never touch some of those areas.
Next month Mimosa Networks plans to launch its synchronization technology, which allows access points to be places on contiguous city blocks with spectrum reuse and without interference.