How Technology Is Accelerating Wireless Network Rollouts
Demand For Wireless Is High!
Every day the world is becoming more digital. Technologies such as cloud computing, unified communications and other online tools have enabled both individuals and businesses to do so much more remotely. It has become apparent as seen from these statistics how reliant we are on technology, especially during a pandemic.
As many in the industry are experiencing firsthand, although consumer and business expectations for reliable broadband access have advanced several years in the space of a few months there is still more work to be done.
Even before the global pandemic, mobile data traffic alone grew at a compound annual growth rate of over 43% per year.
Wired demand, already high in today’s homes and businesses will be even greater over the next few years for broadband applications such as UHD streaming and 8K video.
The recent crisis however has spotlighted the significant impact on communities across the country in the US who are unable to access the internet for telecommuting, working from home, attending school, or receiving remote medical services.
Working To Solve The Problem in Rural America
There has never been greater momentum or more certain resolve to build the infrastructure desperately needed to increase connectivity to all, particularly under-served communities across rural America.
Broadband networks require fiber connectivity throughout their backbone, feeder, distribution, and 5G radio access networks to macro cell sites and an increased number of small cells.
Homes and businesses fed by fiber will be anchored with a foundation to meet their current and future data demands.
Leading telecom and utility network owners are exploring best-practice approaches and operating models that incorporate technologies and efficiency levers to deploy future-proofed networks faster without compromising quality or driving up costs. The current system however is not without faults.
Current Hurdles For Fiber Network Rollout To Address Rural Areas
Contractors and materials are in peak demand, and if there is ever going to be a sharp skill and material shortage in the industry, 2021 will likely be the year. Contracting and commercial jobs and the ability to respond to demand are critical.
The Solution: Invest time in defining a build strategy and utilize technology that includes flexibility mechanisms, such as:
- Quickly redirecting resources optimally without commercial restrictions
- Responding to internal and external delivery factors, including material and resource shortfalls
- Dynamically shifting with changing strategic priorities, such as accelerated build times or revenue realization expectations.
2.The Disconnect Between Design and Construction
As is the case with most infrastructure projects, the structural disconnect between design and construction can significantly impact project timelines and costs. While the design phase of a project generally equates to less than 10% of total project investment, it can have a disproportionate impact on overall delivery success.
Recommendation: Network design is the key deliverable to define project scope and budget accurately that’s where digital solutions are key.
3. Poor Non-Digital Systems Still Being Used To Roll Out Fiber Network
Paper-based, PDF build documents and disparate data sources – particularly when shared via email and spreadsheets – are error-prone and reduce confidence in data and decisions.
When a network build is complete, seamless handover from construction to operations – fiber management, asset management, maintenance, and CRM systems – is critical to efficient connection and delivering the customer journey and experience needed to meet high customer expectations.
Recommendation: Considering a digitized solution is the forward-thinking needed to solve the rural-broadband issue.
How Technology and Innovation Is Making Its Mark
New and innovative approaches and technologies that address traditional inefficiencies are now at the forefront of fiber network rollout.
Companies such as Render Networks, Connected2Fiber, SiteTracker to name a few are helping make a difference to the wireless network scenario.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to prioritize these investments with funding restrictions, digital technologies will preserve deployment continuity through unprecedented events like COVID-19, and deliver faster, superior results for all.
The Broadband Gap Is Solvable
As we enter a perfect storm of increasing focus, pandemic-related demand and unprecedented rural broadband investment, the obligation is on network operators to identify efficiencies and adopt advances in technology to capitalize on the market opportunity available to themselves and their customers.
That’s where innovation and investment in technology comes in.