- Mix 4G, 3G, CPE, and processes: wireless broadband can be drop-in T1 competition.
- For enterprises having a tough time accepting wireless, a trial should be simple.
With carriers’ 4G build-outs progressing, will wireless data finally become an eligible alternative to traditional T1 access sales? Fixed wireless as an alternative to copper or fiber has been around practically forever: see microwave. Widespread 3G rollouts sparked wireless carriers’ interest in adapting mobile wireless broadband for fixed applications, a cheap and easily deployed alternative to microwave systems. In 2007, carrier support of Cisco Systems’ 3G high-speed WAN interface card (HWIC) for its Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) helped legitimize the practice. Besides direct sales by major providers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, CLECs, network aggregators, and international carriers doing business in the U.S. have jumped on board with the major wireless providers. Among businesses, fixed access for 3G wireless broadband has been a smashing success – sort of. The “sort of” is because most of the time, 3G fixed wireless broadband is in the back seat. The technology wins jobs such as backing up primary (wired) access; fast-in, temporary connectivity until wired service is in place; or as a primary connection, as a last resort.