Water and oil, light and darkness, Superman and kryptonite. When cataloguing things that don’t mix, you can remove rain and fixed wireless from that list. While “rain fade”– the reduction of effective bandwidth you get from a digital microwave link during a storm—is still a thing, technological improvements and proper engineering are making it a rare occurrence.
Advanced technologies and equipment design enable today’s fixed wireless providers to deliver reliable connectivity, even under very unfavorable conditions. Adaptive modulation reduces the effects of precipitation on reliability, and antenna equipment is designed to better withstand severe gusts or sustained high winds.
As fixed wireless performance during recent natural disasters illustrate, these systems not only tolerate the worst weather Mother Nature dishes out but can also be rapidly deployed to reestablish vital communications when systems such as fiber cable fail.
Performance during natural and man-made disasters
Three experiences involving Windstream Enterprise Fixed Wireless show just how reliable and flexible fixed wireless technology can be during extreme situations:
The importance of region-specific design
In addition to advances in technology and equipment durability, improvements in system implementation further enable fixed wireless to perform exceptionally well, even under less-than-favorable conditions. In designing Windstream Enterprise Fixed Wireless systems, we engineer each fixed wireless link based on the specific signal path, considering parameters such as distance between points, bandwidth, spectrum, and severe precipitation potential.
Regional rain data from the Crane Local Rain-Rate Parameters model, which provides 30 years or more climate data, assist in estimating a region’s expected amount and frequency of severe weather. We then design for regional worst-case scenarios.
This combination of technological improvements, durable equipment, and design, engineering and deployment practices enable Windstream Enterprise to ensure carrier‑grade reliability and offer fixed wireless solutions engineered to 99.995% availability, or better. And in the rare instances of rain fade, service is restored to full bandwidth automatically as soon as the cats and dogs get out of the way.
Rick Hausman is the EVP of customer operations at Windstream Enterprise where he is responsible for service delivery and assurance, customer care, field operations, network deployment and operations support for the Enterprise, Mid-Market/Commercial, Channel and Wholesale customer segments. He joined Windstream in 2014 and was previously SVP of enterprise operations. Hausman has 18 years' experience in the industry, including 4 years with Clearwire as VP of operations and account management for the Wholesale division. He also held a variety of leadership positions in customer, sales, and marketing operations at Sprint and Nextel. Hausman also served as a captain in the U.S. Army and holds a BS in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
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