Fixed wireless offers a practical and cost-effective solution for the delivery of fast and reliable broadband to homes and businesses located further afield. To estimate the total cost of ownership with a high degree of precision, decision makers must consider network rollout costs over the lifetime of ownership.

When attempting to bring coverage to the unconnected, costs quickly escalate when looking at the last few percent. A recent Innovation Technology and Innovation Foundation testimony stated that the cost of achieving coverage of 98% of locations with ‘future proof’ networks can be achieved for about $40 billion (using the Federal Communications Commission’s cost model). The cost doubles when attempting to achieve the last two percent – going from 98%-100%, making these areas unrealistic to serve with wired network technology.

As well as reducing the cost of rolling out wired infrastructure in underserved locations, fixed wireless has the capacity to deliver a fixed line equivalent grade of service, and a known minimum level of broadband speed and performance.

Network rollout costs can be minimised using carrier-grade Intelligent Fixed Wireless Access (IFWA) (formerly Wireless Network Terminating Devices) that are built to optimise installation time, performance, accuracy and cost over an operational life.

Significant long-term benefits, such as guaranteed minimum performance (linked to SLAs), reduced operational costs, a significant decrease in the number of truck rolls required over the lifetime of the product and zero maintenance post installation can be achieved using IFWAs that are equipped with an installation tool that is specially engineered to deliver efficient and professional installation with a known performance level prior to leaving site.

When considering the feasibility of an off-the-shelf solution, it is important to factor in the real costs over the long-term. A real Fixed Wireless solution that is built to meet exacting network specifications may have a higher initial purchase price per unit, but the lifetime cost is reduced with a device that is network managed – so the IFWA is owned, installed and managed by the operator.

Low total cost of ownership also comes from IFWA’s that feature a rugged IP rated enclosure to endure extreme conditions over a long lifetime, installation tools to ensure the truck roll can be executed quickly and efficiently, zero touch once installed, enough RAM memory to ensure additional software features can be applied to the device, remote diagnostics and support with a radio frequency link budget that can be planned and controlled.

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