Facebook Wants to Build City Wide Gigabit Wi-Fi Networks




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Recently all the talk has been about 5G home internet rolling out later this year from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Others like Charter, Dish, Google, and more all have their own 5G networks in development. Now Facebook has announced they also want to get into the home internet business but they want to use W-Fi.

Facebook and Qualcomm this week announced a partnership to build a network of multi-node wireless network on 60Ghz technology. According to Facebook, this will allow them to “improve the speed, efficiency and quality of internet connectivity around the world at only a fraction of the cost of fiber deployments.”

“Our collaboration with Facebook will bring advanced 11ad and pre-11ay technologies to market increasing broadband penetration and enabling operators to reduce their capex for last mile access” said Irvind Ghai, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Terragraph cloud controller and TDMA architecture coupled with Qualcomm Technologies solution’s 10 Gbps link rate, low power consumption and early interference mitigation techniques will help make gigabit connectivity a reality.”

“We’re excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies to advance the adoption of pre-802.11ay and 802.11ad 60GHz technologies and build a robust ecosystem of interoperable solutions based on Terragraph,” said Yael Maguire, vice president of connectivity, Facebook. “With Terragraph, our goal is to enable people living in urban areas to access high-quality connectivity that can help create new opportunities and strengthen communities.”

There are some benefits to this system for urban areas. Well, the range of Wi-Fi is shorter than 5G (especially the version Verizon plans to use) Facebook is hoping their node system will help them in an urban area. WIth this multi-node system, Facebook and Qualcomm are hoping to build a network that won’t be blocked by large metal buildings common in urban areas.

Well, this may not be what rural Americans are hoping for there is 5G and Fixed Wireless networks that would be far better for more rural areas. In some states like Maine and Iowa Fixed Wireless is already rolling out 100 Mbps down networks to customers who had previously not had true highspeed internet options. Well, these Fixed Wireless networks are not everywhere yet they are seeing a stead roll out across the United States.

Currently, Facebook and Qualcomm are targeting a mid-2019 goal of rolling out their network for testing. This does put them well behind 5G networks that will be available in about 20 to 30 cities this year with more rolling out in 2019. According to Dish and others, the goal right now is to have half of the United States covered in 5G in 2020.

Even if Gigabit Wifi Networks never leave major cities they will bring one more internet option that will help force excisting ISPs to upgrade and become more compittitve.

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