Lifting the Veil on FW and HFW with The Carmel Group’s Jimmy Schaeffler

Fixed wireless is clearly one way to provide broadband and it has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Quantifying its impact and understanding the role of fiber in helping to create ubiquitous and reliable broadband is what a new report from The Carmel Group (scroll down to download the report) does. In the above interview, Jimmy Schaeffler, Chairman & Chief Service Officer (CSO) of the Carmel Group discusses his findings in his new report, Liftoff.

Liftoff is part of a continuing study by The Carmel Group that began with the launch of their 2017 report “Ready for Takeoff”. With support from the trade association WISPA, as well as vendors, such as Cambium Networks, Google and Microsoft, and wireless ISPs, such as Nextlink Internet, @Link Services, and Rise Broadband, Liftoff is the most comprehensive look at an industry that continues to double the number of subscribers approximately every five years.

Interview Highlights

  • 00:39 – Schaeffler explains the impetus for the report.
  • 02:02 – 2,800 operators make it reminiscent of the old cable days.
  • 03:36 – There are a variety of organizations that are wireless ISPs; from entrepreneurs to electric cooperatives, to cable companies, and telcos. The common element is that they are delivering solid broadband.
  • 05:09 – Is WISP consolidation inevitable or will ownership and management remain local?
  • 06:30 – A local presence is a common trait among the WISPs.
  • 09:04 – Some operators are using wireless as a backhaul to new developments where they deploy Fiber to the Home.
  • 11:38 – How important is delivering a common experience to subscribers, whether the broadband delivery is wireless or fiber?
  • 15:38 – Fixed wireless provides a level of resiliency to the U.S. last-mile infrastructure.
  • 18:11 – Will industry outsiders (e.g. a retailer or a tech company) start offering last-mile broadband, such as what was suggested here)?
  • 20:23 – What are the implications for continuing to gain access to frequencies for wireless ISPs?
  • 24:41– Unlicensed and license by rule creates low-cost spectrum opportunities for wireless ISPs.
  • 27:11 – Bundling video doesn’t seem to be common in wireless like it is for traditional terrestrial networks.
  • 28:10 – From IoT and Machine to Machine to the Internet of Life.
  • 31:05 – The market share is increasing for fixed wireless.
  • 32:26 – What are some of the challenges to the forecast?
  • 35:47 – What about bootstrapping operations?
  • 37:25 – How much is geography a factor in terms of where and how systems are built?
  • 38:09 – Wireless is one of many tools in a broadband toolbox.
  • 39:56 – Again, it seems like the early days of the cable business.
  • 41:27 – Does customer service have to suffer as a result of the rapid growth?
  • 43:45 – Bandwidth demands will continue to increase.
  • 44:25 – There is resiliency when there are multiple last-mile networks available.
  • 45:11 – Is access the problem in San Jose or is it access to affordable Internet?
  • 49:36 – 70 different survey questions were asked.
  • 50:43 – A who’s who list sponsored the survey.