Ireland will be the first country to deploy ‘wireless-to-the-x (WTTx)’ technology thanks to a strategic partnership between Huawei and Imagine Communications.
WTTx seems to be Huawei’s term for what is more generally known as fixed wireless – i.e. using wireless technology to deliver broadband connectivity to buildings. The main reason for using wireless instead of copper or, ideally, fibre, is the expense and hassle of laying fibre all the way to the home. Now that wireless bandwidths are catching up with even fibre, fixed wireless has become an increasingly viable option for conventional broadband connectivity.
Imagine will use Huawei’s WTTx solution to deliver 200+ Mbps across Ireland apparently, amid lots of loft talk about rural connectivity, removing the digital divide, etc. This will be achieved through now-familiar LTE-A technologies such as massive MIMO and carrier aggregation. The model is to use wireless to cover the ‘last mile’ between the home and a fibre cabinet.
“Working with Imagine in commercial environment, we have optimised our WTTx solution deployed as a purely fixed network alternative to FTTx,” said Mao Dun, VP of Huawei Wireless Marketing. “Removing the barriers faced by FTTx deployments to meet the need and demand for Superfast Broadband, Ireland is an ideal market to demonstrate the ability of the latest WTTx solutions. We look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with imagine and delivering the best in industry solution.”
“The Imagine network will overcome the significant challenges that have impeded the delivery of future proofed high-speed broadband services across Ireland and meet the government objective of a truly connected society, positioning both rural and urban Ireland to fully capitalise on the digital economy,” said Sean Bolger, Founder and Executive Chairman of Imagine.
Ireland is considered a good proving ground for this technology by Huawei as it’s developed but relatively small and with an especially big discrepancy between urban and rural infrastructure. Imagine will be using 3.6 GHx wireless spectrum won in a recent auction as part of its WTTx roll out and is inevitably banging on about 5G already.