Windstream in 39GHz drive to expand metro fibre networks

11 October 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


Windstream has partnered with Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBNL) and Straight Path Communications to enhance last-mile fixed wireless options, capacity and provide licensed bandwidth to US businesses in 40 markets.

The carrier, which has invested heavily in advancing its metro fibre and fixed wireless networks, is set to deploy CBNL’s VectaStar®39GHz licensed point-to-multipoint (PMP) radios and utilise Straight Path’s 39GHz spectrum to rapidly extend its metro fibre networks. It represents CBNL’s first nationwide deployment of its solution which has the ability to scale hub site capacities to 13.2Gbps.

“It’s clear that millimetre wave offers immense potential and we’re delighted to partner with industry leaders CBNL and Straight Path to maximise the benefits for our network and for our customers,” said Joe Harding, Windstream’s CMO.

The expansion is part of Windstream’s previously disclosed capital investment plan, and the partnership with CBNL and Straight Path will significantly scale coverage of its fixed wireless technology and allow customers to truly diversify their networks by integrating fibre, copper and fixed wireless access technologies.

Lionel Chmilewsky, CEO at CBNL, said: “CBNL is delighted to sign our first nationwide agreement alongside Straight Path and play such a key role in Windstream’s expansion strategy. Delivering up to 13.2Gbps per hub site and total cost of ownership savings of up to 50% compared to point-to-point, VectaStar provides Windstream with a ground-breaking business case.”

The new technology will allow Windstream customers to access the company’s advanced data, voice, network and cloud services at speeds of up to 275Mbps full duplex, and it also supplements Windstream’s other fixed wireless access technologies that range in speed from 1Mbps to 1Gbps.

Under the agreement, Windstream has the option of eventually expanding fixed wireless to an additional 32 markets where Straight Path owns 39GHz spectrum.

Davidi Jonas, chief executive officer of Straight Path, added: “With vast amounts of our spectrum remaining across major cities (including the most densely populated areas), we look forward to supporting the continued growth of Windstream and other industry leaders, as well as multiple use cases for the benefit of businesses and consumers. Our partnership with CBNL to invest in bringing a joint 39GHz product/spectrum solution to the market has enabled us to unlock the vast potential of millimetre wave and support Windstream in expanding their world-class services.”

Windstream will enhance seven of its markets where it currently offers fixed wireless access technology – Chicago, New York City, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Little Rock – by leveraging equipment from CBNL and spectrum from Straight Path.

It is also set to deploy CBNL equipment in 33 new markets where it will begin offering its fixed wireless technology, including: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Richmond, San Antonio, Seattle and St. Louis.