We all know that technology moves at a rapid pace. Advancements in hardware are, while truly awesome, nothing new. The market also moves quickly, something that was once hideously expensive, is today affordable. Six or seven years ago we were delivering high-speed services that were 10Mbps. These days that is considered entry level.
Last year I published a plain English article on the differences between fibre optic, fixed wireless (or microwave), and satellite as a method of delivering bandwidth, particularly in regional and remote areas. But, much has changed in a year, so it’s time to check back in.
Fibre – The rate of domestic fibre roll outs has slowed somewhat. The NBN build project is coming to an end soon, and while there is still plenty of cable being put down, the rate of growth is diminishing.
The cost of wholesale backhaul has been steady – NBN has cut the prices of it’s wholesale model, but we haven’t seen that translate to reductions in wholesale backhaul capacity at a business grade level.
Fixed Wireless – Equipment here has maintained its price point, however, it’s delivering so much more per dollar now than it ever has, and that trend is set to continue. Three years ago an average 5.8GHz point to point radio could deliver around 150Mbps. New products being released at the moment are capable of delivering gigabits per second in certain conditions, for still very commercial and affordable prices.
Satellite – This is where we have seen the biggest change. NBN Skymuster has taken a lot of load off commercial satellites which has substantially changed the price point and improved their performance. The NBN Skymuster has its advantages, and limitations. It’s cheap, being government (taxpayer) subsidised, but it is limited by data bundles and a complete absence of quality assurance and performance guarantees for businesses. These are very restrictive. Commercially operated satellites have had to react to this shift and offer 1:1 contention (doesn’t slow down) and unlimited data downloads. The reduction in price point for these services has brought them into a position where businesses operating in regional and remote locations can now consider them as viable options, even recommended.
Looking at the market, we now see the matrix looking a little more like this:
We expect these trends to continue. Satellite will get better and cheaper. Fixed Wireless will become faster, more accessible, and even better in non-line of sight applications, and fibre backhaul pricing will remain steady, with increases in speeds.
There has never been a better time to rethink the strategy for connecting remote and regional sites. What was once hideously expensive, is today affordable. To find out what is possible for your remote or regional site, get in contact with us, we’re passionate about improving the comms situation in hard to reach areas.
Another update in 2019 highlights the changes over a further 12 months and how it affects you!