Airvine Addresses Necessary Broadband Network Upgrades for MDU Properties

The problem: Meeting Today’s Broadband Requirements in Yesterday’s Apartments

According to recent studies, such as one conducted by Deloitte, the average number of connected devices in US households has risen to 22. This and other trends are pushing the FCC to raise the previous definition of broadband, 25Mbps, to a faster 100Mbps goal and Airvine describes in a blog post how the property owners, management companies and managed service providers in the “MDU” (multi-dwelling unit) sector can provide the necessary broadband network upgrades within these buildings.

More than 20 million households in the US fall within the MDU category. In 2021, only 16 percent of those 20 million units were offered Internet service by the property owner. The blog describes how the new WaveTunnel product provides a less expensive, wireless approach for upgrading a building’s or complex’s wired infrastructure. For instance, most in-building wiring currently consists of copper-based “twisted pair” lines that can support only single digit Mbps rates to each unit. Even buildings with a Gigabit-capacity Ethernet CAT-5 cable installed for its “backbone” network cannot meet the “need for speed” residents now expect.

The WaveTunnel system is a shoebox-sized module that mounts on ceilings and other interior high points to provide high speed connectivity for the ever-expanding world of connected devices. It operates over the millimeter-wave, 60 GHz frequency where there is enough spectrum to provide multiple Gigabits of capacity in each building. The WaveTunnel system can also be installed much more quickly and less expensively than wireline options in currently-occupied buildings and in new construction.

“Using the WaveTunnel to expand, upgrade and extend the network reach of MDU properties can deliver many important benefits,” said Dave Robison, CRO for Airvine. “For instance, management can add value to the property itself, support the new Wi-Fi 6 and the Wi-Fi 7 access points coming soon, offer seamless connectivity throughout the property – not just within the units and enable deployment of IoT devices for smart building functions, such as contactless entry systems, HVAC smart energy operations, security cameras and other applications.”

The blog also addresses the “CAPEX” (capital expenditure) decision faced by MDU property owners and managed service providers when it comes to upgrading and owning the network infrastructure. The factors in play here include the investment amortization equation and ROI (return on investment) considerations and the possibility of new revenue streams made possible by the upgraded network infrastructure.

For instance, the WaveTunnel lowers the CAPEX budget as it is the first 60 GHz system that can operate on an “NLOS” (non line-of-sight) basis, meaning its signals can bend around corners and pass through walls to connect all the nodes forming the multi-Gigabit speed backbone for the building. This results in much less construction work and inconvenience for residents, no asbestos issues and speed, as each node can be installed with a screwdriver and a smartphone configuration app in 15 minutes or less. Additional operational and technical details can be found here.