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Talk Straight and ADTRAN Prep 60GHz Wireless for UK Rural Areas UPDATE

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021 (1:00 pm) - Score 1,152
ADTRAN_MetNet-60G-Diagram

ISP Talk Straight has teamed up with ADTRAN to deploy a new 60GHz based gigabit fixed wireless broadband network across rural parts of the UK. The decision follows a recent Proof of Concept (PoC) trial, which found that the MetNet 60G solution could be a quick and cost-effective way of extending coverage beyond full fibre.

A similar setup to ADTRAN’s MetNet 60G solution has already been used by some other ISPs in the UK, such as via the joint effort between Broadway Partners (Broadway Broadband) and Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) to deploy a gigabit speed 60GHzmesh” radio across the rural Welsh village of Llanddewi Rhydderch back in 2019 (here and here).

NOTE: ADTRAN claims that their CCS Metnet 60G mmWave 12Gbps backhaul and access mesh technology – operating in the high-band spectrum from 57GHz to 71GHz – enables mobile operators and broadband ISPs to offer Gigabit services at a fraction of the cost and speed of rolling out FTTP.

Meanwhile, Talk Straight, which until now hasn’t been particularly well known for their broadband connectivity side, have recently started promoting a new mesh style Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) solution that they say can offer internet speeds of up to 1000Mbps to “homes and businesses struggling in areas with slow broadband connections.”

The first residential area to benefit from their initial trial of this new solution was the Garnett Wharfe housing estate in West Yorkshire (England), which is home to 250 properties. According to their website: “Prior to installation, residents could only access slow, unreliable speeds between 7 to 12Mbps download and under 1Mbps upload. Now they receive speeds of up 1,000Mbps on receiving (download) and sending (upload).”

ADTRAN notes that a recent report from Ofcom estimated that c.190,000 properties across the UK still cannot access an acceptable broadband connection (10Mbps+) and more than 880,000 children live in a UK household with only a mobile internet connection, which are areas that they believe this solution could be used to target.

David Tindall, CEO at Talk Straight, said:

“Students are going back to the classroom and offices are reopening, but at-home connectivity demands continue to increase. We still need to get rural residents and students on a level broadband playing field. The ADTRAN MetNet 60G solution is very easy to install and offered speed and ease of deployment.

Additionally, ADTRAN is extremely helpful and committed to our success. As a result, we have the confidence we need to build a business case for expanding this deployment to more residents and businesses that need a better option for high-speed broadband.”

Sadly, the provider’s website doesn’t appear to offer any useful information about how much the related packages on this service cost or what their future rollout plan for it might look like, but we hope to find out more about that in the near future (some of this may depend upon securing support from the Government’s rural gigabit voucher scheme).

Stuart Broome, VP of Sales, EMEA, for ADTRAN, said:

“ADTRAN offers the most complete and open gigabit fibre access and fibre extension portfolio so that our customers gain the right tools to build their best networks. For Talk Straight, that meant extending connectivity as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, and our MetNet 60G solution is perfect for that.

Unlike other mesh technologies, ADTRAN’s solution is self-configuring, self-optimizing and self-healing so it lowers the total cost of ownership and cost per subscriber add. This allows non-traditional service providers, like Talk Straight, to easily expand the types of services they can offer and increase revenue opportunities.”

The press release we were sent is quite vague, although ADTRAN’s technology does have potential. Admittedly though, it’s not the only 60GHz wireless broadband solution in town, with the 60GHz cnWave (Terragraph) solution from Cambium Networks and Facebook being one of several similar options.

UPDATE 1:36pm

The website for the Garnett Wharfe estate – https://www.gwbroadband.org.uk – includes some details on the packages. Prices range from £31.99 for a 50Mbps (5Mbps upload) service and top out at £49.99 for a 500Mbps (50Mbps upload) package, which is pretty good if there’s no FTTP or cable alternatives. All contracts come with a 24-month term.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. boggits says:

    From the GWB website:

    “We’re backed up by an award winning Internet Service Provider called Talk Straight based in Ilkley that is owned by one of the residents.”

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