Tarana Wireless

Addressing persistent real-world challenges in both mobile and fixed access networks, Tarana Wireless has combined many antennas and radios, a suite of unique algorithm innovations, and expert implementation to create the industry’s first truly viable 5G wireless technology, commercially available today. Well proven in tier-1 mobile and fixed operator engagements, the company’s products offer fundamental advances in wireless performance and autonomous adaptation that yield dramatic improvements in the economics and deployment flexibility of fixed and mobile access, plus a wide range of fiber extension applications.

The Problems

Any broadly-applicable wireless alternative to exhausted copper and expensive fiber in the last mile must address all five of these tough issues:

1. Obstructions

Connecting radios in perfectly clear, clean, and stable line of sight conditions is trivial. Unfortunately, the real world of the last mile — especially in residential neighborhoods — makes this impossible much if not most of the time, * because of structures and foliage in the way. The prevalence of this non-line-of-sight (NLoS) problem has profound implications for successful wireless system design.

2. Spectrum Scarcity


Most important, working around obstructions requires radio spectrum with the right propagation physics — i.e. bands in the 1 to 6 GHz range. Availability in this spectrum is very limited, given its already widespread use for commercial and government mobile services. Any broadband wireless access (BWA) solution must achieve a very large increase in spectral efficiency over the current state of the art in order to deliver gigabit service in limited spectrum. [Note that inherently poor propagation in the more lightly-used mm-wave bands being explored in current 5G research limits their use to very short LoS links, precluding a viable solution to problem #1 in fixed access.*]

3. Interference

The interference issue for BWA systems comes in two flavors. First, inter-cell self-interference within a BWA network must be carefully managed in order to maintain full gigabit service to the cell edge (overcoming one of LTE’s inherent limitations), and to maximize spectrum re-use. Second, since the limited availability of sub-6 GHz spectrum drives most fixed access applications into the unlicensed 5 GHz band, a system must contend successfully with random, pervasive interference from other networks. Maintaining quality service in the face of this widespread issue requires a substantial improvement on the industry’s default approach — evasive channel-changing — which fails in the ever-increasing share of situations where the band is fully busy (just like lane-changing at the peak of rush hour on your worst stretch of urban freeway).

4. Motion

Although perhaps counterintuitive for an access system with fixed endpoints, motion in the environment is a problem as well. The RF obstructions and reflected signals involved in NLoS operation change as the physical environment changes — whether quickly (from passing vehicles or wind-blown foliage), slowly (foliage growth, new construction), or episodically (holiday decorations). A BWA system must adjust to these changing conditions rapidly and autonomously.

5. Complex Installation

Last but certainly not least, for a BWA solution to scale up to deployments covering millions of households, and quickly, it must be much easier to install than conventional radio networks — on both ends of the link.

The Solution

Their next step was to pour about 400 person-years of effort into the development of a completely new approach to broadband wireless access. Rather than dressing up off-the-shelf radio elements with incremental engineering half-measures and filling the resulting performance gap with false advertising, as is the common practice in the industry, they did the ground-up algorithm invention and refinement, combined with complex whole-system engineering, required to solve all five of the hard BWA problems in a commercially-viable 5G architecture.

The outcome of this effort is the Tarana Broadband Access Platform, the motive power for their products in multiple segments.


Their specification partners have carried on in their relationships to conduct very thorough validation of their technology, in both absolute and relative terms, and they have been uniformly thrilled with the results — which you can see summarized below.

Virtually every customer trial and deployment yields exclamations like “I’ve never seen anything like this!” and “This has to be seen to be believed!” The fact that they are now proceeding under large-scale contracts with multiple tier 1 customers in the BWA segment is testament to their revolutionary advance in the state of the wireless art.

Tarana: AbsoluteAir 2 (AA2)