WireIE Riding a Wave of Success – JSA TV Spotlight at PTC’18

, , , , ,

CEO Rob Barlow Shares Direction for 2018 with Jaymie Scotto Cutaia

At PTC’18, one of the most important telecommunications events for the Pacific Rim, our CEO, Rob Barlow, met up with JSA TV’s Jaymie Scotto Cutaia to discuss the company’s latest developments and where it is headed for the rest of 2018.

Overall, throughout 2017, WireIE experienced continuous growth providing leading-class high-speed network solutions in underserved markets in Canada and around the world. We bolstered our reputation as an expert in underserved connectivity by consistently exceeding our network performance and reliability objectives throughout the year.

For 2018, we are maintaining our focus on making it possible for individuals and enterprises in underserved areas to take full advantage of the digital economy. By using both fiber and microwave technologies in the delivery of high-availability networks, we are a partner of choice for industry and governments in need of reliable, secure connectivity for their mission-critical applications. WireIE prides itself on its ability to extend carrier networks to remote and hard to reach locations, bringing the metropolitan broadband experience to the underserved and promoting regional economic development.

To keep abreast of new developments, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

This Past Winter, WireIE not only Survived, but Thrived

, ,

The Canadian winter of 2013-14 made for some harsh conditions throughout the country. Between the never-ending snowfalls and the ice storm in Ontario, we knew we were in for a challenge. Not only did WireIE survive this winter, we thrived. To the harsh conditions we say: bring it on.

WireIE prides itself on being an “anywhere, anytime” kind of company, providing Ethernet to underserved areas of Canada. Our engineering, operational best practices and state-of-the-art equipment helped us flourish through this difficult winter and deliver quality CE standard services.

WireIE’s three-pronged approach to success: best-in-class Ethernet technology and equipment engineered for the environment; intelligent monitoring and early intervention practices; and an emergency response network to quickly resolve issues. The Ethernet equipment we use is designed to withstand the tough Canadian environment. When deployed, the equipment is housed in temperature-regulated structures which strategically creates a barrier between it and the weather.

WireIE extends existing networks to places where terrain does not allow for fiber deployment, or where trenching fiber is impractical. The WireIE team can deploy digital radio technology, faster and more efficiently than building networks with fiber. Where possible, we leverage existing structures to gain vertical height enabling strong signal transmission in all weather; this can reduce construction cost and assembly time. We find intelligent routes to connect underserved locations, while still fulfilling our high standards for quality of service and technical excellence.
Our best in class Network Operations practice gives us the ability to effectively monitor and manage network performance. We provide early intervention services, where our technical experts are able to preemptively solve problems before they occur. Finally, our strategically deployed emergency response team works day and night to ensure on-site troubleshooting if needed. We take a proactive approach to sparing and resource management which allows us to respond to and resolve issues quickly.

WireIE’s experiencing tremendous growth with the number of circuits provisioned and managed in 2013 alone. Our ability to sustain quality of service with consistently high performance and availability is a testament to the effectiveness of our change management practice. We are experts in preventing complex changes from having an adverse effect on the stability and performance of our services.

WireIE didn’t just survive this winter, we thrived. Even through the harshest conditions, WireIE remains a reliable, consistent and high-quality partner that delivers results with exceptional client experience.

To visualize the magnitude of the ice storm in Ontario, WireIE is giving away complimentary copies of the Toronto Star’s Ice Storm Ontario; a stunning photography depiction of the storm. If you’re interested in receiving your free copy, please email us at insight@wireie.com

About WireIE: We deliver carrier-grade Transparent Ethernet Solutions backed by SLAs. With a custom blend of fiber and digital to suit your circumstances, we transform, extend and support your communications networks in rural and remote areas. +1.905.882.4660 | www.wireie.com |insight@wireie.com

Blogging with Barlow

, , ,

2013 marks some fairly significant anniversaries in evolution of communications networks.  It is the 50th anniversary of digital switching capability on phone networks, represented by the introduction of touch tone telephony that eliminated the need for the human component in switching.  This year is also the 40th anniversary of the Cell phone which has allowed networks to dramatically expand both reach and utility.  The history notes have received significant attention this year, but from my perspective it is the massive shift in data transmission ushered in by these and other innovations that has truly reshaped the network at the enterprise level.

Consider for a moment: in this same time period, the level of data flowing through to end users has grown exponentially and created a never-ending need for expansion of network capacity.   Vendors such as Cisco are reporting that 4G networks show an average 19 fold increase in the level of data traffic passing over 4G networks in 2012. Even though those networks only account for less than one percent of current network build out, they already account for 15 percent of the traffic.  The bottom line is that network capacity is having difficulty keeping pace with the evolution of network demand; those figures merely reflect mobile traffic, not accounting for enterprise data transmission required to effectively operate businesses with more than one location.  The sheer volume of machine to machine traffic (both fixed and mobile) will soon outnumber human driven traffic.

Through changes in efficiency standards, networks themselves are witnessing evolution even within the new standards themselves.  For example, improvements in spectral efficiency allow existing and newer networks to continually evolve the limits of capacity over time, better servicing their enterprise clients, and get a ‘bigger bang’ out of an existing network with minimal adaptation.  It amounts to a network effect that we can see repeating itself year after year.

The pace of growth is a testament to more than just sectors that were once considered “data oriented” or “high tech” but by facet of the global economy including public sector, finance, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, transportation and yes, even energy and resources.  Only 5 years ago the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projected that broadband would forever change the global economy because it “facilitates the development of new inventions, new and improved goods and services, new processes, new business models, and it increases competitiveness and flexibility in the economy.”  They noted that broadband is “one of only a few technological improvements that fundamentally changes how and where economic activity is organised.”  One need look no further than the economic evolution of India in the past decade to witness how a remote and underperforming economy of the past has become a global powerhouse for enterprise in the span of only a few short years in everything from software and application development to network enabled service, management and control.   The shift that got rolling 50 years ago on network communications has done far more than just change how enterprises communicate but equally how they work.

For enterprises in remote and rural communities in Canada the impact of this trend is both challenging and inspiring for very different reasons.  On one hand being accessible with great volume has never been more technically possible.  On the other hand the need to have that capacity widely available and quickly upgradeable is becoming a basic fundamental of almost any business operation with an ambition to compete effectively in their sector.

In short as the world becomes smaller it also becomes more competitive.  The impact of the network effect on economic development in rural and remote regions is obvious and makes the potential gains enormous and the price of failure all the more ominous.

The Shift to Microwave Broadband Is Coming Sooner than You Think

, , , , , , , ,

The tide is shifting on acceptance and adoption of microwave radio as a viable alternative or supplement to fibre and economics may dictate more of the same.

For many in the telecommunications industry the recognition of microwave as a viable alternative to fibre to create carrier grade bandwidth with industry leading latency is not old news.

It has been frustrating to witness that the marketplace has not recognized this fact in a substantial and meaningful way. That does appear to be changing.

Late last year, Jason Bunge of Dow Jones wrote about the pace and level of high speed microwave adoption that has taken place recently in the securities exchange markets in North America and Europe. His article highlights how the deployment of high speed broadband over microwave is about to outpace fibre network deployment this year. As Bunge notes this is an industry where milliseconds count and where the highest standards of speed and network reliability are considered essential.

What is driving the change is cost efficiency and timeliness as the exchange business needs to address declining trade volumes by increasing speed and efficiency in their markets without breaking the bank to do it.

Many consider the capital markets to be technology leaders in the Financial Services (FS) sector and highly influential concerning the use and adoption of technology and telecom innovation. If the leaders of the FS sector are ready to make the jump to microwave radio it bodes well for the broader adoption of this standard within that sector and beyond.

Consider for a moment that the economics is driving the shift away from fibre and it becomes clear that there are other sectors that could likewise realize the same benefits and make the switch. If not for primary connections to office locations, it will be used as secondary to locations that have fibre available. Industries like oil and gas extraction, mining, Manufacturing, retail and the public sector are all witness to both exponential growth in data and the opportunity to use data to quickly and effectively deliver innovative new products and services to an increasingly “high demand” business place. If it is also recognized as an alternative or supplement that is more cost effective than traditional fibre deployment, widespread adoption of microwave radio  is not far behind? It is not the innovation of technology that is the biggest driver of change but the “mother of necessity” economics that makes change all the more compelling.

– Rob Barlow, CEO

About WireIE: We deliver carrier-grade Transparent Ethernet Solutions backed by SLAs. With a custom blend of fiber and digital to suit your circumstances, we transform, extend and support your communications networks in rural and remote areas. +1.905.882.4660 | www.wireie.com |info@wireie.com

Smart Grid in Ontario – A Great Positive Step

, , , , , , ,

On June 8, 2012, the Government of Ontario took the next step in their Clean Energy Economic Development Strategy, with the release of the Clean Energy Institute (CEI). The new institute will bring together industry leaders and utility companies to build on Ontario’s strengths in smart grid technologies and other clean energy innovations.

In conjunction with the CEI, Mars hosted the Future Energy Summit focused on bringing some of the top minds in clean energy to give feedback and help design the Smart Grid we need. A smarter grid will spearhead better tools to manage electricity use, help utilities prevent, detect and restore outages and ultimately connect every home and building to a renewable energy grid, therefore, decreasing green house gas emissions.

WireIE contributes to the Smart Grid by partnering with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) to define the operational requirements of a communications network supporting Smart Grid. By modeling various rural and urban electricity distribution scenarios, communication network specifications have been developed. This collaboration continues as WireIE sponsors the study and modeling of new Smart Grid applications.

WireIE is now part of this new funding released today by the Energy Minister for a Durham region trial. This will advance our current research into a live production environment. As a Smart Grid future is enabled in Ontario WireIE will continue to lead with its partners.

For more information on Ontario’s Clean Energy Institute:
http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2012/06/ontario-creating-a-clean-energy-institute.html

For more information on Smart Grid projects:
http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2012/06/smart-grid-projects.html

For more information about Microwave Technologies for Carrier Ethernet Services, download this MEF document

About WireIE: We deliver carrier-grade Transparent Ethernet Solutions backed by SLAs. With a custom blend of fiber and digital to suit your circumstances, we transform, extend and support your communications networks in rural and remote areas. +1.905.882.4660 | www.wireie.com |info@wireie.com

Fiber and Wire Roadblocks: How Microwave can Help

, , , , ,

The typical forms of voice and data transport for Carrier Ethernet Services are fiber and copper. While both provide connectivity in access networks, fiber is favoured for its prolific capacity, and copper is most widely used in environments with an existing telephone network . However, there are times when physical, geographical, legal, political or financial obstacles will stand squarely in the way of digging ditches, raising poles and pulling wire.

Overcoming the Obstacles

This is where microwave steps in. Even in the most challenging of circumstances, the combination of digital radio and Carrier Ethernet services can offer excellent flexibility, reliability, bandwidth and quality of service at a realistic price:

  • Right-of-way: Because microwave uses radio spectrum, it can navigate physical barriers such as private property
  • Service-aware traffic management allows you to differentiate voice and data packets by type, to avoid bottlenecks and smooth demand.
  • Rural and third world: In these environments, often with poor legacy communications, microwave extends your connectivity reach
  • Planning issues: Digital radio leapfrogs complex planning approvals that can slow the progress of fiber or copper installations in densely populated urban areas
  • Temporary links: Digital radio is a great choice for temporary sporting or entertainment events
  • Physical hurdles: Water, roads and challenging terrain can all complicate, or defeat, terrestrial installations
  • Security concerns: The threat of human or environmental interference, especially the increasing theft of copper in some countries, makes traditional installations more risky and less advisable

Low Cost Gigabit Ethernet Services

Today’s digital radio technologies are capable of providing rapid connectivity and delivering Gigabit Ethernet services across any terrain, over significant distances. Recent technical developments also enable digital radio to function in lower frequency bands without line-of-sight. Plus, in many environments, this technology can provide the lowest cost per bit for Ethernet service transport.

Remote Site Connectivity

Here are just some of the ways you can use microwave technology to connect the remotest or most rural of locations:

  • Broadband networks to support the conversion to digital TV
  • Broadband networks to support DSL access in rural areas by overcoming the distance limitations of the DSLAM and broadband backbone
  • Fiber backup routes to provide redundancy, diversity and network protection
  • Network extensions to reach remote locations

So, whether you’re looking to extend service in areas where fiber and copper are not available, or need a high-performance back-up route to ensure failsafe communications, digital radio is a highly competitive choice with an impressive performance history.

For more information about Microwave Technologies for Carrier Ethernet Services, download this MEF document

About WireIE: We deliver carrier-grade Transparent Ethernet Solutions backed by SLAs. With a custom blend of fiber and digital to suit your circumstances, we transform, extend and support your communications networks in rural and remote areas. +1.905.882.4660 | www.wireie.com |info@wireie.com

Microwave and Carrier Ethernet: Separating Fact from Fiction

, , , , , ,

If you want to cause a stir, walk into a room full of seasoned technicians and mention microwave. Citing the twin fears of limited capacity and weather-dependent performance, many will offer stories of past problems without realizing that, like many other things in life, microwave has moved on.

The Future is not the Past

The legacy-based, analog solutions of the past bear no resemblance to modern microwave. Dismiss the new developments, and you could find yourself missing out on the many business benefits that today’s digital radio technologies bring.

Increasingly, organizations are discovering the advantages of a converged network platform that combines Carrier Ethernet and point-to-point digital radio to provide a new, highly effective method of voice and data transport. With the benefit of alternative thinking, smart solutions providers are overcoming terrestrial challenges and building advanced communications networks in some surprisingly remote areas – where often dial up had been the only option.

Two Strong Technologies

In response to our appetite for higher bandwidth and budget-conscious performance, over the past decade Carrier Ethernet has moved to centre stage – and continues to evolve today. Checking all the boxes, it’s a quicker, simpler and cheaper way to connect people with information. Plus, with Ethernet, it’s easy to build extensions or make adjustments down the road. And terrestrial microwave has proven to be an excellent partner for fiber in access networks – playing an increasingly valuable role in support of rich media applications like video, VoIP and disaster recovery.

The Question of Capacity

It’s time to dispel some of the myths and reveal the facts about microwave:

  • Gigabit capacity is already a reality – and it’s enough for most Carrier Ethernet applications.
  • Service-aware traffic management allows you to differentiate voice and data packets by type, to avoid bottlenecks and smooth demand.
  • Adaptive code modulation technology increases bandwidth capacity and also means you can deploy microwave equipment in densely populated areas.
  • Nodal function optimizes radio bandwidth resources and makes it easier for you to scale.
  • Packet technology is flexible, which means you can use microwave to get an optimal increase in data rates.
  • Over-air capacity is increased with microwave by using multiple transmission channels at different carrier frequencies. Capacity has also grown through enhancements like cross polarization, interference cancellation and data compression.

The Latest Weather Report

Although weather can affect microwave, technology enhancements have made it easier to deal with bad conditions, and custom-engineered links are specifically designed to account for the elements:

  • Adaptive modulation protects your network from weather effects by varying radio throughput, making adjustments according to the performance of air interface channels.
  • Frequency diversity makes your network resilient to bad-weather fading.

A New Form of Transport

The evolution of microwave technology offers a valuable opportunity to combine Carrier Ethernet services with digital radio to provide end-to-end network transport services. Offering limitless reach, this converged platform will give you the performance and capacity to communicate faster and more flexibly at a price that suits your CFO – even when geography is not on your side.

Cloud Computing Defined

, , ,

“The concept of outsourcing hardware, software and file storage to service providers on the Internet” is how Forrester Research defines Cloud Computing.

Many have pointed out the philosophical similarities between Cloud Computing and the days prior to broad adoption of the personal computer.

  • Application hosting, data processing and storage were centralized on mainframe computer platforms.
  • The user community accessed these resources through a standards-based (albeit proprietary) communications network infrastructure.
  • The computing power of the user terminal was limited relative to the mainframe (admittedly, a huge understatement).

That’s pretty much where the similarities end. We now live in a world with near ubiquitous access to the Internet using it’s suite of standardized protocols under TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). Over and above the communications advantages, the Internet itself is now home to an infinite array of resources. Equally significant is the parallel evolution (arguably revolution) of end user devices. Unlike the monochromatic glow of yesterday’s text based dumb terminal, today’s world offers an incomparable variety of feature-rich, graphically based end user devices supported by numerous operating systems – all with their own attributes. Add to that the wireless revolution with its mobilization of the Internet and one would be hard pressed to draw further parallels.

Cloud computing is compelling for a number of good reasons:

  • Hardware, application software (including updates) and system security are administered by the host.
  • Many cloud computing environments support rich multiparty collaboration.
  • Barriers to entry are comparatively low and affordable.
  • User device agnostic: supports any device equipped with a standards compliant browser.
  • CPU power of end user equipment is very low.
  • Very little RAM is required in end user equipment.
  • Virtually no local storage requirements beyond operation system and web browser. User file storage is hosted in the cloud as opposed to on a local disk drive or file server.
  • Power hungry and comparatively slow hard disk drives are being replaced with fast, solid state storage in Cloud Computing user devices. Instant booting, and much longer battery life are two of the most apparent benefits.
  • Portabilty, Mobility, Ubiquity: Cloud resources are available anywhere there is internet access.
  • Generally very low network bandwidth required by the end user.

Dedicated Cloud Platforms

One of the more intriguing Cloud Computing developments has been the emergence of Google’sChrome O/S. Chrome O/S devices will have all the hardware attributes listed above, but in the spirit of a complete Cloud Computing experience, Chrome O/S is, as the name implies, is an Operating System hard coded into the hardware. Alone, a Chrome O/S product is of limited utility. Add a connection to the Internet – even a relatively slow one – and the user instantly has access to all those applications, not to mention the web via the integrated Chrome browser.

Initial reviews of Chrome O/S have been mixed. Regardless, no one can argue that from a conceptual perspective, Chrome O/S is a very compelling solution for many user categories, students for example. Chrome O/S takes the netbook/sub-notebook category to a new level. The video below from Epipheo Studios succinctly describes the thinking behind the development of Chrome O/S.

Rumours abound that Google will merge Chrome O/S’ functionality into its very popular and broadly available Android mobile operating system. Time will tell… In the meantime, Microsoft has leveraged their strong position in feature-rich desktop applications. By integrating Office 2010 desktop with Microsoft’s cloud environment known as Office Web Apps, users can enjoy document sharing and collaboration, regardless of location, even when a connection to the Internet is temporarily out of reach. Once reconnected to the Internet, sophisticated synchronization automatically reconciles any updated content.

WireIE Comments on Canadian Government’s Digital Economy Strategy

, , ,

WireIE President & CEO Rob Barlow today formally commented to the federal government on it’s consultation entitled: “Improving Canada’s Digital Advantage, Strategies for Sustainable Prosperity.”

Removing Broadband Deployment Obstacles in Rural Canada

I appreciate the opportunity to share my views in response to the Government of Canada’s Consultation Paper on a Digital Economy Strategy.

As President & CEO of a Canadian based global broadband wireless company, I am keenly aware of the benefits modernized ICT infrastructure bring to an economy. Economic and social development varies from one economy to another, but in every case, significant, measurable increases in GDP are realized when access to broadband is made universal.

Much of my company’s work is in the developing world where access to broadband is extremely limited if available at all. By providing universal broadband access to education, health, industry, business and individual citizens, societies have been transformed in very dramatic ways. Creative minds are unleashed and given access to develop new products and services, not only for their local economy, but often for the world at large.

As a proud Canadian, I am profoundly disappointed that rural Canada is now lagging behind much of the developing world in terms of broadband access. Recognizing the enormity of our nation’s geography, along with the reality that we are one of the most urbanized countries on the planet, it is somewhat understandable that little attention has been paid to rural broadband access up to this point.

A look at the devil in the details reveals further concerns. For example, there is no clear, consistent delineation between urban and rural broadband service offerings. My office, for example, is located in the “technology centre” of York Region, mere kilometers from the City of Toronto boundary. Within five kilometers of my office, broadband service availability becomes very sporadic, even nonexistent in certain peripheral areas. Many businesses and residences encircling our country’s largest city have no access to broadband.

The Government’s digital economy initiative is a vital element in Canada reclaiming it’s prominence as a global telecommunications leader. The government’s paper on the matter does a good job of capturing the challenges, along with the necessity to address them. With that in mind, I offer the following comments.

I believe serious consideration should be given to defining broadband access as an essential service – much in the way access to electricity and traditional telephony services have been regarded for several decades now. I say this fully recognizing that political and economic realities of today are very different from the days when universal telephone service was being deployed in rural Canada.

It is my belief that one of the reasons our country has fallen so far behind is due to the lack of genuine competition in the telecommunications sector. With that in mind, and factoring in the significant capital infusion required to provide such universality, a structure based on private / public partnerships should be seriously considered.

I also recognize that our deregulated, competitive telecommunications environment necessitates that capital is allocated for broadband expansion based on Return on Investment per project. Understandably, areas with low population densities produce poor and very often negative ROIs.

The digital economy, however, is a broad, complex, multilayered concept as the Government’s paper describes so well. While the delivery systems (i.e.: telecommunications infrastructure) may yield poor or negative ROIs in many areas of the country, the creation of content, new products and services as a result of universal broadband have the potential to generate enormous wealth in the longer term. Put another way, universal broadband provides a consistent foundation from which immeasurable wealth can be generated over and above network operator revenue. This modernized infrastructure has the added benefit of providing remote and rural government offices and facilities with broadband, allowing for operational cost reductions, along with greater opportunity to offer services in more areas at a consistent level of quality and overall user experience.

A likely reciprocal result of this creation of wealth would be made-in-Canada innovation in the telecommunications sector itself. Our once global reputation as an innovator in telecommunications would be reestablished, but this time it would be substantially reinforced by services afforded by universal broadband access to the Internet and World Wide Web.

Realizing the longer term return on such a scenario, it is essential to incent telecommunications providers to expand where shorter-term ROIs are unattractive – even when augmented by public funds. Tax breaks are an obvious option but other incentive-oriented mechanisms should also be explored. For example, an easing, or where practical, elimination of radio frequency license fees in rural areas would aid in the provision of both broadband backhaul and access. Another deterrent for network operators in rural areas – both from a cost and logistical perspective – relates to inflexibility in accessing rights-of-way. Rigidity around collocation of multi-operator telecommunications facilities is another impediment. I believe that by clearing these obstacles, significant progress can be made in delivering universal broadband in rural Canada.

We deservingly pride ourselves on being a well educated society. Creation of wealth and the sharing of knowledge need not be confined to parts of our country where broadband is available. Our rural areas are bursting with clever, creative, educated people driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. Other rural residents long to learn and have access to the same infinitely rich resources enjoyed by their urban counterparts who take broadband access for granted.

I thank you for considering my comments on this extremely important matter and look forward to a bright future where every Canadian has the choice to participate in the Digital Economy.

Robert Barlow

President & CEO

WireIE Holdings International Inc.