Huge thanks to all those who attended and helped to organise our Spring 2023 UKWISPA Members Meeting. A busy agenda made for an incredibly insightful two-day meeting with 100 delegates in attendance – our highest number yet!
Held at the Hilton London Paddington, day one of the members meeting was hosted by Ian Bushrod, Managing Director of MS Distribution and UKWISPA Board Member. Some interesting themes emerged over the course of the event, and some of these will result in some specific actions. Our first day also saw many new faces and vendors joining our association, including County Broadband and Binkk Broadband, which made for a positive start.
After delegates settled in, the NCC Group presented on the Telecoms Security Act (TSA) and kindly made some materials available to members for reference. Key takeaways from the TSA discussion included adhering to best practice in network protection and defence, but in the case of larger operators the support of professional consultants such as NCC was advised to help ensure compliance. Other discussions centred around customer management and keeping networks secure. In addition to vendor security assessment, they discussed a success map for planning, defining, and examining chain supply and resource allocation.
It was then time to hear from CSP who started with a stimulating quiz to see how well members knew the latest One Touch Switching (OTS) regulations! The discussion continued and focused in on the latest Ofcom compliance rules being enforced this week, as well as the benefits using of CSP. For more information on the above update follow this link to visit the CSP website.
Next up was our vendor partner Siklu and fellow Westbase Group company Wireless Coverage, who presented a very interesting session covering questions around revenue generation for WISP and Hybrid network providers. David Burns, CEO of Wireless Coverage also spoke about WISDM in detail; the fastest and most accurate coverage modelling system available, providing high definition network planning which can simulate changes in real-time. For more information on this session or WISDM, please contact our team.
Intracom Telecom then took to the stage to present their product range and Gigabit FWA 26GHz and mmWave spectrum, as well as key challenges associated with Gigabit connectivity. Key takeaways included the benefits and opportunity of utilising 26GHz, which has also been acknowledged by Ofcom, but remains in the review process. Intracom expressed that they would like to gain the support of UKWISPA to help ensure the availability of this spectrum in the future.
Following a networking and lunch break, a UKWISPA Panel Discussion kicked off the afternoon and included general updates, annual fees, the slack channel and wider policy updates. It was followed by a presentation from WhiteHaul on their efficient spectrum aggregation system for low-cost and high capacity backhaul over white spaces.
It was then time to hear from recently joined partners, New Rylands who showed how their Digital Electricity product is able to carry very safe power over 2 km, providing a cost saving opportunity in rural locations and awkward sites. The cables can be touched without significant risk, which is good to know! In addition to discussing their products and services, members were shown first-hand how their deployment solutions worked. Following on from New Rylands, Calix, a Gold Partner, presented their latest products and discussed key trends shaping the market with members, challenges facing small businesses, and their end-to-end subscriber services.
Gold Partner Cambium Networks took to the stage next to talk through their recent partnership with Voneus Broadband, bringing ultrafast symmetrical speeds to a rural community just outside of Hartlepool. Voneus customers were highly positive about Cambium's Terragraph certified cnWave Platform in the 60GHz frequency band, supplied through MS Distribution as a valued supply chain partner, which prompted much interest from attendees. For more information on Cambium Networks solutions please contact the MS Distribution team. You can also watch the Voneus Broadband case study by following this link..
An update and feedback session from the UKWISPA board closed out the day.
Day 2 was hosted by David Burns and kicked off with gold partner Adtran, who have merged with ADVA to create a global, scaled provider of end-to-end fibre networking solutions for communications service providers, enterprise and government customers. Adtran / ADVA spoke about building Gigabit Societies with hybrid fibre and wireless solutions, which made for a very interesting session for members.
Next on stage were Signify, a world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and Internet of Things deployments. They presented how a hybrid connectivity platform can be built using existing light infrastructures, helping to bridge the digital divide with Fixed Wireless Access.
A DSIT update was then provided to UKWISPA members. DSIT will shortly publish a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to set out a strategic framework for the development and adoption of wireless and future networks.
Ofcom followed this providing a wealth of updates around the spectrum compliance action plan for 2023. Radio equipment regulations were also discussed, as devices needing to meet the “essential requirements” of RE regs frequently fail due to faulty or incorrect operations.
Following a lively lunch, the afternoon session started with a technical panel discussion that sparked much interest amongst delegates, being centred around hybrid networks and the importance of diversification for FWA growth.
It was then time for
Splynx then presented their ISP billing and network management system, using the session to show with the pros and cons of in-house, open source, one-man-show, and software development company approaches. It made for an interesting session and allowed members to see first-hand how Splynx maintain continuous development.
Next up Mimosa, delivered the final presentation of the day and covered their diverse solution range including new products, as well as speaking about coverage and throughput tests in the US.
To wrap up a successful UKWISPA event, members spoke about key points raised during both days, discussed action points for the next meeting (planned for September 2023 in Scotland), and then enjoyed a “meet the sponsors” and members networking session to close.
Thank you for taking the time to read our UKWISPA Update. If you have any queries or feedback regarding any updates within the report, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
MS (Distribution) UK Ltd.