JUST LIKE MICROWAVE OVENS changed the way to heat food, imagine how fast and easy it would be to install gigabit speed Wi-Fi in existing apartment buildings without replacing all the cabling in the building. No mess, no downtime, no problem.

Now residents have fast Wi-Fi in their apartments and can roam the property using pre-shared keys (PSK) with managed Wi-Fi.

The Challenge

LENOX COVE APARTMENTS in Jacksonville, Florida needed an operational gigabit speed Wi-Fi service to attract residents before their grand opening on April 1. Their three multi-story buildings with more than 100 apartments needed to offer high speed connectivity and roaming ready on the day tenants started moving in.

The local cable company proposed a typical DOCSIS residential service model that involved replacing the coax cable throughout the building. They had been given 6 months to complete the project. In December, the service provider reported that they had difficulty in meeting the cutover time. The property owner’s research led them to RealtyCom partners, a consulting firm specializing in multifamily telecommunications solutions.

D. Rush Blakely, President and CEO at RealtyCom Partners recommended the property owner contact WorldVue about a solution that can quickly enable gigabit Wi-Fi using a building’s existing legacy wiring (either coax or telephone pairs).

“Rush Blakely saw the ability for Lenox Cove to still bring in revenue to the property via bulk services, but also deliver the Gigabit speeds that a lot of residents have come to expect,” says Blake Bolin, Revenue Optimization Specialist, WorldVue.

“With tenants moving in, we were desperate to have a Wi-Fi solution up and ready,” says Michael Brown, property owner at Lenox Cove. “WorldVue saved the day for us by providing service in all three of the buildings without needing to cut into the drywall of each unit or drill through our concrete slab ceilings.”

Old Building diagram

The Solution

THE COMPLETE SOLUTION was installed and ready to deliver high speed throughput to all apartments within a few weeks.

To meet the residents’ performance expectations and deliver the solution on time, WorldVue needed to design a solution that did not require major coax infrastructure work. Based on their extensive experience with multiple technology options, they selected a solution based on the Positron G.hn Access Multiplexer (GAM) and Cambium Networks indoor Wi-Fi access points. The GAM establishes an ethernet backbone that can feed 1G service over coax (up to 2500 ft on RG6) to each Cambium AP. And the Cambium wireless network delivers complete “car-to-bed” coverage that keeps tenants safe and connected.

Compared with traditional DOCSIS solutions, the G.hn technology used by the GAM is more resilient over poor-quality coax, delivers symmetric bandwidth, and achieves a markedly higher peak bandwidth, resulting in a subscriber experience akin to what would be achieved if fiber or CAT6 were available to each unit.

Old Building poducts

“The Lenox Cove solution is actually a very straightforward setup,” says Bolin. “The local service provider is delivering 1.2 Gbps service to the MDF of the complex. Two fiber uplinks leave the MDF to each one of the three buildings. In each building the fiber connects directly to the GAM-12-C in the equipment closet. Within each building a Positron G1002-C+ Endpoint and Cambium XV2-21X Wi-Fi6 AP are used to feed every two units. Each Endpoint/AP pair have a home run connection back to the GAM-12-C via a dedicated coax.”

The headend is equipped with a core router, gateway router, and aggregation switch. With its Cisco- like interface, it’s easy to control and configure the GAM’s VLAN handling and subscriber bandwidth plans.

For customer support, instead of requiring local IT staff, the service is supported 24/7 by the WorldVue Service Center in Houston, TX.

“Digital infrastructure is vitally important,” says Bolin. “Property owners focus on new innovative technologies. They rely on communications experts to consider the foundation that allows the technology to perform for both residents and smart building applications. Positron’s GAM is one of many tools we have in our toolbox to deliver the bandwidth required to make these different technologies function properly.”

“Property owners are looking at a cost-effective solution that’s not going to break the bank,” says Clayton Bryant, Director Design and Install, WorldVue. “To do that, the solution needs to be minimally invasive to the property and easy to configure and manage. Positron and Cambium Networks deliver a solution that works great for existing MDUs looking to get gig speeds.”

The Results

I HAD A WOW MOMENT when I saw how fast the installation was and how easy it is to use the system,” says Michael Brown, property owner.

Gig Speed Delivered:
• Residents thrilled with Gigabit symmetrical speeds
• Project finished in 8 weeks vs 26 weeks proposed
• Project cost about half of complete rebuild
• Zero resident calls about technology issues to the Service Center in the first 60 days

“The name of the game is reducing the total cost of ownership to deliver reliable gigabit speed,” says Bolin. “Wi-Fi is not a commodity. The Cambium Wi-Fi access points do everything that higher end enterprise APs do. Higher capacity and coverage translates to lower total cost, and that has enabled us to break into many different vertical markets and environments.”

“When a property owner is sitting on coax, we can use the infrastructure to bring Gigabit capabilities. It’s an effective way to get them from either Wi-Fi 2 or 3 to Wi-Fi 6 without construction and associated costs.”

Kyle Beauchamp
Strategic Accounts Vice President, WorldVue

“A key challenge encountered during the project involved navigating the abundance of radio frequency interference in the area, particularly at the hotel’s front. Fortunately, this obstacle was effectively addressed with the utilization of Cambium Networks’ technology.”

Chris DeBono
Director, Ibis Group

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