Category Archives: Backhaul

SON Backhaul Connects London Observation Wheel’s Wi-Fi Service

By J. Sharpe Smith

UK wireless operator O2 has selected Cambridge Communication Systems to provide the backhaul for the new Wi-Fi system serving the Coca-Cola London Eye, a high-profile, cantilevered observation wheel. A Metnet self-organizing network (SON) microwave backhaul will provide backhaul connections to the tourist attraction’s thirty-two closed capsules as the rotate above the London skyline.

The high-tech Farris wheel is a novel communications challenge, but it is as a good showcase for the use of SON and mesh architecture in the backhaul of wireless signals. The 28-GHz network, using eight CCS nodes installed around the edge of the wheel, connects to 16 Cisco Wi-Fi access points, which provide coverage across the thirty-two capsules. The CCS nodes connect back to two nodes at the central hub, which connect back to the network of Merlin Entertainment, which owns the wheel, and the internet.

CCS developed a new antenna system for the project, giving 360-degree coverage when it rotated around the wheel. The CCS SON algorithm detects the best possible configuration while managing self-interference, and the internal sync mode helps to distribute stable GPS to the other moving nodes.

Metnet Lays Foundation for Backhauling 5G, Smart Cities

CCS is positioning its Metnet nodes to be the backbone of the 5G small cells and the smart cities of the future.  Earlier this year CCS began the deployment of a Wi-Fi network in the City of London’s financial district, known as the “Square Mile.”

The network comprises more than 400 small cells deployed on lampposts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns to provide service for the 400,000 city workers and 10 million annual visitors.

The Metnet system operates in a single frequency channel with no radio frequency planning required. Each node has a wide 270-degree field of view and supports multiple connections, so there’s no need for manual alignment.

J. Sharpe Smith is senior editor of the AGL eDigest. He joined AGL in 2007 as contributing editor to the magazine and as editor of eDigest email newsletter. He has 27 years of experience writing about industrial communications, paging, cellular, small cells, DAS and towers. Previously, he worked for the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as editor of the Enterprise Wireless Magazine. Before that, he edited the Wireless Journal for CTIA and he began his wireless journalism career with Phillips Publishing, now Access Intelligence. 

DragonWave Enters Receivership

By The Editors of AGL

DragonWave has entered receivership, appointing the Ontario Superior Court of Justice of KSV Kofman as receiver.  Peter Allen, Claude Haw, Cesar Cesaratto and Lori O’Neill have resigned from the company’s board of directors.

The Toronto Stock Exchange and NASDAQ have delisted the company’s common shares and suspended them from trading.

All Court materials filed in the Company’s receivership proceedings are available on the Receiver’s website at:

DragonWave is an OEM that makes carrier-grade point-to-point packet microwave systems that transmit broadband voice, video and data for service providers, government agencies, enterprises. Applications include small cell backhaul, leased line replacement, last mile fiber extension and enterprise networks.

DragonWave’s corporate headquarters are located in Ottawa, Ontario, with sales locations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.

A Sluggish Start–But Wireless Backhaul Will Grow Ten-fold by 2020

December 15, 2016 — Mobile Experts has released fresh numbers and analysis that explain why the wireless backhaul market has started out slow, then how it will rise over the next four years. Fixed Wireless Access is also covered in the annual Mobile Experts breakdown of backhaul, fronthaul, and midhaul for small cells.

To create estimates and forecasts for the Small Cell market, the Mobile Experts analysts rely on direct input from more than 55 industry sources, with an array of mobile operators contributing to the overall analysis. The goal achieved in this latest report is a detailed, global view of the market. Mobile Experts has built a “top down” forecast based on this direct input from mobile operators and based on trends in end-user demand for mobile services, and a “bottom up” forecast through discussions with OEMs and semiconductor suppliers in the supply chain.

According to the Mobile Experts report, by 2021, 28 percent of all small base stations shipped will use wireless transport—an increase from only 3 percent in 2016. This change stems from split-baseband RRH units that will take over the small cell market with lower throughput requirements, which will allow wireless midhaul to come into play instead of fiber fronthaul.

The report explains how non-line of sight (NLOS) wireless systems will account for 70-80% of wireless transport in the 2016-17 timeframe, but operators with 5G plans will start to move decisively toward LOS solutions with higher throughput in the 2019-21 timeframe.  In related news, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) has emerged as a significant market for very similar solutions, with enterprises and service providers growing tired of waiting for fiber. Mobile Experts predicts that FWA is likely to be bigger than the small cell market in driving demand for wireless PTP and PMP links.

“In the end, the wireless backhaul/fronthaul market will get healthier than it has been, but fiber is still king,” says Madden. “With 5G deployment looming, operators are concerned with deployment of any link that isn’t future-proof for 5G. Fiber network development will be the primary focus for most operators.    We have used this report as an opportunity to illuminate the Fixed Wireless Access market to show an alternative path for wireless backhaul vendors.”

The Backhaul Report offers detailed charts and figures illustrating the extensive data illuminating the extent of wireless adoption and the future of the market.

Vubiq Networks to Develop E-Band Broadband Solution

November 29, 2016 — Vubiq Networks is developing a full-duplex 10 Gbps E-Band connectivity solution to broaden the company’s existing millimeter wave wireless radio portfolio.

By expanding its product portfolio to include E-Band radios, Vubiq will be even better positioned to meet all the backhaul needs of the marketplace. Using modular integrated waveguide (MIW) technology that separates the digital components from the analog components, the company is able to develop millimeter wave radios for high-speed wireless broadband applications.

Millimeter wave silicon is becoming available at significantly lower costs and higher performance due to technology innovations in the market. “Our product architecture leverages these new technologies because we have kept the millimeter wave radio modular and independent from the baseband and network portions of the design,” concluded Mike Pettus, Vubiq founder CTO.

Facebook Demos 20 Gig Pt.-to-Pt. Hookup

November 15, 2016 — Facebook’s Connectivity Lab’s terrestrial point-to-point link in Southern California test has achieved a data rate of nearly 20 Gbps over 8 miles using a set of custom-built components.

“We are actively working to develop a variety of terrestrial and airborne technologies to help connect the world,” wrote Abhishek Tiwari of Facebook. “One of our goals is to provide connectivity in areas without traditional infrastructure and reliable power sources, so these technologies should be low-cost, energy efficient, and able to support a capacity of tens of gigabits per second over long ranges.”

The link used only 105 watts of total direct current power consumption at the transmitter and receiver. The transmission used a bandwidth of 2 GHz, resulting in an overall spectral efficiency of 9.8 bits per second per Hertz.”

The immediate goal is to use millimeter-wave technology to transmit bandwidth from the ground to solar-powered drones, which will be used to beam the internet to those on the ground.

“The technology we tested is applicable to a number of Connectivity Lab’s solutions. For example, it could be used as a terrestrial backhaul network to support access solutions like OpenCellular, or as a reliable backup to free space optical solutions such as the laser communications gimbal and optical detector in case of fog and clouds,” Tiwari wrote.

Facebook’s ultimate goal is drone-to-ground links to support capacities in excess of 30 Gbps over 18-31 miles.

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