The chief technology officer and cofounder at Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBNL), John Naylon, Ph.D., spoke with AGL eDigestabout the company’s licensed point-to-multipoint microwave technology at Connectivity Expo (Connect (x), a convention conducted by the Wireless Industry Association.
He explained how Cellcom, a wireless company with customers in Wisconsin and Michigan, uses CBNL’s 28-GHz VectaStar platform as a backhaul solution in its outdoor small cell strategy to increase capacity and coverage for its LTE service. He said that Cellcom completed an initial trial of the 28-GHz platform and now plans to use the technology to backhaul some of the company’s first LTE outdoor small cells as a densification strategy.
“By choosing CBNL’s leading millimeter wave technology, Cellcom is maximizing the benefits of spectrum that holds exceptional levels of capacity, as highlighted recently by the FCC, which opened it up to deliver 5G wireless communications,” Naylon said. “VectaStar innovatively reuses spectrum to offer efficient use of the 28-GHz band. For example, the VectaStar platform’s dynamic µ-TDMA scheduling can offer up to 4.4 Gbps of provisioned capacity per sector from just 100 megahertz of spectrum. The capacity of VectaStar, together with total cost of ownership savings of up to 50 per cent compared to licensed point-to-point, has provided Cellcom with a business case to unlock some real benefits from millimeter wave.”
The CBNL executive gave an example of how millimeter wave transforms services in a smart city. He said that the European Union (EU) funded the Metropolitan Telecommunication Network (MTN) in Rzeszów, a city with a population of 187,000 (including 95,000 students) and the largest economic, academic and cultural city in southeast Poland. In tandem with the European Commission’s network of broadband competence offices (BCOs) and CBNL, the city of Rzeszów is using CBNL’s point-to-multipoint technology to make transformation improvements to key socioeconomic hubs across the city. Naylon said it does so through advanced use of 26 GHz, a frequency assigned as a pioneer band for 5G by the EU.
“The network results speak for themselves,” Naylon said. “Over 500 Wi-Fi hot spots offer broadband to underserved homes and economic areas; 187 schools and city buildings have superfast broadband of up to 200 Mbps; and over 650 fixed and 400 pan-tilt-zoom closed-circuit television and automatic number plate recognition cameras monitor public safety and traffic.”
Naylon said that Rzeszów’s smart city demonstrates pioneering use of 26 GHz and showcases how the latest millimeter wave technology can provide a highly cost-effective route to ubiquitous urban connectivity. He said that by creating high levels of spectrum reuse and adopting virtualization techniques, the project has been able to deliver a level of connectivity that was simply not possible using legacy techniques.
CBNL offers a video for additional detail: www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6-Hg6q78tU
When it comes to wireless infrastructure, Naylon said the carriers’ networks are already under severe strain from the sheer volume of 4G traffic. As a result, managing the super-high-capacity demands of 5G will require a wide-scale network evolution. Therefore, expanding network strategies to secure an early foothold in the 5G fixed wireless market looks set to become a key area of growth for many carriers, addressing a clear market opportunity and securing the essential revenue needed to realize their wider 5G ambitions, he said.
“It’s commonly accepted that fixed wireless access, both the enterprise and home, is a highly compelling use case for millimeter wave,” Naylon said. “However, the spectrum also provides a transformational opportunity to scale backhaul to the multi-gigabit capacities needed for 5G. At the heart of this evolution will be high-band spectrum, specifically between 26 GHz and 39 GHz, and a new wave of wireless technology that enables carriers to serve a range of exciting new verticals from a common network.”
In Naylon’s view, millimeter-wave point-to-multipoint technology has already gained significant pre-5G fixed wireless market traction. He said it is seeing adoption uptake in the 28-GHz bands, with similar movement in the 31-GHz and 39-GHz bands by developing new point-to-multipoint solutions in the bands, driven by the fact it is faster to deploy and costs up to half as much for a high-capacity link as competing point-to-point technology.
“As carriers define their 5G strategies, the first logical step will be to deploy ubiquitous millimeter wave coverage and create a multipurpose network that can virtualize traffic streams over the same physical infrastructure to serve wide-ranging issues, such as internet of things and vertical applications,” Naylon said. “This offers carriers an immediate opportunity to densify existing backhaul networks, while gaining an early foothold in the pre-5G fixed wireless market.”
With the growing sophistication and increased level of security threats, the need for better situational awareness and closer cross-agency collaborations has become ever more pressing. Accordingly, public safety agencies are evolving their mission-critical communications infrastructure toward the highly efficient, flexible capabilities of internet protocol (IP) to enhance first responder effectiveness and safety. The bedrock for this evolution is a new, converged backhaul network architecture grounded in Internet Protocol/Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) atop packet microwave and optical transport infrastructure.
The demands are high. Public safety agencies looking to evolve to IP/MPLS require a mission-critical communications network that meets a set of stringent requirements (see Figure 1). It must be reliable and resilient in order to ensure uninterrupted communications even in the face of severe storms, floods, terrorism and other types of unexpected emergencies. To provide effective response, enhanced situational awareness becomes essential. Consequently, the new network also needs to have flexible service convergence to adopt new applications, including fourth-generation wireless technology of Long Term Evolution (LTE) that can offer increased channel capacity and improved spectrum efficiency, and network scalability to accommodate growing video and data traffic. To protect communications investment, it also must be fully interoperable with existing land mobile radio systems and applications such as simulcast, and be ready to evolve as necessary.
Like its time-division multiplexing-based predecessor, an IP/MPLS-based backhaul network offers constant, reliable and secure communications to connect first responders with one another, the dispatch center and the data center, ensuring that all public safety personnel are connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Although legacy backhaul networks are typically based on a traditional access-aggregation-core ring architecture, the packet-based paradigm of IP-MPLS backhaul allows flexible deployment of interconnected rings. This multi-ring topology, coupled with dynamic IP/MPLS, can restore traffic at synchronous optical networking (SONET) speed using fast re-route capability when one node or link in the ring goes down. Moreover, during multi-fault scenarios, which are not uncommon during natural disasters, it can rapidly reestablish critical communications with a secondary label switched path with remaining network connectivity. Therefore, a multi-ring IP/MPLS network allows better availability and resiliency, with much less chance of one incident — a storm or other disaster — disrupting critical communications. Combining SONET-speed restoration and multi-fault resiliency with other protection mechanisms — including pseudowire and control hardware redundancies, nonstop routing and services, deterministic QoS, microwave link adaptive modulation and 1+1 protection switching — critical traffic will be preserved even under inclement conditions.
Flexibility and Scalability
An integral element for enhancing situational awareness is broadband communications that give first responders and dispatch center personnel a 360-degree perspective on any event with high-definition video, drones and other rich data applications such as geographic information systems. A new Long Term Evoluton (LTE) high-speed wireless data radio system is central to this broadband infrastructure. In addition, public safety agencies can deploy advanced applications such as high-definition closed-circuit television and sensors to gather greater quantities of data for advanced analytics such as gunshot detection and facial recognition, allowing them to act more effectively.
The key for supporting all of these features is the convergence flexibility provided by IP/MPLS backhaul. The use of IP/MPLS virtual private network services can accommodate all public safety applications with complete segregation and security (encryption can be enabled with ease for sensitive applications) over the same network, resulting in improved network operational efficiency when compared with the paradigm of disparate networks. This paradigm is commonly known as network segmentation. Furthermore, the support of IP virtual private network and service-aware statefull firewall in the IP/MPLS platform also facilitates controlled, secure communications between different agencies for closer collaborations. Additionally, other government agencies and operations will be able to attain budget savings by using the spare capacity. With highly customizable classification policy, deterministic multiclass QoS in IP/MPLS treats all traffic with the appropriate priority and ensures no performance degradation for critical applications in a properly designed network.
Complementing the virtual private network and QoS capabilities is network scalability. As video and data traffic grow, the backhaul network capacity needs to be able to scale up. An IP/MPLS platform with integrated microwave awareness and wavelength-division multiplexing networking support, together with a unified network services platform, simplifies the process of deploying additional microwave channels or optical Ethernet links. The unified network services platform facilitates network and services management across IP/MPLS, optical and microwave domains, attaining optimal operational efficiencies and agility.
As governments worldwide continue to face budget constraints, they need to invest prudently with a long-term horizon. Ultimately, IP/MPLS backhaul will offer public safety agencies of today the migration capability to gracefully bridge the past to the future with full interoperability with critical legacy applications in use today, full network scalability to 10 Gbps, and even 100 Gbps link coupled with wavelength-division multiplexing optics when necessary, and software-defined networking to prepare for future capabilities requirement such as insight-driven automation and optimization. Accordingly, public safety agencies can continue to use current life-critical applications such as land mobile radio system and simulcast without disruptions and can adopt new technologies with no constraints. This approach protects agencies’ overall communications investment and offers an evolvable foundation for more advanced (e.g., LTE) public safety communications capabilities.
Public safety is in the middle of momentous changes. The familiar land mobile radio in every police car, on every fire engine and in every ambulance will eventually give way to a new generation of ruggedized devices that look like smartphones and tablets. Critical data and video will play an expanding role, alongside critical voice, in first responders’ services. The backhaul network that ties everything together must work even harder and stretch beyond today’s capabilities. This is creating the need for a new approach to continue delivering life-critical communications, whether that be voice, video or data. With converged IP/MPLS backhaul, government agencies at all levels around the world are ready to strengthen public safety, increase operational efficiency, improve collaboration among jurisdictions and agencies at all levels, and augment city services — all while benefiting from an efficient, future-ready platform for future network expansion, ready to embrace emerging applications to address new communications needs.
To read more of the April AGL Magazine, click HERE
Fai Lam is marketing director for IP/optical networks at Nokia.
Mimosa Networks has launched its MicroPoP architecture based onthe Mimosa B24 backhaul radio and the Mimosa N5-360 quad-sector antenna. Optimized for dense urban and suburban deployments, the expanded MicroPoP coverage will improve service providers’ return on investment by fueling new business opportunities and cutting costs.
Mimosa’s enhanced MicroPoP architecture enables service providers to offer end users higher bandwidth wireless connections of between 200 Mbps and 300 Mbps, simply by getting closer to their customers.
The Mimosa-designed MicroPoP architecture solves this issue by allowing service providers to deploy access points closer to subscribers, on utility poles, street lights, and hub home locations. The introduction of the B24 backhaul overcomes the lack of deep fiber into a neighborhood, and the new N5-360 antenna nearly doubles the coverage of the Mimosa A5c access point.
According to Mimosa’s CTO, Jaime Fink, “With such a competitively-priced high-bandwidth solution, fixed wireless broadband providers can finally dare to compete with the incumbent wireline providers, and make money doing so. Properly architected, a service provider deploying the new MicroPoP in an urban or suburban area can expect a return on investment in as little as six months, which is a game changer for scaling these types of deployments. Wireless service providers are no longer limited to the edges of the revenue-rich suburban neighborhoods where cable and DSL have typically dominated the landscape.”
The B24 can be deployed alone as a point-to-point link or provide transport for a larger multipoint network within a self-healing ring.
Mimosa Networks has launched the Mimosa B24 gigabit-speed radio for backhaul in the unlicensed 24 GHz band.
Designed from the ground-up using high-volume components to achieve maximum performance, the B24 delivers speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps IP throughput, automatically allocating traffic dynamically as needed. The radio is engineered for a number of key urban and suburban applications including MicroPoP backhaul, building top-to-building top connections for enterprise, campus and multi-dwelling units (MDUs), and video surveillance or smart city connectivity.
The B24 offers reliability for backhaul links of up to 3 km (2 mi), and leverages Mimosa’s proprietary Spectrum Reuse Sync (SRS) technology, allowing up to eight collocated B24 radios to share the same channel, on the same tower or rooftop, each running at 1Gbps. For redundancy and flexibility, concurrent ethernet and fiber connections are supported, a feature previously unheard of in products with similar price points.
Fujitsu Network Communications and Ceragon Network have signed a reseller agreement for Fujitsu to sell Ceragon’s wireless backhaul solutions portfolio. This agreement expands Fujitsu’s end-to-end wireless networking portfolio to include the Ceragon FibeAir IP-20 microwave and millimeter wave solutions. The Ceragon platform will enhance Fujitsu’s multivendor wireless backhaul solutions portfolio with its versatility, spectral efficiency, bandwidth capacity, low energy consumption and proven reliability.
Fujitsu will combine its systems integration services with Ceragon’s wireless backhaul products to offer comprehensive turnkey solutions including design, build, operations and maintenance to North American service providers. Additionally, the Ceragon FibeAir IP-20 platform is a strategic fit for the multivendor solutions offered through Fujitsu’s Network Modernization (NetMod) programs to replace legacy or discontinued equipment. Fujitsu market-leading NetMod services include digital cross-connect systems (DCS), SONET, operation support systems (OSS) and microwave replacement. NetMod increases network reliability, capacity and performance, lowers the total cost of ownership and readies the network for next generation services.
“By leveraging Fujitsu’s extensive services portfolio along with Ceragon’s wireless backhaul solutions, we can bring our customers a formidable offer to densify, upgrade, and transform their networks,” said Greg Manganello, SVP and head of services at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.
“This is a strategic partnership for Ceragon, as it allows us to further expand our North American footprint and reach a wider range of customers,” said Ira Palti, president and CEO of Ceragon. “By integrating our IP-20 Platform solutions into its solutions portfolio, Fujitsu is now able to bring wireless backhaul solutions where they best resolve the unique challenges of North American service providers addressing capacity, reach, availability and site acquisition challenges.”