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Facebook Getting into the MM Wave Fray

By Ernest Worthman

Executive Editor
AGL Small Cell Magazine

July 6, 2016 — Facebook, of all entities, has come in on the side of the players that are telling the satellite industry to share the wealth. In an ex parte presentation, Facebook said it supports sharing of both users and satellite operators within the new 28, 37 and 39 GHz upper microwave, flexible-use bands. They believe that the degree of sharing will allow for the coexistence of satellite earth stations without harm to mobile deployments in those bands.

Well, I have a hard time giving Facebook any credit for having any idea of the wireless business and the complexities that occur when multiple users and platforms vie for peaceful coexistence.

To wit, they are lobbying for more use of spectrum access systems and related technologies, which enable better frequency utilization, thusly improved sharing and management of spectrum. While this sounds great in theory, such practices haven’t even been proven in the 3.5 GHz band yet. And most operators aren’t going to warm to the idea until that happens.

Wonder what Facebook is thinking? Could it be that they are taking a page out of Google’s philosophy to become a player in such platforms as remotely piloted, high-altitude, solar-powered unmanned aircraft (HAPS) or innovative new terrestrial wireless systems that will be a part of the 5G ecosystem, especially for rural and remote areas?

Whatever the reasons, you can bet it won’t be for the betterment of connectivity without something being in it for them.

Comtech EF Data Market Leader for Satellite Mobile Backhaul

Northern Sky Research (NSR) identified Comtech EF Data as the single-channel-per-carrier (SCPC) equipment market leader for satellite mobile backhaul in its sixth edition of the “Wireless Backhaul via Satellite Report.”

According to the report’s author, Jose Del Rosario, senior analyst for NSR, in a company statement, “Given the scope of equipment orders Comtech received to support satellite-based mobile backhaul, the company has adapted well in addressing stiff competition posed by other companies, particularly TDMA.” Del Rosario also commented that Comtech is the market leader in the entire wireless backhaul market in terms of equipment and installed base.

The report identifies Comtech as the leading equipment provider for the fixed, land-based towers market. The fixed, land-based towers market is a developing-country market proposition, with the core addressable market in rural populations. It has been dominated by the three regions of, namely Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Comtech EF Data plays a significant role in supporting mobile network operators’ satellite-based backhaul in these regions. The report also states that Comtech’s partnerships with companies like iPSTAR and O3b are strategic initiatives that should bode well for the company, given the transition foreseen by NSR from current legacy solutions to next-generation programs.

“We are honored to be named the market leader by this prominent research and consulting firm,” said Daniel Enns, senior vice president, marketing and business development for Comtech EF Data, in a press release. “Our leadership is largely attributed to delivering advanced technologies that decrease OPEX/CAPEX and increase satellite link throughput.”

In its sixth edition, NSR’s annual report continues tracking and analysis of the market for wireless backhaul via satellite market. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of addressable markets and demand trends for the market today. It covers 10 regions and forecasts of equipment, transponder and bandwidth demand. It also covers, as well as the new HTS capacity, O3b and wideband Ka-band for satellite-based, fixed, land-based towers and mobility platforms for the period 2011–2021.

ADVA Optical Networking Leads EAD Market for Sixth Year

ADVA Optical Networking has increased its share of the global fiber-based Ethernet Access Device (EAD) market to 21percent, which confirms its position as the leading provider of EADs for carrier and enterprise customers. The figures are part of the latest report from Infonetics Research and underline ADVA Optical Networking’s strong performance, highlighting growing demand for mobile backhaul solutions as a key contributor to its growth. The biannual report says expects EAD revenues are expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2016.

“The EAD market is one of the most competitive in the industry and one where we continue to dominate,” said Stephan Rettenberger, vice president of, marketing at ADVA Optical Networking, in a news release. “For the sixth year, Infonetics Research has listed us as the clear leader in this space. This reflects our continued drive to deliver the products our customers need. We’re continually listening, continually evolving and this is reflected in our strong EAD roadmap. Looking into 2013, there’s a clear focus on mobile backhaul and driving new revenue potential as we continue to migrate to LTE.”

According to Infonetics, EAD revenue is expected to reach $1.3 billion in 2016, which shows that there’s significant opportunity for the key vendors in that space, said Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics Research, in a company release.

“Of all the applications fueling this growth, mobile backhaul presents an enormous opportunity. As a clear leader in the EAD market, ADVA Optical Networking has a leading advantage here. Some of ADVA’s latest product announcements indicate the company’s vision and intent to drive the market forward,” Howard continued in the news release.

Small Cell Wireless Backhaul to Reach $1B in Equipment Revenue by 2017

Mobile Experts released its forecast that outlines significant growth for wireless backhaul links to support femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. Multiple economic case studies are included, which highlight the impact of various backhaul technologies on overall small- cell viability.

“Fiber-optic cable is the ideal solution, but is almost never available in the right places for high-capacity small cells,” explained Dr. Jonathan Wells, principal analyst at Mobile Experts, in a company release. “We expect the early small- cell market to use RF backhaul below 6 GHz, to address the initial market requirements for throughput below about 80 Mbp/s. However, by 2016, we expect significant adoption of multiband small cells with embedded Wi-Fi and much higher throughput requirements in backhaul. We anticipate an additional market segment where high-throughput millimeter-wave backhaul links will be required.”

According to Wells, Mobile Experts has close relationships with the semiconductor vendors that support wireless backhaul systems, as well as the operators looking at the ROI for small cells. The company compiled a forecast that reconciles the need for low cost and the need for high- throughput performance, including a comprehensive comparison of point-to-point (PTP) systems and point-to-multipoint (PTMP) systems. The analysis indicates that the cost of wireless backhaul will reach the tipping point in 2015, which will make small- cell deployment possible at a large scale.


Multicore Radio Technology

Ceragon Networks has introduced its new-generation of packet radio solutions, the FibeAir IP-20C, which combines multicore radio, 2048 QAM modulation and line-of-sight multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) communications in a compact, all-outdoor design. It meets the demands of 4G/LTE-A networks and provides mobile operators with long-term network planning peace of mind. It is a microwave radio that offers a virtual fiber solution in licensed bands. FibeAir IP-20C features a breakthrough multicore technology that employs a parallel radio processing engine to double the link performance. This allows FibeAir IP-20C to deliver multi-Gbps capacity on a single frequency channel. By employing line-of-sight 4X4 MIMO, operators can even reach capacities that quadruple those of existing solutions, at half the form -factor. The FibeAir IP-20C boosts spectral efficiency to meet the increasingly demanding capacity requirements of advanced HetNet backhaul and fronthaul scenarios. It is built around on Ceragon’s baseband modem and RFIC technologies, and it is the next leap in Ceragon’s Holistic HetNet Hauling (3H) vision, which redefines wireless connectivity in heterogeneous networks. Currently in trials at selected customers, the FibeAir IP-20C is scheduled to be released for general availability in Q1 2013. www.ceragon.com

Small- cCell Backhaul Solution for Mobile Networks
BLiNQ Networks has launched the X-100, the first product in BLiNQ’s small- cell backhaul suite of solutions. The X-100 is a rapidly scalable, self-organizing system that eliminates capacity hotspots. It uses non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and point-to-multipoint technologies. The system provides a ubiquitous and cost-effective solution for heterogeneous network deployments. Operators are now able to deploy small cells exactly where they are needed while significantly reducing the time and expense associated with traditional backhaul solutions. The patent-pending solution provides carriers an easy-to-deploy, highly scalable backhaul service wherever they need to add capacity to meet the insatiable bandwidth demands of the mobile consumer. The solution is self-configuring and implements interference management technology to maximize capacity and reliability of wireless backhaul in true non-line-of-sight conditions.
The X-100 is a cost-effective solution providing 30 percent cost savings over line-of-sight microwave and millimeter-wave solutions, as well as a 55 percent cost reduction compared with savings as compared to fiber-optic backhaul. The solution is easily installed in less than 15 minutes by a single technician and is self-configuring, further reducing long-term operating costs. The solution offers breakthrough capacity of 83 Mbps in a 10-megahertz-wide MHz bandwidth channel. www.blinqnetworks.com

Mobile Backhaul Test Solutions

Sunrise Telecom has introduced the RxT for mobile backhaul network assurance. The RxT Smart Productivity Test Platform will help facilitate and assure network deployments for business services and mobile backhaul. The modules allow technicians to quickly verify proper operation of backhaul networks physical layer (E1, SDH/SONET). Parameters like optical power and frequency can determine if the circuit has been correctly set up and that there are no major issues with the media. Maintaining high-quality synchronization in the wireless base station ensures smooth call hand-offs, reducing the number of dropped calls. For E1/T1 circuits, proper synchronization can be verified by using a RxT test set that can accept a reference signal and measure the frequency of the received signal. Frequency deviation measurement or clock slips detection will determine if the signal being analyzed is locked to the reference timing. The RxT modules can perform bit- error- rate tests at any rate from DS1/E1 to 2.5G SDH/SONET. www.sunrisetelecom.com