Leading UK service provider UK Broadband, which has been using Siklu
70-80 GHz E-band millimeter wave equipment in its customers' wireless
solutions, is now putting those same systems to work in backhauling
small cell traffic for its central London 4G network.
UK Broadband, the nation's largest commercial holder of radio spectrum
suitable for 4G mobile services and fixed wireless solutions, has built
a 4G network across central London. That network uses a combination of
macro and small cells, with fiber as the primary backhaul medium and
microwave backhaul to connect the macro cell sites and the fiber drop
points. Typically, UK Broadband uses a combination of 42 GHz and 28 GHz
broadband, where the company owns spectrum.
The UK Broadband 4G network also incorporates small cells installed on
street lighting columns, similar to lightposts but thicker and with less
sway. What UK Broadband needed was a cost-effective backhaul solution to
be mounted on those columns that would take up very little space.
After ruling out standard microwave links because of their bulky dish
size and weight, UK Broadband looked at the EtherHaul-1200 system from
Siklu, the industry leader in the E-band millimeter wave market. UK
Broadband was familiar with EtherHaul's compact size, low cost, and low
power requirements, and recognized its potential in small cell backhaul.
With space at a premium on the street lighting columns, the backhaul
antennas must be as compact as possible. As Steve Hobs, CTO of UK
Broadband, pointed out, "Siklu's dish is small and unobtrusive, and that
was an important consideration."
The EtherHaul system also features low power requirements, which can be
delivered via Power over Ethernet (PoE) or direct 48-volt power from the
small cell. Those power features keep operating costs low even as
EtherHaul delivers the capacity necessary for the backhaul traffic.
"The cost of Siklu compared to standard microwave is very competitive,"
Hobbs added. "The equipment itself is lower cost, and installing it can
be done simply and inexpensively as well. All you need is line of sight
to your cell site."
In testing EtherHaul as a small cell backhaul solution, the equipment
performed as expected, providing very stable throughput. UK Broadband is
using both the TDD and FDD versions of EtherHaul, taking advantage of
the strengths of each in different backhaul scenarios.
As the company continues to expand the 4G network, UK Broadband intends
to use EtherHaul across all of their street light column sites where
there is line of sight and a transmission distance less than one
"This is one more application where EtherHaul is the ideal solution,"
said Andrew Westerman, Siklu's Sales Director for Western Europe. "We
have been at the forefront of millimeter wave backhaul design for a
number of years, and we continue to innovate to enable operators to
deploy mobile backhaul solutions and keep their total cost of ownership
Siklu builds gigabit millimeter-wave wireless backhaul solutions over
the 70/80 GHz E-band and 60 GHz V-band. Based on a unique all-silicon
design that reduces price, minimizes the form factor, and increases
reliability, Siklu's radios are ideal for macro and small cell backhaul.
Leveraging this state-of-the-art all-silicon radio technology, Siklu
developed the EtherHaul-600T, a palm-sized all-outdoor small cell
backhaul product that allows rapid deployment anywhere, including street
lamps, rooftops, and the sides of buildings. Representing a crucial
advance for mass deployment of small cells, the integrated, all-silicon
Siklu approach brings down costs to a fraction of other millimeter wave
solutions. Siklu's field-proven technology is becoming the top choice of
Tier 1 operators for gigabit backhaul worldwide, and thousands of units
have been deployed and are operating reliably in all weather conditions.
About UK Broadband
UK Broadband Limited provides wireless data capacity, equipment,
services and solutions to the telecoms industry, service providers,
channel partners and the public sector. UK Broadband switched on the
first 4G LTE system for commercial services in the UK in February 2012
and is the UK's largest commercial holder of national radio spectrum
suitable for 4G mobile services and fixed wireless solutions. UK
Broadband is a wholly owned subsidiary of PCCW
Limited (PCCW), the holding company of HKT Group Holdings Limited,
Hong Kong's premier telecommunications provider and a world-class player
in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).
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