Mark Bridge writes:
Some parts of the mobile industry have more glamour than others. New handsets often attract celebrity endorsements, while behind-the-scenes technology rarely hits the mainstream headlines unless it goes wrong.
One of the areas most under pressure at the moment is ‘backhaul’; essentially the connection between a cell site and the rest of the mobile network. As more and more people buy smartphones, so more and more data is being carried by mobile networks - and it’s putting every network’s backhaul infrastructure under increasing pressure.
Traditionally, backhaul has been provided via a wired connection or by using a microwave radio link. However, copper cables have limited capacity and the microwave spectrum is becoming troubled by interference and congestion. Fibre offers a solution, although the cost and practicality of running a physical connection can often cause problems.
The E-band spectrum promises an answer that’s both easily deployed and inexpensive. Siklu Communication is an Israeli company that’s created an E-band wireless backhaul package for operators, so I spoke to Gaby Junowicz, Siklu’s vice president of Marketing and Business Development, to learn more.
Gaby explained the problems facing existing wireless backhaul.
“They normally use ‘traditional bands’ which range from 6GHz to 38GHz, in which the normal channel bandwidth would be a few megahertz - and this presents a kind of bottleneck for itself. In most European countries nowadays there is a sort of congestion in these bands; in particular in urban areas where the use of these wireless links is the predominant technology. The second issue is that… normally they can allocate channels of not more than 56MHz. This means the capacity that can be provided over these channels is slightly limited. We are almost coming to the saturation point.”
“Due to this demand, the regulators [are] opening up the new spectrum, the one called E-band, which ranges between 70GHz and 80GHz. First of all, the channels are wider; they range from 250MHz/channel and up to a few gigahertz, allowing more data throughput. On the other hand, due to the physical characteristics of this spectrum and this technology, [it] is very easy to use very narrow beam links... which practically lets the regulator reuse this spectrum again and again. It provides a kind of unlimited bandwidth that could serve all the demands of all operators at every single point.”
You can listen to the full interview with Gaby in our podcast on 27th May 2011.
|It’s simple to hear Gaby Junowicz talking about the Siklu Communications wireless backhaul solution in our podcast. Simply find The Fonecast on iTunes, subscribe to our RSS feed or listen on our website.