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Multipoint Microwave for O2 4G trial
Tuesday 15 November 2011 10:52:48 by Andrew Ferguson

Cambridge Broadband Networks and its VectaStar multipoint microwave hardware is to be used in the recently announced O2 4G mobile broadband trial in London. The 2.6 GHz band used by the trial 4G service, will have most of its tower sites backhauling using a 26 GHz microwave link.

The advantage of this way of getting data from a cell tower back to the core network is that it allows for more rapid deployment, and by aggregating capacity at a central point, will allow for efficiency cost savings, namely that a 10 Gig connection is a lot cheaper than 10 x 1 Gig links in separate locations.

For the use of 4G in increasing broadband coverage into parts of the UK where landline broadband fails to meet current expectations, the ability to send data from outlying cell towers to towns with existing and cheaper fibre backhaul provision will be important in delivering the fastest speed possible for every pound spent.

Comments

Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
"10 Gig connection is a lot cheaper than 10 x 1 Gig links in separate locations."

The VectaStar info talks about a few tens of Mbits per link. They sort of statmux it across multiple links for efficiency reasons (aka contention).

I'd be astounded if it got anywhere near needing (or providing) multiple gigabit-class links. Sometimes I'm astounded.

"the ability to send data from outlying cell towers to towns with existing and cheaper fibre backhaul provision"

Lovely in principle, but 3G coverage is still largely useless, why will 4G be different?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
While I agree 3G is often heavily congested, it is vastly better than just GPRS or Edge.

http://www.cbnl.com/downloads/cbnl_vsgigabit_datasheet.pdf 175 Mbps per sector

A fair step-up from the 3G masts I suspect.
Posted by therioman over 5 years ago
I have to say this is another classic situation where the "retail" service won't be anywhere near as good as the technical trials.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
if 4G gets onto 800 MHz it'll go further and get into buildings. 2.6 GHz is higher than wifi.

Any extra spectrum brings more bandwidth into play, if the consumer kit can use it.
Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
"[3G] is vastly better than just GPRS or Edge."

The technology is, but the availability/coverage is a different question. 175Mbit does sound nice.

"the "retail" service won't be anywhere near as good as the technical trials. "

Quite.

"if 4G gets onto 800 MHz"

800MHz may have better range and penetration, but that may also mean more users per cell, no? And how much spectrum (how many MHz) are available at 800MHz (vs available MHz at 2.6GHz).
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
Spectrum depends on the outcome of the auction - the MHz per operator is the only useful metric for an individual consumer.

Total is 70 @ 800 and 180 @ 2.6 I think.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@c_j_ only more users per cell where this is desirable, ie rural areas. In dense urban areas, they would still likely reduce the cell size to allow for sensible capacities as they do at the moment. GSM can do 35km range, and Motorola pushed it to 120km, but I can't imagine there is that much demand for it to reach that far, only in the most sparse of areas.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
@c_j_

Which operator?
Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
@otester re "which operator?"

Sorry, context unclear. Try again?
Posted by Twigman over 5 years ago
@john GSM is limited to 35km because of the timing requirements and the speed of light propagation. I can't see how Motorola could extend this, but I would be interested to see a link if you had one?
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