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Small cell backhaul

The dawn of the small cell era demands a fresh approach to backhaul.

The dramatic transformation of network topology needed to introduce small cells brings many new challenges and operators must review their backhaul strategies to create the most successful business case.

Along with offering high capacity, extensive coverage and rapid deployment, small cell backhaul must deliver a much lower cost per bit than its macro counterpart.

However, backhaul is backhaul. Although operators are looking to reduce costs, quality of experience must not be compromised. Backhaul must continue to be carrier grade, and improvements in efficiency must be made to cut costs.

The wideband PMP approach

Although a mix of technologies are proposed for small cell backhaul, PMP microwave offers the most attractive performance/price for the vast majority or urban deployments.

This is backed up in Infonetics’ ‘2013 Small Cell and LTE Backhaul Strategy: Global Service Provider Survey’, which stated 60% of mobile operators expect to deploy PMP by 2016.

The shortage of uncongested spectrum below 6GHz means non line of sight solutions can’t keep up with capacity demands.

Likewise the inflexibility and high cost of point-to-point (PTP) and fibre becomes all too apparent in the small cell era.

Wideband PMP is not afflicted by these limitations.

PMP speeds and simplifies installation as only one end of the link needs to be visited when commissioning, with the total cost of ownership benefit that comes with deploying approximately half the equipment.

High capacity PMP microwave makes use of the plentiful supply of spectrum which is available by the tens of GHz in these bands and offers guaranteed quality of service through licensed spectrum.

VectaStar – the world’s market leading wideband PMP platform is perfectly placed to connect up the evolving landscape of small cells.

The VectaStar Metro solution

Intelligent design for street level installation

  • Compact unobtrusive form factor designed for discreet installation on street furniture; from lampposts and traffic signage, to building walls and roof tops
  • High gain integrated antenna
  • Zero indoor footprint

LTE and Wi-Fi proven

  • The VectaStar platform is proven for LTE and Wi-Fi mobile backhaul, delivering high capacity networks for 7 of the top 10 largest mobile operators.

Quick and easy installation and alignment

  • Quick to deploy - almost half the radios compared to point-to-point
  • Simple mounting bracket allows for rapid installation and alignment by a single installer
  • Smartphone App aids and speeds up installation and alignment

High capacity and performance

  • 600Mb/s per small cell site and up to 14.4Gb/s per hub
  • Licensed spectrum provides guaranteed quality of service compared to non line of sight technologies

Low cost per bit

  • Independently proven to deliver savings of up to 54% over other forms of microwave backhaul for small cell backhaul

Scenario 1: Small cell backhaul

Small Backhaul scenario 1
Through sharing bandwidth across all cell sites in the sector, VectaStar Metro uses the backhaul spectrum more efficiently and reduces costs.

Scenario 2: Mixed small cell/macro network

Small Backhaul scenario 2
VectaStar Metro is compatible with the VectaStar Gigabit macro backhaul platform.

Whether deploying an independent small cell sector or a mixed small cell/macro network, the VectaStar portfolio offers a proven high performance solution with a leading business case over alternative technologies.

The VectaStar Metro is fully compatible with VectaStar Gigabit, providing a complete solution where the macro and small cell layers can be mixed to meet individual network requirements.