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Industry News / Small/Pico/Femto Cells Channel / European Industry News

Virgin Media Business and Siklu trial urban small cell backhaul network in UK

May 30, 2014
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Siklu, a leader in millimeter-wave backhaul systems, and Virgin Media Business have successfully trialled a small cell backhaul network in Leeds, UK. In the trial, which was conducted under typical small cell network conditions, Siklu radios were installed on lighting poles across Leeds by installers without any telecommunications experience. The EtherHaul-600T backhaul radios were easily deployed and performed flawlessly during the trial.

Siklu’s EtherHaul-600T is designed for deployment on any type of street furniture and provides gigabit throughput along with advanced networking and multiple ports for deployment in daisy chain or ring topologies.

In the first step of the trial, a small cell network on the street furniture proved the feasibility of street level deployments. There are a number of installation and operational challenges in these deployments that operators haven’t faced with their macrocell deployments.

For example, access to street furniture is limited, both in terms of personnel and time to deploy. Unit size has to be small, so it blends in with the environment, and equipment needs to perform reliably despite street pole sway, twist, and tilt.

For the trial, Virgin Media Business deployed Siklu's EtherHaul-600T units up and down a major street in Leeds, on different types of lighting poles. The installation went quickly and smoothly, and the equipment has been working flawlessly since installation.

“We have been impressed with how well Siklu’s radios have performed. During the trial, they were tested with both rain and varying wind conditions, which often disturbs the unit's position on the pole, and have continued to run smoothly,” said Bruce Girdlestone,  senior business development manager, Virgin Media Business.

“The Leeds trial is quite typical of small cell backhaul scenarios we’ve seen," said Shahar Peleg, Director of Product Management for Siklu. "Our EtherHaul-600T shines on the street. It’s the smallest backhaul radio in the world. It can be installed by any installer with authorized access to the street poles, with no telco background needed, and it provides enough capacity for the complex topologies needed in street level installations."

He added, “Siklu is very focused on driving down small cell installation and operational backhaul costs for operators, which is why we’ve just added an auto-alignment kit and zero touch commissioning to the EtherHaul-600T. That reduces installation time to under 15 minutes.”

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