Cambridge Broadband Networks is working with O2to help backhaul the operator’s first public small cell Wi-Fi network in London. The small cell Wi-Fi network consists of over 100 Wi-Fi access points mounted on street furniture, such as lampposts, across the London Boroughs of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. Traffic from the Wi-Fi network will be aggregated across the mesh and transferred to a number of VectaStar point-to-multipoint nodes, where it will be backhauled to a hub in central London.

The VectaStar multipoint microwave backhaul technology, a significant advance on traditional microwave technologies, mirrors the network configuration found in the radio access network (the interface between cell tower and mobile handset), and allows O2to backhaul mobile traffic from multiple small cell networks to a single aggregation point. This fundamental change in backhaul network architecture delivers cost and efficiency benefits, particularly for next generation mobile. VectaStar will use the available 28 GHz spectrum band.

“Small Cells offer an enormous opportunity for operators to deliver high-speed and high-capacity data access to their subscribers. But the significant uplift in the number of radios needed for a small cell network, compared to today’s macrocellular networks, requires a new approach to backhaul,” commented Kevin Oemering, Account Director at Cambridge Broadband Networks.

“O2required a solution that was not only quick to deploy and supported the high capacity needed, but it also required the flexibility to quickly and easily expand the network across London. VectaStar’s multipoint microwave architecture is suitably positioned to deal with the increase in the number of cell sites as operators exploit innovative network infrastructure to serve mobile consumers.”