O2 picks Cambridge Broadband Networks to backhaul public Wi-Fi network

Telecom Lead Europe: British mobile operator O2 has tied
up with Cambridge Broadband Networks to backhaul its first public small cell
Wi-Fi network in London.

O2 mobile customers will benefit as the small cell Wi-Fi
network covers more than 100 Wi-Fi access points mounted on street furniture,
such as lampposts.

Offered across the London Boroughs of Westminster and
Kensington & Chelsea, O2 will offer outdoor Wi-Fi experience for O2’s
customers in London this summer.

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.

“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,” said Kevin Oemering, account director at Cambridge
Broadband Networks.

“O2 required 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,” Oemering added.

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 O2 to backhaul mobile traffic from
multiple small cell networks to a single aggregation point. VectaStar will use
the available 28 GHz spectrum band.

Cambridge Broadband Networks said its technology provides
operators with a highly compelling business case, reducing backhaul costs by up
to 60 percent.

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