Why Pelephone selected Siklu for Gigabit mmWave equipment

Siklu announced that Pelephone, a mobile operator in Israel, has selected Siklu to migrate lower capacity microwave backhaul links to higher capacity Gigabit mmWave equipment.
Siklu backhaul for telecoms
Siklu is a supplier of fixed 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology for Gigabit Wireless Access (GWA).

Bezeq Israel Telecom’s Pelephone unit has over 2 million LTE subscribers in Israel. Pelephone will not be able to shift most of them to the much higher bandwidth 5G network.

Pelephone had an extensive transmission network of point to point microwave solutions (18, 23GHz) to backhaul their cell sites. While roughly 70 percent is connected with fiber for backhaul, 30 percent is using microwave for more than 500 microwave links.

Pelephone faced issues in microwave capacity for connecting cell sites as the Radio Access Network added capacity with the introduction of LTE and 5G NR.

Traditional microwave ensured range for the telecom operator. But the capacities topped out at 400Mbps which could only be achieved with advanced technologies.

Three years ago the Israel government opened the E Band (70/80GHz) to mobile operators, and Pelephone opted E Band radios that can support anywhere from 1Gbps full duplex up to 10Gbps full duplex.

With an initial roll out of 250 E Band links replacing existing microwave systems, Pelephone started with gigabit connections and a roadmap to multi gigabit as 5G is deployed. Pelephone decided to select Siklu for E Band radios.

Initially Pelephone selected Siklu’s EtherHaul 1200 series, a carrier grade 1Gbps mmWave radio. One year later they started deploying the EtherHaul 2500 grade radio with 2Gbps full duplex capacity. All microwave links under 5km will eventually be replaced with mmWave.

Pelephone engineers realized that upgrading backhaul connections provides capacity boost and will ensure economical benefits from both Capex and Opex perspective. The operator saves money with every microwave link it replaces since license fees for E Band deployment is significantly lower than those for microwave.

Pelephone’s Transmission Network Senior Director Yaniv Shahar said: “We believe that mmWave, and specifically Siklu mmWave, is a must for our Mobile Backhaul network to support today and tomorrow’s data tidal wave.”

Pelephone continues replacing microwave links with Siklu EtherHaul products, with an expected 350-400 links total being upgraded.

The EtherHaul 1200 and 2500 offer an integrated 4 port switch, in addition to lower Opex from reduced licensee fees.

The mobile operator may deploy Siklu 600 series carrier-class V Band (60GHz) solutions as there are no license fees for these radios, reducing Opex. Siklu 600 series are the smallest carrier grade Gbps radios delivering range and capacity, assisting site engineers in the site acquisition and installation of upcoming 5G small cells on street furniture.