Cellcom chooses CBNL millimetre wave backhaul for LTE small cells

Cellcom to accelerate LTE densification by adopting CBNL’s 28GHz licensed point-to-multipoint as a backhaul component for its outdoor small cell strategy in USA

Cellcom chooses CBNL millimetre wave backhaul for LTE small cells

Cambridge Broadband Networks’ (CBNL) 28GHz VectaStar platform has been selected by US wireless company Cellcom as a backhaul solution for its outdoor small cell strategy, increasing capacity and coverage of their LTE services for its customer base throughout the states of Wisconsin and Michigan.

With an initial trial of CBNL’s millimetre wave licensed point-to-multipoint (PMP) VectaStar solution currently underway, Cellcom plans to utilise the technology to backhaul some of the company’s first LTE outdoor small cells as a densification strategy.

By choosing CBNL’s millimetre wave technology, Cellcom is maximising the benefits of spectrum which holds exceptional levels of capacity, as highlighted recently by the Federal Communications Commission who opened it up to deliver 5G.

VectaStar reuses spectrum to offer efficient use of the 28GHz band. For example, VectaStar’s FDD platform and proprietary dynamic µ-TDMA software can offer up to 4.4Gbps of provisioned capacity per sector from just two 50MHz channel pairs.

The capacity of VectaStar, together with total cost of ownership savings of up to 50% compared with licensed point-to-point, has provided Cellcom with a business case to unlock the true benefits of millimetre wave. Not only does this provide a highly efficient path to offer cutting-edge LTE services, but enables Cellcom to scale to even greater capacities in the future.

Bob Sobieck, Director of RF engineering at Cellcom, said: “Cellcom is committed to providing the very best coverage and extraordinary levels of service for our customers. We’ve been quick to identify additional opportunities of 28GHz, and are focused on continuing to maximise the band to scale our capacity and deliver the most modern LTE services.

“By investing in the most innovative technologies, such as this, we are able to unlock the benefits of millimetre wave and look forward to bringing these to market in the form of faster data rates and deeper coverage. We look forward to working with CBNL and strengthening our long-term collaboration.”

Mark Ashford, VP North America at CBNL, said: “Cellcom is the latest in a series of forward-thinking carriers to target millimetre wave and select VectaStar as the technology that can maximise the spectrum to quickly scale backhaul and fixed wireless networks.

“With the ability to deliver 14.4Gbps per hub site and drive significant efficiency through spectrum reuse, VectaStar offers a transformational business case to scale networks and realize the true potential of this 5G spectrum. We have developed a strong partnership with Cellcom and look forward to supporting them as their network grows.”

The project marks the quick adoption of 28GHz VectaStar in the US, which has already been deployed across nine states since launching just over 18 months ago. CBNL is forecasting further growth this year following the launch of their 39GHz platform in April.

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