Off-loading of mobile data to Wi-Fi or licensed small cells requires access to a high speed reliable backhaul connection to route the data to the mobile operator’s core. One of the challenges here is that the backhaul network is often not under the direct control of the mobile operator. Fibre is often used to provide backhaul to outdoor Small Cell networks, with each fibre connection typically providing access to several wireless meshed Wi-Fi or Small Cell devices. As data demand and capacity of these small cells increases, the number of meshed devices is reduced leading to an increased ratio of fibre/Number of Small Cells. The wireless mesh has been historically achieved using Wi-Fi frequencies (5GHz Unlicensed or 5.8 GHz lightly licenced) but with these frequencies becoming congested in very busy cities, we advocate using licenced point to point or multipoint to multipoint technologies.
iWireless Solutions has recently designed large systems using 28GHz licenced mesh in ultra-dense urban environments with upward of 150 node locations capable delivering outdoor backhaul speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. This multipoint-to-multipoint, point-to-multipoint or point to point architecture offers self-organising, self-healing links which are capable of dynamically reconfiguring themselves to optimise performance and spectral efficiency of the wireless backhaul. One of the key advantages of these devices is the ability to automatically re-route traffic in the event of link failure.
It is important to consider that the wireless nodes providing wireless backhaul in an urban environment would normally be installed in a public access areas and are often installed on street furniture which can be hit by moving vehicles so factoring in link resilience during the backhaul design is key.
To meet street furniture landlord requirements, weight, dimensions and aesthetics of the wireless backhaul devices is also an important aspect of the design before gaining relevant permission to install such devices.
Today’s wireless devices use a multitude of technologies to connect to the internet (3G, LTE and carrier Wi-Fi) and it is possible to find urban small cells catering for each of these technologies within the same area by the same provider. In such cases, it is important that the backhaul is capable of transporting data securely and efficiently.
Advances in wireless technologies allow for service providers to offer near fixed line experience, delivering gigabit backhaul in an urban outdoor environment to support the backhaul for data hungry LTE small cells. Many mobile network operators derive timing signals from the wireline backhaul connections to synchronise the data arriving back to the operator core. Low link latency plays a key role when delivering voice over such networks. It is therefore essential to minimise link latency in order to increase call quality of service and end user experience.
A significant cost component of any large scale outdoor Small Cell network is the cost of backhaul. It is possible to minimise this cost without impacting the quality of the end user experience by careful planning. This is achieved by installing the fixed fibre lines and small cells in areas where data demand is greatest. iWireless is in the unique position to have the tools and expertise to be able to predict where data demand is greatest with a resolution of one square meter.
To find out more contact our technical specialists by email on email@example.com or phone us on 01342 305038.