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Luminet and CCS to offer neutral host small cell backhaul solution in London

Collaboration on sites, spectrum and self-organising wireless backhaul to support small cell deployment by mobile operators, which will help them cope with London mobile data traffic growth

Luminet and CCS are to roll out a ‘neutral host’ small cell backhaul and enterprise network across London, the two firms announced today (4 July 2016). The network will enable enterprises to receive up to 1Gbps internet access and provide mobile operators with readily-available wireless backhaul for their small cell deployments.

Small cells will be needed to cope with the increase in mobile data, as well as support the future shift to 5G, the companies argue.

The proliferation of smartphones and increase in mobile data demands in the capital is putting a huge strain on mobile operator networks. Previously mobile operators have tried to address demand with the addition of new base-stations, but installations are complicated by the planning permissions, costs and space required, especially in London.

Small cells give mobile operators the opportunity to get access to coverage and capacity in places that their legacy networks struggle to reach or have capacity constraints, whilst also providing an ecosystem that gives mobile operators a clear path for their future planning and migration to 5G.

CCS (Cambridge Communication Systems) is known for its self-organising small cell wireless backhaul system, Metnet, which delivers reliable high performance, which dynamically adapts to capacity demands and optimises spectrum usage, and is quick to deploy and easily scaled at low cost.

Although small cells are recognised as the ideal solution for operators to cope with the increase in mobile data, deployment is often hindered by site acquisition and associated planning approvals.

This is being addressed through the partnership with Luminet, which already has 1,900+ sites in London via its fixed wireless access infrastructure. Luminet also has two clean 112MHz frequency channels in perpetuity at 28GHz for the M25 region, which will be used by the CCS Metnet system.

In addition, Luminet has integrated its 3D mapping and site database into the CCS Metnet planning tool, which will simplify the design and planning stage of each London small cell deployment.

The 3D map data provided by Luminet will identify demand hotspots in the capital for on-net delivery and is highly accurate, with a resolution of less than one metre, allowing for reliable one-by-one or mass predictions without the need for physical site surveys.

Steve Greaves, CEO of CCS, said: “The combination of Luminet’s sites and spectrum assets with our self-organising wireless backhaul is a catalyst for improving mobile services across London. Our flexible mesh architecture enables us to automatically adjust the backhaul topology and assign capacity to wherever mobile operators decide to roll out small cells using Luminet sites. This partnership will simplify and reduce the cost of operators’ small cell deployments considerably.”

Sasha Williamson, CEO of Luminet, commented: “Our partnership with CCS will see one of the first self organising networks in a Tier One global city, and by adopting a neutral host strategy we are enabling how mobile operators can scale with the ongoing increase in mobile data demand in urban areas.

“London mobile network congestion is hitting a crunch point – it is one of the most digitally dependent cities in the world and is the epicentre of the UK’s digital economy, which is growing 32% faster than the rest of the economy. In order for the city to retain its competitiveness on a global stage, having the necessary digital infrastructure is paramount.”

The Small Cell Forum anticipates a demand of 0.01 GkM for urban peak data density in London. However, according to Mobile-Experts.Net, this demand has already reached 0.015 – 0.02 GkM (Gbps/Km2/MHz) for some hotspots in London.

This wireless backhaul network from CCS and Luminet, utilising the new 3D hetnet mapping capability, is planned for 23 partitions and 250 polygons across 1,050 small cell sites, enabling a transit capacity of 0.012 GkM (Gbps/Km2/MHz).

Alan Law, chair, Small Cell Forum, adds: “Multi-operator support and new flexible service models are key elements of our 5G vision. In fact Small Cell Forum recommended to the 3GPP’s RAN 5G Workshop that neutral host/multi-operator enablers should be at the heart of future-looking architectures. Solutions that enable fast and simple deployment are precisely what is required to densify networks.”


Published in Wireless Magazine

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