Backhaulin' LTE in London

12:40 PM -- There's an interesting wireless backhaul story in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial announcement from Telefónica UK Ltd. 's O2 today. (See O2 Lights Up London LTE Trial .)

For the first time, O2 is throwing a point-to-multipoint system into the wireless backhaul mix for its nine-month LTE trial in London. Point-to-multipoint is not a typical wireless backhaul technology choice as operators usually use point-to-point systems in developed markets, and it's one of the several alternatives being talked about recently for LTE and small cell mobile networks.

According to Rob Joyce, head of LTE at O2, the operator wants to have a look at point-to-multipoint to see if it can cope with LTE. The system used for the trial can deliver 150 Mbit/s to the cell site, which is "sufficient" for LTE, he said.

Also, since LTE is a packet-only network that has high peak-to-average ratios -- which could have very "bursty" applications running on it -- Joyce said that a point-to-multipoint network could be useful to handle the traffic peaks as well as deliver enough capacity for the average traffic levels as well.

For the backhaul portion of the London LTE trial, O2 is putting Cambridge Broadband Networks Ltd. 's point-to-multipoint kit to the test, along with traditional point-to-point wireless backhaul gear from NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) and Nokia Networks , as well as some fiber connections.

According to Cambridge Broadband's marketing VP, Lance Hiley, the majority of the 25 cell sites in O2's LTE trial will be backhauled with the company's point-to-multipoint products.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

macster 12/5/2012 | 5:46:19 PM
re: Backhaulin' LTE in London

"The system used for the trial can deliver 150 Mbit/s to the cell site, which is "sufficient" for LTE, he said."

Is that for the case where there is only one cell site in the PMP sector? What happens when there are more cell sites covered by the sector? Let's say 4 cell sites in the sector (a good number for business case calculation)?

Apparently, PMP is good for urban areas, like this London trial. But there's a lot of competition here. Especially with many buildings in urban area fibred up.

Looking at the economics of a single cell site, from an initial 100Mb/s per site and going to 1000Mb/s per site,  I wonder how a PMP approach compares, with say, BT's MEAS offering.


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