Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vodafone Trials Ethernet Microwave Backhaul Solution

Vodafone is testing new microwave technology that is capable of quadrupling current backhaul capacity.
Vodafone confirmed that is has carried out a series of trials of Ethernet microwave technology. Under current estimates, the upgrade from typical microwave backhaul technology to Ethernet microwave backhaul technology is capable of raising peak capacity from around 32 Mbps to around 180 Mbps using the same frequency range.

The Ethernet-based point-to-point technology is also designed to support IP based traffic from the Radio Access Network by deploying an adaptive modulation technique that increases throughput, decreases latency while improving quality of service levels for customers.

As the performance boost is based on upgrading the cheaper electronics in the cabinet rather than the more expensive microwave dish itself, the move also offers cost efficiencies.

"As Radio Access Networks are upgraded to reflect growing demand for mobile broadband services, it is important to ensure that the backhaul is able to deliver on that potential," said Andy MacLeod, Global Network Director of Vodafone. "The trials show that Microwave Ethernet technology can play a role in maintaining high levels of mobile broadband performance for our customers through adopting a holistic approach to maintaining service levels."

The technology is expected to be commercially available from the end of 2009.

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