Sunday, September 4, 2011

Virgin Media Business Builds Sync-E Mobile Backhaul Network

Virgin Media Business announced its plans to deploy a mobile backhaul network across the UK to serve the 35.2 million customers of Everything Everywhere and Three. The rollout will reach about 50% of UK mainland cell sites.

Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) is a 50/50 joint venture company owned by Three and Everything Everywhere. Everything Everywhere is the joint venture that operates the networks for T-Mobile (UK) and Orange (UK).

Specifically, Virgin Media will deploy 14 regional aggregation networks across the UK that extend 1 Gbps Ethernet to the base station using Sync-E technology. Every cell site will be connected via fibre with as few hops as possible to minimize latency. Virgin Media will be using ITU-T G.8262 Synchronous Ethernet, although it noted that ITU 1588 version 2 be overlaid. Cell site connectivity is upgradable in 1 Gbps increments. The operator expects to offer 10 Gbps cell site connectivity in the future.

Neil Berkett, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said: "People no longer expect to simply make calls from their mobile phone. Being connected all the time to social networks, the internet and their favourite apps is very much a basic expectation which operators need to deliver on. Investing now means they'll be able to deal with the escalating data demands of today and tomorrow."

Graham Payne, Managing Director, MBNL, said: "Mobile data and the increase in smartphone usage is a big growth opportunity for us. Connecting our end users to the online world, from any location and from any device is at the heart of what we do. Working together with Virgin Media Business, the first company in the market to offer this synchronous Gigabit Ethernet service, we will be able to scale for future demand."

  • In May 2011, Huawei confirmed a contract to upgrade the 2G network of Everything Everywhere, the joint venture that operates the networks for T-Mobile (UK) and Orange (UK). There will be a significant increase in coverage and network capacity, including indoor coverage. Customers can also expect HD voice experience for voice calls in line with the UMTS (3G) network. The upgrade will also prepare the Everything Everywhere network for its evolution to LTE in the coming years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • In November 2010, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL), the network joint-venture between Three and Everything Everywhere, completed a network sharing and consolidation project across the UK. The project, which is managed by Ericsson, consolidates more than 12,000 sites of the two operators into a common infrastructure. Everything Everywhere is the new company that runs Orange and T-Mobile in the UK.