Virgin Media Business has completed a trial of a millimetre wave small cell backhaul network, with installation time of a radio taking less than 15 minutes.
The wholesale company used backhaul radio equipment supplied by Israeli vendor Siklu, whose Ethernet-600T units were set up on different types or lampposts in a street in Leeds, England.
The units provide gigabit throughput and have advanced networking and multiple ports in order to be deployed in a daisy chain or ring manner.
Bruce Girdlestone, Senior Business Development Manager at Virgin Media Business, said: “We have been impressed with how well Siklu’s radios have performed. During the trial, they were tested with both rain and varying wind conditions, which often disturbs the unit's position on the pole, and have continued to run smoothly."
The trial was set up to determine the feasibility of street level deployments, given the lack of access to furniture, whether it is personnel or time to deploy. The experiment also sought out to determine whether the equipment could be installed by those without dedicated telecoms expertise.
Shahar Peleg, Director of Product Management for Siklu, commented: "Siklu is very focused on driving down small cell installation and operational backhaul costs for operators, which is why we’ve just added an auto-alignment kit and zero touch commissioning to the EtherHaul-600T. That reduces installation time to under 15 minutes."
Virgin Media Business has been working in Leeds since 2012, when it was given a concession by the local council to deploy a small cell network. The wholesaler has also trialled small cell technology in Bradford, Newcastle and Bristol. Earlier this year, it held another millimetre wave trial, this time with Sub10 Systems.