Siklu upgrades Pelephone’s Mobile Network Backhaul

Above: Siklu Gigabit Wireless Access point in Haifa, Israel

The Israeli mobile operator Pelephone has selected the mmWave Gigabit Wireless Access (GWA) technology developed by Siklu to migrate lower capacity microwave backhaul links to much-higher capacity Gigabit mmWave equipment. Pelephone’s legacy transmission network consists of point to point microwave solutions (18, 23GHz) used to backhaul their cell sites. While roughly 70% are connected with fiber for backhaul, 30% were using microwave for a total of more than 500 microwave links.

As the Radio Access Network added capacity with the introduction of LTE and the latest 5G NR, the microwave links began running out of capacity. Three years ago the Israel government opened the E-Band (70/80GHz) to operators, and Pelephone started its gradual upgrade. E-Band radios can support anywhere from 1Gbps full duplex up to 10Gbps full duplex. A massive increase over microwave capacities.

Initially Pelephone chose Siklu’s EtherHaul 1200 series, a carrier grade 1Gbps mmWave radio. One year later they started deploying the EtherHaul 2500, with 2Gbps full duplex capacity. All microwave links under 5km will eventually be replaced, with an expected 350-400 links total being upgraded.

Next Step: 60GHz V-Band

The EtherHaul 1200 and 2500 offer an integrated 4 port switch. This small but critical addition means less equipment to be mounted, maintained and integrated. With an initial roll out of 250 E-Band links replacing existing microwave systems, Pelephone started with gigabit connections and a roadmap to multi gigabit as 5G is deployed.

Today Pelephone has over 2 million LTE subscribers. Future plans include the Siklu 600 series carrier-class V-Band (60GHz). Founded in 2008, Siklu provides wireless backhaul solutions based on military mmWave technologies. Its products operate in the free 60GHz-70GHz/80GHz frequency bands and are based on unique antenna technology and dedicated silicon. These bands are attractive for 5G, since there is over 24GHz of available spectrum in these bands.

“We have seen the traffic levels on our network experience huge growth with each new cellular technology,” said Pelephone’s Transmission Network Senior Director, Yaniv Shahar.  “We believe that mmWave, and specifically Siklu mmWave, is a must for our Mobile Backhaul network to support the data tidal wave.”

Siklu Appoints Ben-Hamou as New CEO

As it reshape its strategy to benefit the emerging market of 5G mmWave wireless network solutions, Siklu Communication from Israel has announced the appointment of Ronen Ben-Hamou as new CEO of the company, replacing Eyal Assa. His mission is to lead the company through the Waves of the coming 5G mmWave Applications. Ben-Hamou is a veteran executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in the telecommunications.

Prior to Siklu he held the positions of EVP Products & Solutions and Head of Global R&D for IoT Technologies at Telit. Prior to that, he had served as Head of R&D in ST-Ericsson, the Modems business unit of Ericsson and GM of Entry Phone business unit at Infineon Technologies.

“His experience in C-level, general management, business and technical executive leadership roles makes him uniquely qualified to lead Siklu to the next level in the growing market of 5G mmWave solutions,” said Izik Kirshenbaum, Siklu’s Co-Founder and Chairman.

Siklu's EtherHaul radio in London provides Public Wi-Fi
Siklu’s EtherHaul radio in London provides Public Wi-Fi

Siklu was founded in 2008 to bring military mmWave wireless communication technologies into the mass markets. Its products are based on unique antenna technology and dedicated silicon. They operate in the free 60GHz-70GHz/80GHz frequency bands.  This large swath of available frequency stems from the fact that there is over 24Ghz of available spectrum in these bands coupled with extremely narrow beams yields almost unlimited spectrum.

Siklu and Sckipio combined Gfast with mmWave

Closing the digital gap should not be a long time, exhausting and expensive mission. According to the example set this week by the two Israeli companies, Sckipio and Siklu, it can be done fast, in affordable price and with spectacular results. and achueve  and in both Israeli companies, announced a breakthrough in solving the urban digital divide using millimeter wave and Gfast technology.

Together with the Civic organization DigitalC, Ohio, Sckipio and Siklu installed in the Cleveland Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), the first commercial solution to  connect fiber from the street to a low-income, multi-dwelling unit (MDU). This breakthrough wireless millimeter-Gfast combined solution is delivering real-world aggregate broadband speeds topping 800Mbps – up to 40 times faster than the national U.S. average.

Broadband over Copper Wires

Sckipio develops standards-compliant Gfast modems used to enable ultra-broadband access and mobile backhaul. It deliver high speed to each resident over existing copper phone wires. The company partners with more than 30 companies globally on Gfast and is one of the leading contributors to the ITU-T standard. Siklu develops mmWave wireless connectivity radios operating in the virtually interference free 60GHz-70GHz/80GHz frequency bands. This large swath of available frequency stems from the fact that there is over 24Ghz of available spectrum in these bands.

In this installation, Siklu’s millimeter wave solution was used to bring ultrafast speeds to the building – avoiding the disruption and pollution from digging up streets and installing fiber. Then, within the building, the solution used Sckipio’s Gfast technology to deliver high speed to each resident over existing copper phone wires.

“Our Gfast technology was built to deliver ultra-high-speed broadband to the masses,” said David Baum, CEO of Sckipio. “This installation proves that Gfast is helping to solve the urban digital divide by bringing the Internet to those who had no access or very slow speeds.”

Fiber-like speed without Disruptive Installations

“The ability of our EtherHaul mmWave wireless to deliver up to 10Gbps to the building and Sckipio’s Gfast technology to deliver the broadband access to the individual apartments, is the best-in-class and affordable solution for urban communities,” said Siklu Co-Founder and Chairman Izik Kirshenbaum.

Initial speed tests run after the installation clocked individual unit connectivity at up to 650Mbps down and 160Mbps up, providing fiber-like, aggregate speeds for residents who previously had no internet connectivity. The average U.S. broadband speed hovers around 18Mbps and achieving higher speeds usually requires expensive, time-consuming and disruptive fiber installations or anti-competitive cable agreements.

“Gfast has the potential to compete with fiber and cable installations and serve the underserved urban markets,” said Teresa Mastrangelo, Founder, Broadbandtrends LLC. Gfast provides access over traditional copper wires or coax cables that are already in most apartment buildings. Ultrafast broadband speeds are delivered by connecting to the existing infrastructure with a Gfast unit inside or next to the building. Unlike fiber, Gfast solutions use existing infrastructure, which eliminates the expense from installing fiber all the way.