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.”