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Mobile World Congress

Published 14 April 2014 in 5G FWA
Tags: Backhaul, NGMN, Mobile World Congress, VectaStar, Economics, Capacity, LTE-A, LTE
Dr John Naylon, Chief Technology Officer, CBNL

Dr John Naylon, Chief Technology Officer, CBNL

CBNL doubles mobile backhaul capacity for LTE networks At Mobile World Congress this year, CBNL launched ODU-W, its VectaStar wideband point-to-multipoint (PMP) backhaul solution.

As well as being the highest capacity PMP backhaul solution in the marketplace, ODU-W is the fifth generation of the VectaStar portfolio: 5G backhaul!

The VectaStar platform has been under continuous development for over a decade.

During that time the capacity the product line can serve in a single sector has increased by a factor of ten, from 120Mbps to 1.2Gbps, while at the same time the total cost of ownership of the solution has fallen dramatically.

Correspondingly the worldwide adoption of PMP as a backhaul technology has grown rapidly and VectaStar is now used by seven of the world’s top ten largest operator groups by subscriber numbers.

Of course we are being slightly tongue-in-cheek in referring to the latest version of VectaStar as “5G backhaul”.

Most people will understand this as referring to backhaul for the generation of RAN systems that will come after 4G (LTE and LTE-Advanced).

Audience at the NGMN Press ConferenceCBNL are members of, and significant contributors to, the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, or NGMN, an industry collaboration that was pivotal in the worldwide adoption of LTE.

We are therefore extremely excited by the NGMN’s new initiative for 5G announced at Mobile World Congress, and look forward to collaborating on the first outputs, expected later this year.

This kind of industry partnership is one of the prime ways that CBNL ensures its products are suited to the most demanding networking applications on earth, soon also to include 5G backhaul!

Chris Wright, Marketing Manager, CBNL

CBNL recently joined TeleSemana, AT&T, the Small Cell Forum and Alcatel Lucent to discuss the latest small cell trends.

Filmed at Mobile World Congress and facilitated by Rafael Junquera from TeleSemana, the discussion focused on the following themes:

  • What is the small cell market status?
  • What small cell plans are operators making?
  • Is LTE-A a key factor for small cells due to eICIC and CoMP and how do they impact deployments?
  • What have we learned from implementations and trials about deploying small cells in the different scenarios?
  • Is interoperability an issue?
  • How close are we to plug and play?

Watch the film

Published 18 February 2014 in 5G FWA, Events
Tags: The Mobile Network, LTE, VectaStar, wideband, Mobile World Congress

Dr John Naylon, Chief Technology Officer, CBNL

We recently spoke to The Mobile Network about some of the novel approaches our customers are taking to building next generation backhaul.

Just as application-specific physical servers in the data centre are becoming a thing of the past, at CBNL we think that application-specific networks are starting to go the same way. 

By re-using the same physical infrastructure to run multiple virtual network applications, our customers are making significant savings and creating additional benefits, such as lowered end-user churn.

Taking advantage of powerful, in-built QoS-aware scheduling and soft service definitions, CBNL’s VectaStar platform transforms a previously inflexible and costly part of the network. 

Multiple virtual networks are easily defined and new requirements like small cell backhaul can be added when needed.

The figure below shows data from one of our customers who are back hauling 3G, LTE and enterprise access across a high capacity VectaStar network at 26 and 28GHz. 

The network already comprises almost 5,000 links. Despite the mobile data traffic trebling in less than two years, there is plenty of room for further growth not just in the raw number of links, but also by adding completely new backhaul applications, such as small cell.

The feature can be found on pages 30-33 of the latest edition of The Mobile Network.

If you’re in Barcelona next week, please come and visit us at the CBNL stand - Hall 5, Stand 5H27

We’ll be running a live demo of the new VectaStar wideband platform showing how a high capacity mobile cell site can be backhauled within the same sector as an enterprise access customer with a custom QoS profile.

We hope to see you there.

CBNL stand location at Mobile World Congress 2014

Hall 5, Stand 5H27

Chris Wright, Marketing Manager, CBNL

Four days of cutting edge innovation, industry insight and packed schedules - once again Mobile World Congress lived up to expectations.

For us this year was all about big devices, big processors and big networks to cope with extreme data demands.

Four key themes stood out…


#1 Bigger and quicker devices

Larger screens, faster processors and multi-cores grabbed the headlines.

Advanced features were also in abundance, including LTE and Near Field Communication which will play a notable role in mobile payments.

With innovative features too numerous to list, one thing in common is the growing appetite of these data hungry devices.


#2 The mobile wallet

Facebook set the scene with the launch of their mobile payment ecosystem, whilst Visa’s partnerships with Intel and Vodafone strengthened this theme.

Although much activity was focused on the purchase of goods via mobiles in developed markets, it is not just these territories where m-commerce is relevant.

Citi outlined over 5 billion people have mobiles but there is only 1.8 billion bank accounts. The key message was on developing technology and business cases to enable easy and secure payments via mobile – particularly relevant to the high population of unbanked customers in emerging markets.


#3 Higher-order modulation

Impressive technical achievements were on show from microwave vendors with higher-order modulation schemes moving from 256QAM to 1024QAM, and even 2048QAM in the case of NEC.

Although this increases capacity, the average peak to mean ratio for data traffic is still 4:1 which leaves the backhaul link utilised by only 25%.

We’ve found aggregating cell site traffic through statistical multiplexing can have equally impressive capacity gains and maximise spectral efficiency.


Dr John Naylon, CTO at CBNL, discusses higher-order modulation at this year’s event.


#4 Het-nets and small cell backhaul

Het-nets were clearly on the agenda for operators, with strategies focused on deploying the likes of LTE and Wi-Fi to areas of high traffic demand.

Small cells will play an important role in serving het-nets and small cell backhaul was a big issue.

Surprisingly we witnessed very few firm backhaul proposals which addressed operator’s requirements of coverage, capacity and low cost.

There was a strong consensus from analysts that wireless backhaul is more relevant than ever in this context and that operators main concerns are; fibre cost and deployment time; total cost of ownership; backhaul logistics and cost per mbps of traffic.

We proposed our own point to multipoint microwave small cell backhaul solution which mirrors the network configuration found in the radio access network. We believe this one of the few that addresses operator’s key requirements of capacity, coverage and cost.

Find out more in our latest small cell white paper.


So with MWC 2012 behind us, it’s time to start preparing for 2013. With the GSMA announcing a change of venue to the impressive Fira de Barcelona Gran, there is much to look forward to.

Chris Wright, Marketing Manager, CBNL

Looking forward to Mobile World Congress 2012Trawling through the tweets, articles and blogs surrounding Mobile World Congress this year several strong themes seem to be emerging, from the need for improved user Quality of Experience, to small cells and the challenge to deploy LTE networks quickly and cost effectively.

Now, more than ever, backhaul is coming to the fore as a crucially important element of mobile networks and operators are displaying an appetite for low-cost, high-capacity links to solve their backhaul issues.

We will once again be at the event, joining other industry leaders in these discussions.

CBNL is wholly focussed on wireless point to multipoint microwave transmission solutions to meet the access and backhaul needs of mobile operators around the world and we design, develop and supply equipment suitable for a range of needs.

Our VectaStar Gigabit product is a macro cell solution with all of the capacity and features required to backhaul existing mobile network traffic and to transition to an all IP LTE environment when the need arises.

As with many other companies at the event, part of our focus will be on small cells, but more specifically on the backhaul complexities these present to the network.

Our small cell backhaul solutions, which are currently in development, will deliver the same carrier class reliability but have been redesigned for rapid rollout of small cells at street level.

Come and have a chat with the CBNL team at Mobile World Congress 2012 to learn more about why we think we have major contributions to make to any operator’s long-term access and backhaul strategy.

Why not email us at to book a meeting?

Join our CTO at Mobile World Congress…

Why not join our CTO, Dr John Naylon, as he and other industry experts consider the energy efficiency challenges facing operators when deploying their networks.

Topics such as energy sector challenges, sub-component innovation and ICT technologies will be covered as the need for future network energy efficiency is addressed.

To sign up, register here.