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December 2010

A broad spectrum of issues

As we hear too often now, mobile networks will have to work hard if they are to cope with the exponential increase in traffic created by a huge rise in smartphone and tablet PC users. And this trend is only set to continue as attention turns to the lack of spectrum available that is needed in order to build the networks to cope with this increased pressure.

As CNet News warns:

“if more wireless spectrum is not made available soon, the mobile industry will not have enough capacity to keep up with demand from customers, and growth will grind to a halt.”

Quite a sobering thought. As a result Cambridge Broadband Networks recently commissioned the Innovation Observatory to consider in some detail, the effect that this trend will have on the availability of spectrum, in European cities specifically, and what operators might need to do about it to keep their networks running.

It can be said that there has been, and will continue to be, significant investment in mobile networks all across Europe as mobile operators consider how they need to prepare for the introduction of services based on LTE (Long Term Evolution). Backhaul networks must be designed in a way that is cost-effective, while also making use of technology advances in both fixed and microwave transmission. Legacy infrastructure bears the signs of the most popular way for operators to build backhaul networks, but it cannot cope with the increased capacity needed to carry the volumes of traffic now being generated.

But if microwave is to retain its position as the dominant backhaul technology, how will this issue of depleting spectrum be addressed?

To find out more why not request a copy of the Innovation Observatory report.

Green is the new black

Green issues

In the July and October issues of Infocast we took a ‘cradle-to-grave’ look at the life-cycle of a point-to-multipoint (PMP) network built using CBNL’s VectaStar equipment. After deployment, compared with alternative backhaul methods, PMP can result in a huge reduction in equipment requirements and therefore significant savings in energy and a reduction in power consumption as a result. At each stage of the life-cycle, PMP, and more specifically, VectaStar, can be seen to have a positive impact on the environment compared to alternative backhaul methods.

But when the equipment reaches the end of its life, what happens then?

As we have already addressed in the previous two parts of this article series, as the leading point-to-multipoint (PMP) solution, VectaStar requires approximately half as many radios as equivalent point-to-point microwave backhaul solutions. This reduction very clearly has an impact too when considering recycling at the end of the product’s life. With half as many radios to dispose of, the subsequent effect on the environment is also halved. To put this into context, according to recent CBNL research the deployment of VectaStar, if used wherever applicable, could reduce radios needed by nearly 1.5M by 2014.

CBNL is also taking active steps to ensure that once sold, deployed and at the end of its life, its equipment is sensibly disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. As part of the European Commission Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, Cambridge Broadband Networks shares a responsibility with its UK customers to ensure that products that have reached their useful end-of-life are recycled at an approved Authorised Treatment Facility to minimise the impact on the environment. By managing this process, CBNL is ensuring that the ‘green’ impact of VectaStar is maintained, right through to the last stage of the product life-cycle.

So once disposed of, what more can we do?

CBNL continues to invest heavily in R&D and strives to consistently improve and refine its product offering. As well as considering vital product specifications, such as increased throughput and cost reduction, the team also consider ideas involving design features to increase ease of disassembly, recycling and material reuse. By resolutely innovating, CBNL aims to deliver the market leading backhaul solution with minimum negative effect on the environment.

Cambridge Broadband Networks Cleans up


With our ‘green’ theme continuing, earlier this month CBNL received the ‘Fastest Growing Larger Company’ award at this year’s Cleantech Connect Awards held in London. The architecture of the point-to-multipoint network affords VectaStar customers a significant reduction in power consumption among other environmental benefits.

“Mobile backhaul is one of the most critical elements of any mobile network, but it is also power hungry and resource intensive. As a company, we took a conscious decision to better equip our customers with a backhaul solution that not only exceeds the demands placed on mobile networks by data traffic, but also one that significantly reduces power consumption and is efficient in its use of resources.”

comments Graham Peel, CEO.

It all started back in July when CBNL first submitted an entry for the awards. This competition is closely watched by both the cleantech and the financial communities, with the awards being run by GP Bullhound and sponsored by Schroders Private Banking, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, RUSTON wheb and NESTA. In early October, we were then informed that we were one of the most outstanding companies from the list of entrants, and that we had been selected to go through to the next stage and present to a panel of distinguished judges

We then had to sit back and wait…

It culminated in the ceremony itself which took place at Sketch in London, where we would find out where we had ranked against the competition. CBNL was named winner of the ‘Fastest Growing Larger Company’ award – a great way to round off the year and an award of which we are all suitably proud.

And the next award goes to…

More awards for CBNL

So to continue the theme, CBNL had an abundance of awards this year, not least, ranking 198 in the fastest growing technology companies on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA 2010, following an inclusion in the Deloitte UK Fast 50 in October.

With 864 percent revenue growth over the last five years, Peter Welch, CFO, credits expansion in the EMEA region with the deployment of fledgling mobile networks in the emerging markets. He said:

“We have witnessed strong and accelerated demand for mobile data services over the past couple of years. Cambridge Broadband Networks has been well placed to respond to that demand due to continued investment in its VectaStar platform, which is being widely deployed by operators throughout the world. We expect those deployments to expand considerably and new opportunities to emerge in the developing markets. Revenue growth of 864 percent over a five year period is a considerable achievement and bears testimony to the strength of our VectaStar proposition and Cambridge Broadband Networks’ ongoing investment in research and development.”

Read the accompanying press release.

The future of backhauling X2

The rapid adoption of data services has forced the wireless industry to rethink the way that mobile services are delivered. Compared to voice, data requires significantly more traffic and must be delivered at a much lower cost per bit in order to be profitable for operators.

Standards are constantly being worked on that address these evolving network requirements and CBNL experts have put together a white paper, in which they take a look inside the new X2 interface in further detail.

The paper analyses the tasks it needs to perform in today’s networks as well as future LTE-Advanced networks.

For these tasks we consider the implications for bandwidth and latency, and develop requirements for the backhauling of X2.

Complete this simple form to request a copy of the white paper.

Samsung backing CBNL backhaul


CBNL this week announced it has secured a $16.5M investment to fund an aggressive growth plan aimed at capitalising on worldwide demand for its next generation microwave backhaul and access solutions. This latest funding round was oversubscribed and in addition to participation from the existing investors – Accel Partners, Adara, Amadeus Capital Partners and TVM Capital – the company secured a significant contribution from two new investors including Samsung Ventures Europe.

Read the accompanying press release.

Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress

With 2010 nearly over, our attention has well and truly turned to the big event in the calendar for early next year: Mobile World Congress 2011

We will be taking an exhibition stand (1G26) and a business hospitality suite (4.3HS30) at next years show. If you’d like to book a meeting with us or drop by our stand at the event please email the events team

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!

And finally, we would like to wish all our Infocast readers a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.

– The Team at Cambridge Broadband Networks.

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