August 6, 2015 — For small cells to reach their potential, high-speed, reliable backhaul is essential. Urban areas, which hold some of the greatest promise for small cell demand, also pose some of the greatest challenges for backhaul.
Transmitting financial transactions pose some of the same backhaul challenges and need for low latency and high reliability. For example, Perseus, a provider of connectivity, has deployed a non-line-of-site connection to backhaul securities trading for a financial services firm in Manhattan.
The system, a Fastback Networks’ Intelligent Backhaul Radio (IBR), extends fiber-based services via wireless to a location that is surrounded by skyscrapers in the concrete confines of the inner city.
“We asked Perseus to give us a customer it had not been able to reach,” Kevin Duffy, CEO and founder of San Jose-based Fastback Networks, told AGL Small Cell Link. “The customer was in a downtown corridor in New York, which is a very hard radio environment. There is absolutely no way to see between the Perseus point of presence transmission site and the customers’ end point, because of all the skyscrapers in the way.
Fastback placed auto-aligned, self-synchronized sub-6 GHz radios on each endpoint and through proprietary technology provides 760 Mbps aggregate throughput.
There is single path for the signal. It bounces and caroms, splits up and multipaths off of the buildings. Using analytics, however, the system finds the dominant path at any given moment that gives the strongest signal and the highest degree of certainty. Sort of like a high-tech game of pinball.
“We found one path that bounces of the new Freedom Tower, which has been specially treated to reflect the sun,” Duffy said. “So our signal caroms off that structure and a few others to give them performance that exceeded their requirements.”
Small Cell Backhaul Has the Need for Speed
The Fastback technology has applications that go beyond carrying financial transactions to backhauling small cell signals, which need fast network connections to handle LTE backhaul and new fronthaul and cloud applications.
“We are moving from a day when Layer 2 connectivity to the Internet was satisfactory to a high-performance expectation for capacity and latency,” Duffy said. “In the case of LTE, the transaction timing between the nodes is very, very tight and if you have too many milliseconds of delay, because of your path length or your processing time, the network doesn’t work and you get dropped calls and failed handoffs, as well as problems with cloud applications that are time dependent.”