China Mobile and CSS deploy first self-organising small cell microwave backhaul system

February 17, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Cambridge Communication Systems Limited (CSS) has announced that its self-organising small cell microwave backhaul system for mobile networks is in live deployment with China Mobile.

The small cell network is operational now, delivering enhanced coverage and capacity in a busy urban hotspot environment and marking one of China Mobile’s first outdoor deployments of 4G LTE-TDD small cells.

In the landmark implementation, CCS’s CE-marked, self-organising backhaul nodes were deployed by local lighting contractors in only 15 minutes per site, without training or the need to perform complicated frequency planning or alignment, delivering immediate and optimal 4G coverage to China Mobile subscribers. A single compact unit connects to other units to create a multipoint-to-multipoint network that self-organises into the most optimal topology, without the requirement to post-optimise. The locations consist of a single CCS node together with a single or dual small cell, forming a 4G/LTE Macro and small cell HetNet (heterogeneous network).

The network not only offers advanced self-organisation capabilities but also features self-healing capabilities in the event of a node or link failure. The network easily provides the high capacity, low latency, carrier-class availability and high QoS required when backhauling next generation LTE small-cells. The network is now carrying live 4G traffic and the flexible architecture dynamically reconfigures and adapts, allowing the network to organically scale to connect further small cells in surrounding areas. Simple, low-cost and fast deployment significantly reduces the OPEX of the last mile backhaul, with CAPEX also reduced as only one unit is required per location.

China Mobile currently has around 763M subscribers and launched its TD-LTE network in December 2013. China Mobile expects to construct its 4G networks in over 340 cities to reach a total of more than 500,000 TD-LTE base stations by the end of 2014.

China is the world’s largest mobile market with an estimated 1.2 billion users, and was recently selected by CCS as its manufacturing base, providing the company with key access to what is expected to be the world’s biggest small cell market. According to recently released research by Dell’Oro, the global mobile backhaul