The First Self-Organizing 24 GHz Backhaul System for 5G Infrastructure

Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS), a multipoint-to-multipoint wireless backhaul and transport systems provider, has announced that FiberTower, the leading developer of licensed wide-area millimeter wave service solutions, has received the CCS Metnet system which is intended for immediate deployment.

The Metnet is a small cell backhaul system that meets all key requirements for high capacity and low latency, reliability, rapid deployment and easy scalability at low cost, in a small, discreet design. The CCS Metnet system uses LOS, area-based microwave spectrum, which is widely available in most markets. It operates in a single frequency channel - at 26 and 28 GHz - so no radio planning is required. Metnet nodes connect autonomously to form self-organising, self-healing links that dynamically reconfigure to optimise performance and spectral efficiency as LOS circumstances or traffic levels change, whilst minimising interference.

The system polls the network continually and automatically determines the optimal topology to deliver capacity where needed. Each cluster runs a Spatial-TDMA transmission schedule, which allows links to operate simultaneously to increase the overall capacity delivered to each small cell location.

Designed with LTE in mind, the Metnet system accommodates evolving traffic demands. It offers low latency - averaging 150 μs per hop - and high capacity at 1.2 Gbps per node. The system includes a range of synchronisation options which are enhanced through the support of GPS. Each node supports both Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) and 1588.v2, with single source and distributed GPS timing recovery to provide further synchronisation resilience.

The Metnet system has a unique multipoint-to-multipoint architecture - where each node can connect up to 16 other nodes - to provide higher resiliency and redundancy at no incremental capital expenditure. Self-organising, self-healing links automatically re-route traffic in the event of node failure or LOS obstacles. And the unit's wide 270-degree field of view ensures it's not affected by pole-sway.

With CCS Metnet, FiberTower is delivering to its customers a wireless backhaul, transport and 5G infrastructure solution that provides both line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight connectivity. CCS claims that this is the only self-organizing microwave backhaul system that is FCC-certified for operation in the 24 GHz spectrum band. Application opportunities for the 24 GHz solution include small cell and fixed wireless broadband backhaul, and fiber extension.

The FiberTower purchase marks the first delivery in North America of the CCS 24 GHz self-organizing backhaul and transport system. This low-profile, easy to deploy, multipoint-to-multipoint solution capable of half-gigabit throughput, provides their customers with carrier-grade broadband signal up to 2 km from each unit.