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Alcatel-Lucent boosts microwave offering

Equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent has added millimetre wave radio to its backhaul portfolio following a global supply and distribution with UK-based Sub 10 Systems.

Under the terms of the deal, Sub 10’s high-speed, high capacity millimetre wave Liberator radio links will now be included by Alcatel-Lucent as part of its metro cell backhaul portfolio, to provide links to mobile network radios in densely populated locations.

The Sub10 Liberator links have a range of up to one kilometre and can be deployed daisy-chain-style to cover longer distances, though in city centres most of the link deployments are less than 500 metres.

Sub 10 CEO Stuart Broome said: “We are asked just as much about the minimum distance for one of our links as we are the maximum. In fact, passing a signal across, say 30 metres, in a crowded indoor location such as a shopping mall or railway station; or outdoors across a river or a busy road, is achieved much more easily and quickly using one of our links than could ever be achieved by cable.”

Francois Allain, VP wireless transmission product unit at Alcatel-Lucent said: “Metro cell backhaul solutions must provide flexibility, most notably wireless access capabilities for a wide variety of locations, some quite compact. They also need to be able to deliver high bandwidth and strong quality of service in a cost-effective manner.”

Microwave transport still seems to be a technology that the big vendors are not keeping in house. The deal between Alcatel-Lucent and Sub 10 is similar to that between Nokia Siemens Networks and DragonWave, struck last year as a result of NSN offloading its microwave product line.

Under the deal, DragonWave became the preferred, strategic supplier of packet microwave and related products to NSN and the companies jointly coordinate technology development activities.

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