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UK wireless pioneer CCS says its small cell backhaul technology is now in live deployment with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator. CCS – formerly known as Cambridge Communication Systems – says it has developed a self-organizing small cell microwave backhaul system for mobile networks.

The flexible architecture dynamically reconfigures and adapts, allowing the network to organically scale to connect further small cells in surrounding areas. CSS says it reduces cost of the last mile backhaul because a single CCS node can form a 4G/LTE Macro and small cell HetNet (heterogeneous network).

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.

China Mobile currently has around 763 million subscribers and launched its TD-LTE network in December. 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.

According to research by Dell’Oro, the global mobile backhaul equipment market is predicted to be worth $8 billion by 2018 (January 2014).

CCS claims its self-organizing 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.

Wireless backhaul is expected to dominate small-cells, because of cost and operational considerations. NLOS solutions in the sub-6 GHz bands, mostly use point to multi-point architectures while PTP links dominate in the millimeter bands (60 GHz and 80 GHz).

Per-link costs of $2,000 or less and compact form factors are needed to make small cells cost/effective. Leveraging the IEEE 802.11ad standard, using 60 GHz WiFi to serve base station backhaul is one approach.

Tarana’s NLOS small cell backhaul uses the sub-6GHz frequency bands (licensed and license free), and their concentrator can apparently connect to up to 10 end nodes concurrently.

Nodes in CCS’s architecture use a mix of PTP and PMP links that change dynamically depending on location and traffic load.

By 2015, small cells are expected to outnumber traditional cell towers by as much as 20 to one. ABI Research says sub 6GHz technology will capture 47 percent of small cell backhaul revenue, or $2.4 billion with 31 percent of last mile links in 2018, while millimeter wave technology will be the fastest growing technology, at 113 percent CAGR to reach a value of $668 million by 2018.

Related Dailywireless articles include; 60GHz Backhaul for Small Cells, Ubiquiti Launches “Revolution”, FCC Moves to Add 195 MHz to Unlicensed 5 GHz band, Tarana Wireless Announces NLOS Small Cell Backhaul

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