Ericsson installs ‘world-first’ microwave link in E-band, predicts rapid growth in E-band tech

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Ericsson has deployed microwave backhaul technology with 5Gbps capacity in the 71-86GHz E-band with Egyptian operator Mobinil, part of the Orange Group. 

The installation, Ericsson’s first deployment of a live E-band link with 5Gbps capacity, finished in January.

Microwave is an alternative to fibre in the backhaul and fronthaul segments of mobile networks; usage of microwave links in the E-band, with its simpler licensing regulations and high capacity attributes, affords operators a way to meet spiraling demand for data services on their networks. 

Ericsson said microwave backhaul technology can handle 100 percent of all radio access sites’ capacity needs. But it claimed E-band spectrum is essential if microwave technologies are to meet the capacity increase for backhaul as well as fronthaul. Network deployments in the E-band spectrum will see major growth, representing up to 20 percent of new deployments in 2020, it added.

Ericsson said half of Egypt’s population is under the age of 35, and demand for broadband capacity is rapidly increasing. It has positioned its MINI-LINK 6352 solution as a way for Mobinil to keep up with demand on the road to widespread LTE and 5G.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson in the Middle East and Africa, said: “The advantages of E-band are its wide spectrum and channels that enable very high capacities. An enhanced customer experience is the key to differentiation for operators to succeed in competitive markets, such as Egypt, and we look forward to the continued growth of our partnership.”

Hisham Sibilini, CTIO of Mobinil, said: “Launching this global first technology is an anticipatory move in light of our expanding customer base and its long-term sustainability."