Bell Mobility, the wireless division of Bell Canada, has deployed the first commercial 4×4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) microwave wireless backhaul system in Canada, a press release revealed. Based on Israeli network technology firm Ceragon’s FibeAir IP-20C microwave solution, Bell’s first 4×4 MIMO live link provides 1.6Gbps of capacity over a single 40MHz channel, via which the cellco aims to more than double the capacity of its wireless backhaul network. Approximately 30% of all Bell Mobility cell sites are connected via microwave, because fibre is not always available or cost-effective in all locations, particularly in rural parts of the country, and therefore Bell (and rival operators) are looking to implement solutions for raising microwave backhaul capacity. The use of a single frequency channel to achieve ultra-high capacities is important for mobile operators as there is a finite amount of spectrum available. Ceragon notes that whilst competing solutions may achieve Gigabit bandwidth through the use of multiple frequencies, it is not always possible for operators to license multiple frequencies where and when the additional bandwidth is required.
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