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Innovation pays off for CBNL

18 March 2010

Microwave telecoms specialists named as one of UK’s top companies for investment in R&D.

Cambridge Broadband Networks has been recognised by the UK Government for its investment in research and development (R&D).

The mobile network microwave backhaul specialist is one of the top 50 technology hardware and equipment sector companies recognised in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills 2009 R&D Scoreboard.

The listing recognises the USD$6.7m R&D investment made by Cambridge Broadband Networks between 2008 and 2009 to ready its VectaStar products for the mobile backhaul expansion demands.

Dramatic increases in mobile data traffic, driven by the proliferation of smartphones and USB dongles have placed an unprecedented strain on backhaul networks.

In order to avoid spiralling CAPEX and OPEX costs mobile operators have had to look for alternative backhaul solutions to meet the increased capacity demands.

Cambridge Broadband Networks has responded by investing heavily in the rapid evolution of its VectaStar point-to-multipoint (PMP) microwave backhaul solutions.

VectaStar PMP solutions are particularly suited to satisfying the exploding demand for HSDPA and LTE data backhaul.

As a result, uptake of VectaStar deployments has been dramatic, with significant market gains for Cambridge Broadband Networks in a wide range of markets.

In addition to increasing adoption in the developed European market, VectaStar now helps to power the world’s busiest HSPA network (Mobily, Saudi Arabia), it is being deployed in Africa by the world’s fastest growing operator, MTN group and by Gateway (Vodacom), to power the world’s largest PMP microwave network.

These and other contract wins, placed Cambridge Broadband Networks into the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2009 and the company has just been named as a finalist in Growing Business magazine’s Fast Growth Business of Year Awards 2010.

Graham Peel, CEO at Cambridge Broadband Networks, said:

"No other company in our sector is investing so heavily in R&D. That investment is producing significant dividends for Cambridge Broadband Networks and its customers. Our VectaStar PMP microwave backhaul solutions now offer an efficient, high capacity and future proofed means of addressing the demand for mobile backhaul, and they deliver clear and quantifiable savings in both operating and capital expenditure. Those characteristics have given us a lead on both legacy microwave technologies and our competitors in the PMP microwave sector."

VectaStar is a next generation alternative to legacy mobile backhaul solutions which include point-to-point (P2P) microwave and leased lines. It complements fibre as a technology choice to meet increased cell site traffic capacity demands.

The PMP based architecture is quick to deploy, costing a fraction of fibre deployments and means that precious spectrum resources are used both efficiently and dynamically as network traffic builds.

VectaStar also reduces by nearly 50% the number of microwave radios required to build the network (compared to P2P), contributing to a significant reduction in CAPEX and OPEX, reductions in network complexity, site access and maintenance demands as well as energy consumption.

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