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CBNL selected by MTN to power 3G backhaul across Nigeria

25 March 2008

Cambridge Broadband Networks announces that it has won a significant contract from transnational African telecoms giant MTN Group to deploy its VectaStar microwave backhaul product in Nigeria.

Under the terms of the deal, MTN will use VectaStar to wirelessly backhaul the traffic from its 3G-network initially in six main cities across the West African nation before spreading to cover the entire country.

The VectaStar deployment is a crucial step in MTN Nigeria plans to migrate to an all-IP network.

The MTN group has operations in 21 countries throughout Africa and the Middle East, and more than 54 million subscribers.

For the deployment in Nigeria, 40 VectaStar hubs will be installed to backhaul traffic from 454 3G base stations.

This is just the first stage of a MTN Nigeria plan to deploy Point-to-Multipoint microwave backhaul nationwide which makes more efficient use of radio spectrum and infrastructure than other microwave transmission methods such as point-to-point.

Cambridge Broadband Networks is a preferred supplier for backhaul infrastructure for MTN Group and its subsidiaries in Cameroon and Rwanda are already using VectaStar to backhaul traffic from its 2G, WiMAX and 3G networks, as well as providing broadband Internet access services to businesses.

VectaStar support for multiple applications and traffic types, including IP, Ethernet, TDM, and ATM, were crucial to it gaining preferred supplier status within MTN.

In addition, features such as in-built traffic management and optimisation; and its contribution to reducing operational and capital expenditure were also pivotal to its acceptance.

Where MTN has been using VectaStar instead of point-to-point microwave links, it has already realised significant cost reductions.

Karl Toriola, Chief Technology Officer at MTN Nigeria explains:

"VectaStar’s contribution to our global drive to minimise costs was key to our decision to endorse the technology at an MTN Group level.

"Here in Nigeria, those economics hold true for the deployments we have planned in Lagos and other key urban areas in Nigeria. At a time where our network is growing at record levels, VectaStar is extremely fast to deploy. Once a cell site location is chosen, backhaul can be set up at the same time as site installation with no additional spectrum planning or licensing.

"Plus the VectaStar roadmap gives us the confidence that its performance will grow with our future network traffic needs."

Neeren Ramharakh VP Sub Saharan Africa, Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited comments:

"Where VectaStar has been used at MTN it has exceeded expectations and this has resulted in the product gaining recognition across the entire MTN group.

"VectaStar’s traffic management techniques, including statistical multiplexing and Abis optimisation, enable operators to make best use of their available spectrum, whether in the 10.5GHz, 26GHz or 28GHz bands (or any combination thereof).

"VectaStar’s strong feature set in the network plane enables our customers to eliminate a substantial amount of network optimisation and protocol conversion equipment and begin planning for MTN’s all-IP network migration.

"This has a direct saving on both capital and operational expenditure per site and is enabling MTN to deliver high speed data services to millions of subscribers as cost effectively as possible."

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