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17 February, 2011 - 14:35 By Staff Reporter

Broadband pioneer forages fresh frontiers


Our daily lives are awash with new technologies, each one faster, cheaper and better than the last. This is no truer than in the world of telecommunications where such technologies mean that the industry is almost unrecognisable to that of 50, 20 or even just 10 years ago.

Such technologies are driving the demand for data amongst mobile users and operator networks are simply beginning to crumble under the weight of this traffic. Cambridge Broadband Networks refers to this as ‘the perfect storm’.

The storm is the result of a variety of conflicting requirements; the explosion in mobile data traffic, the heavy investment in legacy telecoms infrastructure, the careful balancing act for mobile operators between CapEx and OpEx, and the shareholders demands for profits. All these requirements mean this storm has been brewing for several years, and is now becoming a scary reality. If the operators are unable to cope with consumer demand, there is a risk that their networks could crumble. So something needs to be done.

Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBN) has a next generation wireless backhaul solution that dynamically allocates backhaul resources where they are required. This solves a big concern of mobile operators and gives them the confidence to encourage us to go out and buy the next big smartphone without the concern for whether or not we will be able to use it! By employing the very best engineers they can find and adopting an innovative, future-proof approach CBN has enabled operators to provide consumers with the services they require for the foreseeable future.

It’s also vital that network providers invest in their networks without losing sight of the environmental impact the network may have on the very people it is designed to serve. The networks that are built using CBNs product, VectaStar, require half the number of radios and antenna’s that a traditional backhaul network would use, meaning half the amount of raw materials is required during unit production, saving both the resources themselves and the energy needed to produce them not to mention reducing the negative visual impact!

After deployment, the fact that half the number of radios is required, also results in a reduction in energy consumption, eliminating in excess of 354,000 tonnes worth of CO2/year during the manufacturing and installation process alone.

Into its 11th year, CBN is a very different beast from the company it was at its inception in 2000. Back then, the company consisted of a handful of like-minded engineers from the University of Cambridge, who focused on manufacturing telecoms network equipment for the delivery of high quality wireless broadband, using the high-speed and acutely accurate microwave spectrum.

Within its first 18 months of operating, the company opened offices in France and Germany. By 2003 operators in China, South Africa, Malaysia and Russia had deployed VectaStar. And following the UK’s first deployment in 2004 on the Isle of Man, Cambridge Broadband Networks topped the Tech Track 100 and was now one of the best performing technology companies in Europe.

Now headquartered on the Cambridge Business Park, CBN has grown into one of the most innovative and pioneering next generation wireless backhaul providers, globally. Its team is focused on delivering the fast and reliable mobile experience subscribers deserve – no small challenge in this generation of iPhones, iPads and other data hungry devices. CBN is up for it.

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