Fastback Networks boasts new 5G-ready 2 Gbps backhaul radio

Small cells are expected to play a big role in operators’ 5G networks, and Fastback Networks plans to be right there with them to support them with wireless backhaul.

The San Jose-based company today announced the new 2 Gbps-capable Intelligent Backhaul Radio (IBR) 1300 release, which it said is the industry’s first 5 GHz Any Line of Sight backhaul solution to meet both the higher speed and lower latency requirements of 5G networks.

The company managed to advance the technology to fit into a discrete form factor – 8x10x3.5 inches – along with additional new features so that it will perform as operators require while they move to and deploy 5G.

Fastback is working with all the big four U.S. wireless operators, as well as cable and some emerging telco players, according to CEO and co-founder Kevin Duffy. While 5G is expected to require low and mid-band spectrum, the higher bands also will play a bigger role than they currently are and that typically means smaller cells. So while small cells might have been optional in 4G, they are likely to be essential in 5G, he said.

And while 4G represented a big step over 3G in the latency department, 5G will be intolerant of millisecond delays – it will have to perform much better. “Our product is 100 percent useful for the gamut of 4G applications, but as they begin to put in 5G, it is 5G ready,” he said, adding that Fastback’s technology is being used in many 5G network trials.

“We’re a little bit ahead of the standard, but we’re very sure that we will be an enabler for whatever ultimately transpires,” he told FierceWirelessTech. “We’re very confident that we’re an important ingredient of that effort.”

Wireless backhaul has been an essential and integral part of cellular infrastructure since the beginning. What Fastback has done over the past several years is taken the technology and compressed it down to the size of a physics book, requiring no special skills for installing it, and making it aesthetically acceptable, according to Duffy.

Microwave Non Line of Sight connectivity will play an increasingly important role as mobile operators seek to backhaul ever more densely deployed radio end points – either macro cells or small cells, said Richard Webb, research director of Mobile Backhaul and Small Cells at IHS Markit, in a press release. “Up until now, NLOS backhaul had a challenge in terms of capacity, but with this announcement, Fastback has continued to build on its track record of innovation in the NLOS segment by driving the high capacity required for LTE macro and 5G backhaul.”

For more:
- see this press release

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