Luminet to build “neutral host transit network” for London

Targets small cell backhaul and direct enterprise connectivity

Fixed Wireless Access provider Luminet wants to build out a neutral host transit network across the London metro area by early 2017. The network, composed of a mixture of high speed wireless links and fibre could be used for a range of applications, including shared or wholesale backhaul connectivity to outdoor and in-building small cells ,and high speed fixed wireless enterprise connectivity.

Luminet already has pushing 2,000 customer sites in London, and it has just signed a partnership agreement with CCS to deploy that company’s small cell backhaul product – MetNet – across over half of that site footprint. CCS’s solutions will form 250 “polygons” of coverage at 1.050 sites – providing enough capacity to meet the peak small cell backhaul demands of all London’s mobile operators, Sasha Williamson, Luminet CEO, said.

Luminet already has 10 providers of radio  technology according to Williamson, including Cambridge Broadband Networks and Radwin, both of which provide P2MP microwave connectivity products to fulfil different use cases within the network. For example, CBNL’s solution sits higher up the network both logically and physically, acting as a backhaul transit points on rooftops. There was no sense that CCS has displaced or replaces CBNL or Radwin as a provider to Luminet.

The attractions of CCS for small cell backhaul were its ability to operate in Luminet’s 28GHz spectrum bands, its self-organising capability, its forward migration path and also the way in which it could integrate Luminet’s 3D mapping tool into its own planning tool – something Williamson said is vital to be able to deliver the network accurately.

Williamson added that about a quarter of its PoPs will have both fibre and microwave wireless connectivity, creating a resilient network for direct enterprise connectivity. The new capability would give the company the ability to offer high bandwidth channels in much quicker fulfilment times than Colt or BT can offer, Williamson said.

With the addition of a virtual core network allied to a neutral host radio access network, Luminet is also considering opening up the network for MVNOs in the future.