Russian cellco Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and NEC have successfully tested the ‘iPASOLINK EX’ ultra-compact microwave transmission system, enabling 10Gbps data transmission capacity over two hops at a distance of 4.8km between base stations and 8Gbps over one hop at a distance of 8.3km, which is several times higher than existing analogue systems currently available in Russia, claims NEC. The vendor added that the radio relay tests confirmed low latency rates, integral to the launching of 5G networks, adding that the solution can be effectively applied in areas where optical fibre trenching is difficult or impossible, offering capacity ‘on par’ with that of PON transport networks. Furthermore, the tests were carried out under harsh weather conditions, with results indicating that the technology enables maximum channel capacity in conditions of mist and precipitation that ordinarily make it difficult to transmit radio waves.
Elsewhere, rival Russian operators MegaFon and VimpelCom (Beeline) have given an update on their 4G LTE radio network sharing project, confirming they have deployed more than 1,300 shared LTE-1800 base transceiver stations (BTS) to date, across ten regions; the largest volumes of BTS are in the Arkhangelsk, Bryansk, Belgorod and Voronezh regions, the companies disclosed (without giving full details of the other regions covered). The radio network sharing programme has achieved faster and cheaper 4G rollouts in areas including remote localities, the two rivals noted.