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CCS 60GHz mmWave trial goes live in city of Bath

Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) has announced that its Metnet 60G unlicensed mmWave wireless solution delivering up to 12Gbps per radio, has now gone live in the historic centre of Bath.

Designed to deliver gigabit backhaul Metnet has been designed to support interactive 5G smart tourism applications and enhanced visual experiences using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. The AR and VR content and technology capabilities will be provided by the BBC and Aardman with support from the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab.

The deployment and go-live of CCS Metnet 60GHz self-organising mesh radios across the centre of Bath marks a key milestone in the 5G Smart Tourism project being delivered in Bath and Bristol, which is led by the West of England Combined Authority and supported by a £5M competition award from the UK government’s The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The 5G Smart Tourism project brings together 25 organisations and will see the development of a testbed to demonstrate 5G capability, establishing the West of England as a world-leader in the development of advanced fixed and mobile communication systems.

The 5G technology test network is being delivered by key consortium partners – including CCS, BT, Zeetta, InterDigital, and University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab – and will demonstrate self-provision of 5G and Wi-Fi plus innovative mmWave backhaul capabilities from CCS.

Across the centre of Bath, CCS Metnet units have been deployed on existing urban streets assets to extend fibre connections and provide low latency, high-speed wireless connectivity. The Metnet nodes were rapidly deployed in just one day by electrical contractors – without the need to frequency plan or manually align antennas. Metnet’s discreet, single-unit form factor with highly integrated technology was able to meet all key requirements and satisfy stringent local planning restrictions, resulting in a smooth and swift roll-out.

As part of the West of England testbed to push the boundaries of 5G in two of the region’s key cities, CCS Metnet 26GHz licensed radios have also been deployed recently in Bristol, and leveraged to support a visitor safety demonstration managed by Zeeta Networks’ NetOS network management platform utilising 5G Network Slicing technology.

Commenting on the network go-live, CCS Executive Chairman Martin Harriman said: “This marks a key phase in a very significant and exciting 5G project, which CCS’s Metnet technology has been pivotal in enabling. This cutting-edge network demonstrates innovative use of the new 57-71GHz unlicensed band, and highlights the huge potential for the 14GHz of spectrum – recently opened up by Ofcom – for enabling the delivery of ubiquitous high-speed connectivity through gigabit 5G Fixed Wireless Access services. We look forward to continuing our support of this important testbed project, which will position this UK region at the forefront of next-generation wireless capabilities.”

Metnet from CCS is the world’s only self-organising 5G mmWave mesh backhaul. Delivering high capacity, ultra-low latency and ultra-fast deployment, Metnet is optimised for performance edge and evolving multi-gigabit capacity, and is currently powering networks to mmWave 5G performance in major live deployments across the world.

Neil Tyler

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