Building on backhaul
Bernard Richa of BridgeWave Communications talks about wireless backhaul technology.
CommsMEA: Tell me about BridgeWave's technology and its main applications.
Bernard Richa: We use a technology called millimetre microwave. This is a technology that uses microwave point-to-point communications to deliver very high speed backhaul and access. Our technology can do full gigabits capacity over wireless.
CommsMEA: Where is most of the company's business at the moment?
Bernard Richa: Most of our business is in North America. Clearwire is one of the leading 4G operators in the world, is one of our clients. We have managed to cover most of their high speed backhaul infrastructure. Where Clearwire doesn't have fibre, they use our microwave solution.
We also have a presence in 50 other countries worldwide covering both service providers and the enterprise market. We provide our solution specifically for operators' backhaul and also for enterprise customers.
Our enterprise customers include banks, government bodies and video and security applications, and organisations such as hospitals and medical centres with a high demand for data transfer.
Our strong point is delivering full gigabit capacity,1000MB over wireless. To make it more cost effective in terms of scalability we managed to find a way to activate different options for customers. Hence, the hardware is always gigabit ready, but a company can still buy a system with a capacity of 100Mb or 500Mb, and then upgrade it in the field as necessary. If a company's situation might change, it is better to go with something scalable so that you can go up to one Gigabit and more.
CommsMEA: What proportion of your customers are operators, as opposed to enterprise?
Bernard Richa: About 50% of our business is with service providers, mainly operators that want to increase their capacity. If they are WiMAX or 3G service providers, they might want to migrate to LTE and our technology is future-proof, so they can use it to push more capacity and avoid the bottleneck effect.
CommsMEA: What are the typical deployments for BridgeWave's technology?
Bernard Richa: This technology is designed to connect metro networks rather than intercity or national connections, so we are talking about distances ranging from 2km to 9km. It is ideal for a star or ring type network that goes from one hub to another. It complements fibre. While fibre is great, it is not easy to lay, especially in metro areas. We are also seeing growth in demand driven by the increasing adoption of smartphones around the world, which in turn is increasing the pressure on operators' backhaul infrastructure. This offers us an ideal opportunity to deploy our microwave solutions.
CommsMEA: How is business in the Middle East and Africa now? What level of growth are you experiencing?
Bernard Richa: It is picking up now. Typically, such a type of technology is successful in the US, but now we are moving faster internationally and we are present in 50 countries. In the UAE we have good penetration, mainly within the enterprise market and government sector. We have a couple of banks, and utility projects with water and electricity companies. We also have a number of security projects. Apart from these, we have lots of deployments in the enterprise market and construction, and service providers.
CommsMEA: Do you have any contracts with operators in the region?
Bernard Richa: We have a couple of references from operators but it takes a while for them to adopt new technology, and in parallel, we are working with regulatory authorities to get everything approved in terms of spectrums and regulations, because again this is a new technology.
The technology is now starting to be accepted in the region, so we have a couple of products registered by regulatory bodies and this has happened in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, which are open markets now. Saudi Arabia and North African countries are still developing regulations.
So there are two tracks, which is regulation, and the commercial side where we are now gaining good traction. For example, in Jordan, we are working with the WiMAX service provider, Kulacom, which is migrating all of its backhaul to our technology.
CommsMEA: Are you very optimistic about growth in the Middle East?
Bernard Richa: I am expecting good growth in the region given that most of the regional operators are expanding their operations and they have plans to go with newer technologies, including plans for 4G trials, and this fits well with our technology, because it gives them more capacity.
500 days ago
will the equipment deploy wimax roll out ?