Ceragon got MCel's Backhaul

Carl Ford : 4G: For Generations to Come
Carl Ford

Ceragon got MCel's Backhaul

In a few weeks,  I am running a webinar with Ceragon.

I received a press release from our friends at Ceragon, that mentioned the following...Ceragon Networks Signs Multi-Million Dollar Contract with mcel.  Largest Mobile Operator in Mozambique to Install 1000 km Microwave Backbone Network


PARAMUS, N.J., Nov. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ceragon Networks (Nasdaq: CRNT), the provider of high-capacity, 4G/LTE-ready wireless backhaul networks, announced a multi-million dollar contract with Mobile Cellular (mcel),  the largest mobile telephone operator in Mozambique, reaching all 128 districts of the country. …

You can read the rest of it here.

I asked a few questions and here are the answers from Ceragon. 

Question 1) Is this a greenfield for the deployment or are you being added to existing towers?

Answer. Most of the network is upgrading existing infrastructure, some is Greenfield. BTW – our radios enable mcel to use less equipment (and towers) because of better system gain (stonger signal, loger distances etc.)


Question 2) Is there psuedowire involved from Ceragon and if so how do you address timing?

Answer. No pseudowire. Currently the network is geared for TDM only. Upgrade to IP can be done via hybrid approach – hence no need for PWE

Question 3. What demand expectations are there for the 4G/LTE user base?  Is this a consumer prepaid market?  What are the drivers for the deployment?

Answer. Currently main mobile app is voice. However, this wireless backbone will also deliver traffic from and to the underwater cable that reaches Maputo enabling broadband at large.


Question 4.  How long will the roll out take place and when will LTE be delivered?

Answer.  The network should be operational early next year (2011). I don’t know what mcel’s next-gen network plans are


Question 5). Will mcel be totally fiber free in its backhaul, or will it be part of the plan to migrate away from Fiber?  Do they have issues with weather and other problems that make fiber a poor choice or is strictly a cost model?

Answer mcel has some fiber plants, but they will not dig 1000km of fiber any time soon. There are no major climatic issues

"Delivering reliable mobile service to our customers is extremely important to mcel," said  Mr. Arlindo Mondlane, mcel CTO. "We selected Ceragon's products because they are technologically superior, use spectrum efficiently, and are highly reliable. Through careful network planning, we will be able to provide high-quality mobile service to our customers as cost-efficiently and as quickly as possible.

"Ceragon's microwave systems are practical and economical alternatives to fiber optic lines and are highly reliable point-to-point backbone transmission systems," said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon. "Our solutions are ideal for fast-growing mobile networks such as mcel's, scaling to meet future needs, and offering high reliability to customers in developing countries."

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