Eurovision song contest was one of the main cultural events in Ukraine this year. The event took place on May 9-13, 2017, and brought together 42 participating countries and thousands of fans from all around the world. To ensure that all of them had seamless experience, the main event stage was put up in the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv.
This venue had the capacity to host up to 10 000 guests at a time, most of whom streamed online videos and shared pictures from the concerts in real time. Such mobile network load became a serious challenge for mobile operators. Understanding the possible issues, Ukrainian mobile operator lifecell conducted series of network optimization activities before the event.
Creating future-proof transport network with Ericsson Mini-Link 6352
The last delivery point of the mobile services to the subscribers is a Radio Base Station. Its location and technical characteristics largely determine how long it will take to download a video or post a photo in a social network. However, Radio Base Station does not work in isolation, as all of them are connected to Core and Mobile Network Services by large distributed Transport Network. Some of them are connected over fibre cables, but this is not always the best solution. That is why most of them use point-to-point wireless transport connection with microwave systems.
Andriy Pavlovskiy, IP and Transport Network Engagement Manager, Ericsson Ukraine and Eurasia, comments: “Historically microwave systems were capable to provide the capacity up to hundreds Mbit/s. But to meet the challenges of the future generation networks, they should handle up to several Gbit/s throughput”.
During Eurovision, lifecell implemented the cutting-edge Microwave System – Ericsson Mini-Link 6352, which is capable to support up to 10 Gbps capacity along with full features set for 4G and 5G Mobile Broadband technologies, as well as for Fixed Broadband Access Networks.
This system operates in the new frequency band in Millimeter wave band - 70/80GHz. This band is also so-called “E-Band” and has several important benefits:
- There is plenty of spectrum available
- Total Cost of Ownership is lower comparing to traditional Microwave bands
- Low interference and small antenna sizes make this band optimal for urban environment
Olga Shumkova, Manager of Mobile Network Operations Unit, lifecell, adds: “New services, such as HD video streaming, IoT and cloud applications, will put new requirements on mobile networks. LTE-Advanced technologies, which are already today widely deployed around the world, can support data transmission speed of up to 1 Gbit/s, while 5G is expected to provide up to 10 Gbit/s capacity. The pilot project which we conducted together with Ericsson during Eurovision, allowed us to verify how we should further develop our transport network to meet challenges of tomorrow”.
Ericsson's Microwave & Packet Aggregation offerings provide lowest cost of ownership whether for new mobile network rollouts, evolution of mobile networks, or fixed broadband over microwave.
The expected growth in mobile broadband will impact transport network capacity. A combination of microwave and fiber based transport is needed for mobile networks on the road to 5G.