Talking mmWave with Wiber Solutions in South Africa

Siklu has become Wiber's WISP’s go-to equipment citing ‘very high reliability’ as the primary reason and have continued scoping projects with Siklu.

Mr. Ted de Boer, Siklu South Africa's Regional Sales Director has recently sat down with Russell Purdon of Wiber Solutions, a long-time South Africa WISP with extensive experience deploying Siklu equipment across the country. The name “Wiber” refers to “wireless fiber” and is indicative of the multi-gigabit connectivity they are achieving with Siklu. They also are leveraging ExtendMM to achieve long coverage distances. The following is a summary of Ted's and Russell's conversation.

Wiber purchased their first Siklu link in 2018, which has since become the WISP’s go-to equipment citing ‘very high reliability’ as the primary reason and have continued scoping projects with Siklu solutions in mind. Russell told me that Siklu’s equipment is very easy to setup and deploy, and reports that Wiber’s experience with the equipment yielded signal that exceeded the performance levels predicted by Siklu’s automated network planner software suite, known as WiNDE.

Talking mmWave with Wiber Solutions in South Africa-1

Our conversation centered around three topics: various deployment scenarios and reliability, performance metrics (especially when it rains) and the Siklu ExtendMM system and how to use it to establish “five 9s” of reliability for longer range links.

We first discussed a deployment of a Siklu 2500FX that is operating over a 7.7 km distance with a 2-foot antenna. This is the link established in 2018 and provides a connection over the Bay of Muizenberg. The signal strength is at -35dBm in 80 GHz spectrum, which is a remarkable distance in that frequency range. Russell remarked that the reliability also has been top notch during rainy spells, with the signal dropping only during the most intense periods of rain, which are brief – lasting no more than 15 minutes or so.

This type of performance led Russell to swap out a radio link from another mmWave systems company with the EtherHaul EH-8010 and he noted the capacity capabilities and reliability and had some interesting things to say about it in comparison to a fiber connection they also use. First, the link in question has a 10 Gbit capacity and Wiber is currently operating it at a 4 Gb rate. Russell noted that the software features of the EH-8010 are key contributing factors to its reliability […]

Talking mmWave with Wiber Solutions in South Africa-EH8010FX

In fact, Russell went on to say the the EH-8010 has been more reliable than a fiber connection in the same service area. In this area there is a critical link measuring 2 km and the EH-8010 provides a simple point-to-point link that does not drop. Whereas, the fiber link has to be re-routed at times, involving multiple connection points (which increases latency), in order to maintain the necessary bandwidth and throughput. And part of the problem lies in the SFP plug-able devices on the network equipment at each of the link. SFPs enable the switch to connect to fiber and Ethernet cables of different types and speeds, such as Gibabit Ethernet. Russell reports that issues with the SFPs can cause at times a severe degradation in the link capacity, sometimes achieving only 1 Gb throughput in a link rated at 10 Gb capacity. Whereas the EH-8010 consistently maintains its 4 Gb throughput.

Russell says they now have 17 Siklu links deployed and that they don’t even need to monitor them with the network management platform as the signals never drop or fade, as compared to the intermittent signal quality issues from another mmWave systems vendor. He went on to express concern for the ongoing financial viability of Siklu as a company – due to extreme reliability of the equipment, which means service providers like Wiber do not have to continually buy replacement equipment! I took that as the highest compliment.

Talking mmWave with Wiber Solutions in South Africa-ExtendMM

Our chat concluded with a discussion of the various ways Wiber is incorporating the innovative ExtendMM platform into their network. ExtendMM can increase the range of the EtherHaul radios to 10 km or more – and in fact the current record Siklu has is a 28 km 2-Gb, full-duplex link in Texas. Russell described the use of ExtendMM with 600, 700 and 2500 series EtherHaul radios and its flexibility with various antenna sizes, modulations and signal strengths. Russell has found that using the 11 GHz ExtendMM option can meet the requirements of these various configurations and that is current maximum range requirement is 8 km.



You’re probably searching to deliver increased capacity, accelerate deployment times, and lower connectivity costs. Do it with Siklu.




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