Last month, the Parallel Wireless team had the privilege of participating in BT Innovation week 2017. It was the first time we were invited to attend and demonstrate a couple of bold innovative demonstrations we have been working on for a while. It was also an opportunity to check out many different innovations that BT are doing internally and along with their partners. It was an experience worth our while and for that we are ever grateful to our hosts.

Our demonstrations centered around the power of our CWS (small cells) to flexibly connect in different scenarios. Not only are they one of the world’s smallest and lightest, they can also connect via any kind of backhaul available. The CWS are also 3G and 4G capable thereby reducing the footprint of deployment.

As a part of one of these innovative showcases, we put our CWS-1K on the Helikite that connected to a LTE Core Network in the box (NIB). This way, the Helikite ‘air-mast’ was able to create a rapid mobile coverage solution.

Airmasts like the ones discussed above can play a vital role in scenarios wherein existing infrastructure has been damaged due to extreme weather or other disasters. They can also come in handy by providing temporary connectivity in remote areas and in other search & rescue missions. Here is a video with CEO of EE, Marc Allera and Mansoor Hanif, Director of Converged Networks and Innovation, BT talking about this innovative solution.

This showcase was a continuation of the joint demo we did with EE in York last year. The main difference compared with the earlier demo was the use of a pre-standard 5G mmWave link for transport instead of in-band backhaul.

The advantage of a high capacity backhaul, if available, would be to provide enough capacity to connect multiples of these Helikites via mesh link. This demo was especially interesting as we partnered with many different innovative players to bring together a solution in a very short space of time.

Here is a video of Ayan Ghosh, Collaborative Trials Principal, BT explaining this solution.

In addition to the outdoor demo, we also had an indoor demo showing a single CWS-2K (2 x 20W) providing 3G and 4G access in 2100MHz spectrum simultaneously. This was backhauled on 26GHz mmWave link.

Here is a video of Ian Mings, Head of Wireless Research, BT Technology describing this 3G/4G solution running over pre-5G backhaul at BT Innovation week 2017.