Hilbert Communications adds backhaul capacity and eliminates recurring leased line costs with Exalt Microwave Backhaul Systems

Date: Thu, 02/25/2010 - 14:23

Wisconsin network operator chooses Exalt to improve reliability for rural GSM cellular, broadband and fiber optic connectivity
Hilbert Communications adds backhaul capacity and eliminates recurring leased line costs with Exalt Microwave Backhaul Systems

Amir Zoufonoun, president and CEO of Exalt Communications

Exalt Communications, the company that is reinventing microwave backhaul, announced that Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Hilbert Communications, LLC has deployed its microwave backhaul systems to massively scale backhaul capacity while simultaneously eliminating costly leased lines in its GSM and WiMAX service networks throughout Wisconsin and Michigan. Hilbert has already deployed a large number of Exalt systems and expects to roll out more as it phases out T1-based backhaul in its wireless network and scales its broadband service offering.
Hilbert’s wireless network includes more than 200 cell sites, over half of which were connected initially with leased T1 lines. In the past year, Hilbert has also begun to roll out BugNet, a new WiMAX network that is bringing broadband wireless Internet services to rural customers for the first time. The challenges have been to scale backhaul capacity at cell sites, to improve backhaul reliability and to reduce operating costs. Hilbert has found Exalt microwave backhaul systems to be the ideal solution for these challenges.
“Our T1 connections were the least reliable part of our network, and we wanted to improve reliability while increasing our backhaul bandwidth,” said Kevin Kluge, director of network design at Hilbert Communications. “Microwave is a great backhaul solution for us, but we haven’t been happy with systems from other vendors. Exalt’s products give us the performance and reliability we need.”
The Exalt systems deployed by Hilbert Communications can deliver up to 200 megabits per second (Mbps) of Ethernet along with up to four native TDM T1 lines with “five nines” link and throughput availability. As configured for the Hilbert networks, these systems carry four T1s of GSM voice traffic and from 10 to 50 Mbps of Ethernet over distances of up to 20 miles. These Exalt systems, configured for the 5 GHz frequency band, can be deployed within a day, enabling Hilbert to rapidly upgrade its backhaul capacity and connect into its core fiber optic network. These systems are replacing leased T1 lines, saving the company an estimated $700-$1,500 per line per month. Hilbert has also deployed Exalt systems configured for the 11 GHz frequency band and is currently planning to deploy many more as it builds out the backbone for its new broadband network in Central Wisconsin.
“Mobile operators deploying 4G services like WiMAX recognize that they need a steadily increasing amount of backhaul capacity, and there is no faster or more reliable way to get it than our microwave backhaul systems,” said Amir Zoufonoun, president and CEO of Exalt Communications. “Hilbert and other mobile operators are discovering that Exalt systems not only give them ‘five-nines’ reliability and much greater capacity, but also result in enormous operational cost savings by eliminating the need to lease lines.”
All Exalt radio systems  offer guaranteed link availability, guaranteed throughput and low, constant latency. Systems are available in frequencies from 2 to 40 GHz and in capacities from 10 Mbps to more than 700 Mbps per channel, providing a range of options to fit countless network applications. Designed to enable a smooth transition to IP, they offer native support for both TDM and Ethernet, and are fully software configurable and upgradeable. For easy and secure management using third-party network management systems, Exalt systems support SNMP v1, v2c and v3. Data security is provided by available FIPS 197-compliant AES 128-bit and 256-bit encryption that adds zero latency to the transmission. To simplify installation and maintenance, all Exalt systems feature an embedded manual and most include a built-in spectrum analyzer.

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