Fastback slates early summer availability for small cell backhaul product

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Startup Fastback Networks officially rolled out its first small cell backhaul offering, which promises 500 Mbps of speed with less than 500 microseconds of latency in line-of-sight (LOS) and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions.

The company, which was founded in 2010 and emerged from stealth mode last September, said its offering is in trials with Tier 1 mobile operators and will be available commercially early this summer. The company had previously told FierceBroadbandWireless that general availability was being targeted for the first quarter of 2013. It did not publicly state a reason for the revised availability date.

Fastback is marketing its platform to mobile operators deploying small cells as well as to fiber network operators that want to deliver Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) services over wireless to locations that previously could not be served. The Metro Ethernet Forum certifies services and equipment for CE 2.0, which supports multiple classes of service plus manageability across interconnected provider networks, unlike the older CE 1.0 services delivered over a single provider's network.

Fastback's technology offers "Any Line of Sight" (ALOS) links, a trademarked term for its adaptive system. The company says its devices combine radio and data networking technologies to deliver fiber-equivalent service assurance. Supported deployments designs include point-to-point, multipoint-to-point, mesh, ring and daisy chain topologies.

"High-capacity intelligent wireless transport is a pivotal element in the coming transformation of the mobile network as performance moves toward gigabit bandwidth, and demand emerges for Carrier Ethernet 2.0 service edge capability at any site," said Kevin Duffy, company CEO and co-founder. "Capacity demanded of the next generation carrier infrastructure requires wireless transport capability be transformed to reliably deliver fiber-equivalent performance anywhere."

The three main components in Fastback's solution are an intelligent backhaul radio, which operates in NLOS or LOS modes and delivers a range of 500 meters to 2 kilometers, 500 Mbps throughput and 500 uSec of latency per link; a four-port intelligent backhaul controller; and an intelligent backhaul management system.

A spokeswoman for chipmaker Broadcom told FierceBroadbandWireless that Broadcom is planning an entry for its blog regarding Fastback's use of Broadcom's BCM56240 system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution, which is a small cell Ethernet switch with integrated traffic management and deep packet buffering.

Fastback's Duffy told the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog that Fastback's approach also relies in part on chips created by DesignArt Networks, which was acquired last year by Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and merged into its Atheros unit.

Venture capital firms Foundation Capital and Granite Ventures are funding Fastback.

For more:
- see this Fastback release
- see this Wall Street Journal Digits blog entry (sub. req.)

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