Almost a year after backhaul providers Fastback Networks and Sub10 Systems announced their decision to merge, former Sub10 CEO Stuart Broome finds himself in an enviable position. With both Mobile World Congress 2016 and the Tessco One Innovation Showcase next week, he's never had so many requests for meetings and appointments surrounding new products.
Fastback's IBR 1300
"We're getting a lot of operators" showing interest, Broome told FierceWirelessTech. Broome, who is now chief marketing and sales officer at Fastback, said the company is selling products to at least 12 Tier 1 customers in North America and Europe but it isn't allowed to identify them all publicly.
Fastback will be at MWC to show off its latest innovation, the Intelligent Backhaul Radio (IBR) 1300, which delivers 900 Mbps performance in what it describes as the smallest form factor. The company already has deployed about 13,000 products, including IBR and millimeter wave, into the market.
In fact, the new product was developed through interaction with telcos and OEMs, paying attention to size, power, visual impact and other considerations, Broome said. Having had the previous experience helped provide insight into the challenges of small cells, he added. For example, if you need to block a city street for more than 15 minutes for an installation, the costs skyrocket in terms of traffic control and associated expenses. The goal was to make the product quick and easy for operators to deploy in a time frame that makes it economical. "We're seen as a crucial piece of the puzzle," he said.
Fastback has been a pioneer in higher band, millimeter wave spectrum, and it's a natural progression for operators to look at the higher band spectrum, he said. Products are steadily improving in terms of what can be done at the higher frequencies. "We're approaching our customers with a tool kit … that allows them to address the real challenges," Broome said. "We're making their vision a reality."
According to the company, the IBR-1300 includes breakthroughs in transmission to ease set-up and mitigate interference, on-board power for simple installation and a compact design that guarantees deployment in any location or environment. The IBR 1300 is part of Fastback's new product line-up of sub 6 GHz, 60 GHz and 70-80 GHz backhaul radios. The IBR 1300 measures 8 x 10 x 4 inches and is 50 percent smaller than its predecessor.
Fastback also announced a new Liberator product family build for high-capacity urban operation. The Liberator V1000 dual port offers more channels and longer range, plus a polycarbonate antenna radome tolerant of extreme weather conditions. The company says the dual port Liberator V1000 and E1000e combine full-duplex carrier class performance and advanced features such as adaptive modulation, multi-channel operation, low latency and software-activated flexible link throughput, along with AES 256 bit encryption.
Fastback isn't revealing its pricing information but emphasizes that it has brought costs down and made deployment faster.
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Article updated Feb. 16 to indicate 13,000 units refers to all Fastback products in deployment, not just IBR.