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Extending EE’s 4G network

Cell towers with satellite dishes - starry sky backdrop

As the availability of 4G networks and LTE enabled devices has increased, consumer and enterprise users expect access to mobile data for browsing, accessing social networks and viewing data-heavy video content anytime and anywhere.

The Challenge

EE, part of the BT Group, is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services nationwide and was the first to launch an LTE network across the UK.

To keep up with this ever increasing demand, EE required a “carrier grade” Cellular Backhaul service, capable of meeting stringent security controls and extensive reach of the UK, whilst maintaining Quality of Service (QoS). The network needed to provide full coverage, even in rural areas, support rapid deployment and be highly resilient and reliable.

The Solution

EE partnered with Avanti Communications to provide Satellite Backhaul and backhaul backup to over 1,000 fixed and mobile base stations across the UK. Avanti delivers bespoke Managed Services for Mobile Network Operators, such as EE, large enterprises and governments who require tailored satellite solutions. Their service combines Avanti’s satellite capacity with managed network operations, enhanced maintenance and customer support.

Avanti meets mobile operators’ requirements through rapid deployment and competitive pricing per Mbps. The ability to dynamically move capacity between individual satellites and spot beams provided EE with the flexibility to deliver capacity anywhere anytime across Avanti’s HYLAS 2 and HYLAS 4 satellites.

The Results

Avanti’s carrier grade Satellite Cellular Backhaul enables advanced monitoring capabilities which track and trend site usage and performance, allowing mobile operators to divert and allocate resources where it’s needed, protecting customer satisfaction. With its teams’ expertise, Avanti seamlessly integrated satellite backhaul into EE’s mobile network.

Avanti used hubs and modems from the Gilat platform to deliver the high speed and ultra-resilient connectivity seamlessly to Huawei and Nokia eNodeB LTE base stations. EE accesses bandwidth from Avanti’s Ka-band satellites, and connects EE LTE sites across the whole country.

  • 1,000 EE LTE base stations connected via Avanti’s satellites
  • 95% UK geographic 4G coverage by 2020 using HYLAS 2 and HYLAS 4
  • Dedicated 4G Satellite Backhaul with Avanti
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