During the rollout of LTE services, existing satellite backhaul links are often overloaded. The problem is that cellular systems often fail to provide access to local data networks. A new system, however, is deployed at the cell site, allowing data traffic to be easily segregated so that intra-site data traffic is routed locally. In fact, a recent demonstration of this solution proved that the same high-speed data infrastructure available in fixed mounted or dismounted ground configurations can be supported from the air.

The SwarmNetwork application from Lemko, in conjunction with their X5 node, enables subscribers to seamlessly move through a network without manipulating their device or dropping data or voice sessions—even in isolated areas. The X5 node is the “gateway element” to commercial cellular networks. It includes a 10-W 2x2 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) eNodeB and an all-purpose computing platform— all in a ruggedized outdoor enclosure for deployment in any environment. It works on LTE, FDD, and TDD frequencies in the 1.4-, 3-, 5-, 10-, 15, and 20-MHz bandwidths. A single unit has a 150-Mb/s and 50-Mb/s uplink capacity at 20 M for 200 active users. It boasts 10 km coverage.

For its part, the on demand cellular (ODC) SwarmNetwork provides an ad-hoc LTE network with roaming, hand-off survivability between nodes. A single, ultra-light X5 Swarming LTE Node provides a bubble of coverage—voice, VoLTE, SMS, high-speed data, and video call—with multiple nodes. In doing so, it forms a canopy and an in-band mesh network for larger coverage area or higher capacity. Because the multiband ODC has an integrated scanner feature that identifies available channels, the network administrator can assign bandwidth priorities and access rights to subscribers.

The SwarmNetwork solution is a flat IP architecture, placing the mobility anchor at the wireless mobile-broadband network’s edge. This eliminates the need for data to traverse to a centralized core via tunneling, enabling quicker mobile-broadband deployment in remote areas or first-responder situations. Coverage also is supported in areas where satellite is the only viable option for mobile backhaul, as the system uses a satellite backbone to establish customizable standalone 4G LTE cellular networks.