Frontier Medical Group is a market leading group engaged in the manufacture and supply of Skin & Wound Care, Infection Control and Harm Reduction products to healthcare providers in the UK and internationally.
Due to a recent buyout and reorganisation, they needed to relocate some of their office staff at a remote site. The remote site was connected by a Motorola wireless link. Although reliable, it could only deliver 50 MBit per second upload and download.
This worked perfectly well as the remote location was purely warehousing, with very little data transfer to the main site. However with the addition of 20 new office workers, with all their additional bandwidth requirements, it was time for a technology refresh.
The Challenge and Solution
The key challenge in this project was the lack of line of sight. All high speed wireless links require a good line of sight and free space around the line of sight, known as the Fresnel zone. The link had several large trees blocking the direct line of sight and also skirted another set of trees.
This meant all the usual frequencies used for high speed links – e.g. 24, 60 & 80 GHz – were ruled out. This left only the 5GHz band available. A Ubiquity AF5-U link was selected for 3 reasons:
- The Ubiquity AF5-U uses an extended upper part of the 5GHz spectrum, leading to a lower probability of interference with local 5G WiFi networks.
- 100km+ range with high-gain antennas would give the best throughput in a non-line of sight application.
- Link performance & price point, along with client’s & our experience with the Ubiquity range of products.
The main end of the link posed problems due to the extreme reach required to access the antenna position.
The remote slave end posed another challenge due to the height required. A drone was used extensively to survey the link and establish initial link orientation.
Our aim in this project was to deliver a minimum connection of 200 MBit/s in each direction. This would provide a four-fold increase in bandwidth.
The final test results came in at 340 Mbit/s download and 240 upload. This gave a 6.8x and 4.8x increase in overall link bandwidth. Below shows a drone fly through of the completed link. The old Motorola link is left in place to allow a zero downtime changeover from the old to the new.
- Non-line of sight link at 600m
- Working at height
- 7x increase in link capacity
- Zero network downtime in office hours
What they said...
Stephen Coombs, IT Manager
Due to a recent office reorganisation we needed a higher bandwidth connection between our main office and the remote warehouse. We called upon Twisted Pair to quote for a new wireless link. They surveyed the site and went through the various options available, explaining the issues in detail that would affect the link speed and why certain solutions would not work for us.
Since the installation despite recent severe storms the connection has been very stable and provided a significant increase in bandwidth. I’d be happy to recommend Twisted Pair and look forward to working with them on future projects.