Valenciennes Water Tower Installation Demonstrates Flexibility and Cost Effectiveness of EBlink Solution
In 2010, a leading French operator’s plans to upgrade a 2G site in Valenciennes by adding 3G service at a water tower installation were stalled because the local municipality would not permit additional feeders inside the water tower. The operator considered installing coaxial cables outside and along the water tower for the UTMS upgrade, but determined that this approach was both expensive and technically challenging. That project also would have led to difficult negotiations with the water tower owner. In addition, after the upgrade the operator would have had to comply with strict regulations covering operation and maintenance on water towers. The operator wanted an alternative solution that would facilitate negotiations, avoid costly civil works and overcome the obstacles intrinsic to the water tower site.
The operator had two options. The operator could install coaxial feeders between the technical room where the base station is located and the antenna – on the top of the water tower. Connecting the base station and the antennas through coaxial cables on such a typology required authorization from the landlord, the water provider and local authorities. This would be followed by costly and disruptive civil works. Estimated construction time for this option was four weeks.
The more appealing option was EBlink’s wireless fronthaul solution, which provided a connection between the base station and the network antenna through a wireless link. The modular system was easily deployed on the water tower infrastructure, and the installation took only one day.
EBlink’s wireless fronthaul solution allowed the operator to avoid the obstacles associated with traditional cable installation projects. Once in operation, the site achieved excellent performance in terms of KPIs showing no compromise in the quality of service comparable to a traditional cable site. As with other types of installations, constraints related to civil works and time spent on site negotiation and installation were sharply reduced, which translated into cost savings.
Summary job comparison:
Type of operation
Classic coaxial feeders
Supply and install cable trays between the shelter and the top of the water tower
Costly civil works
Supply and install coaxial cables (60, 70 and 80 meters long) between the shelter and the top of the water tower
Costly civil works
Added construction time
Added installation time
Rent “cherry-picker” platform
Grounding connection of coaxial cables
Site negotiation to get construction permits
Estimated 3 months