With their smartphones, tablets and laptops, students in the dorms at Scotland’s Abertay University were overwhelming the fiber-optic line installed to carry all their electronic data. The pros called in to remedy the situation prescribed Siklu EtherHaul, a low-cost, high-capacity system conceived, designed and manufactured in Israel.
Abertay students now have10 times more bandwidth and a whole lot more speed thanks to millimeter wave electromagnetic transmission, which transports data wirelessly at a much higher frequency — between 60 to 80 gigahertz – than the usual 2.4 or 2.5 gigahertz frequency connecting the average laptop to Wi-Fi.
“The higher frequency allows vendors like us to design and implement systems to transport high capacities of data, at 1 gigabit per second and higher,” says Siklu Director of Product Management Shahar Peleg.
“Millimeter wave wireless links are a very cost-effective fiber extension solution in dense urban areas, whether you need high capacity for multi-tenant units such as Abertay did, or you are an ISP serving multiple businesses. Anywhere you need to transport data wirelessly, you can use our systems.”
In business only since 2011, Siklu holds first place in the number of millimeter wave units deployed worldwide, more than 10,000 and counting. Peleg estimates that this number represents at least 30 percent of the market share.
Siklu solutions are being snapped up by mobile network operators to transmit data to web-surfing smartphone users, and by Internet service providers to give customers the ever-increasing broadband connectivity they need.
The secret’s in the silicon
Lower cost and improved reliability are the reasons for the company’s rapid success, Peleg says. Both of these advantages result from an innovative all-silicon design.
Comprised of just three silicon chips, Siklu’s systems are cheaper and smaller than comparable products asserts the company. Since there are so few components, these units boast the highest MTBF (average time a device will function before failing) in the industry.
“We brought a lot of disciplines to our product from the consumer market, where silicon integration allows you to buy a Wi-Fi router for about $100,” Peleg tells ISRAEL21c. “Silicon integration brings the cost down dramatically, and also reduces the size of the equipment and its power consumption.”
Abertay University’s installation was arranged by Rapier Systems, a leading UK wireless integrator, through a local Scottish distributor.
“Siklu’s price is simply unbeatable, reliability is high, and it has AES encryption,” said Richard Watson, managing director of Rapier Systems. “As an added bonus, it has an extremely small footprint and is very unobtrusive when mounted outdoors.”
Designed from scratch
Peleg says the Israeli systems are built to provide quick return on investment and a low total cost of ownership, factoring in the expenses involved in operation, overhead, power and maintenance.
“When our company was founded in 2008, it was clear that we need to provide high-performance systems at a significantly lower total cost than what comparable systems were able to offer,” he says. “To achieve that, we had to design our whole system from scratch, not using third-party components. We even designed and manufactured our own antenna.”
The future holds continuing promise for Siklu.
“The craving for capacity doesn’t stop, so our customers — whether mobile or broadband service providers — need to keep their networks upgraded to cope with higher capacities,” Peleg says.
Siklu’s engineers are developing even higher-performance systems and also have an eye on what Peleg calls “the market around the corner,” small cells that can provide more capacity to smartphones.
“That’s an application that is two years down the road, and millimeter waves are expected to play a significant role in that regard because they’re well suited to this application,” he says.
The company’s client roster includes a range of service providers throughout Europe and North America. Siklu has a sales office in New Jersey and sales reps in other key locations, but nearly all of its 50 employees are based at the Israeli headquarters in Petah Tikva.
“We’re glad to say that every part of our system is made in Israel, in addition to all our R&D, sales and marketing,” Peleg says.
The privately held company is backed by international investment funds and private investors, led by Evergreen Venture Partners, DFJ Tamir Fishman, Argonaut Private Equity, Amiti Ventures, Tamares Capital and a strategic investment by Qualcomm Ventures.
For more information, see www.siklu.com.