A UK telecoms specialist has found a way to counter the lack of real estate available to construct new data cabinets and connection points in the UK, viewed as a barrier to the country’s 5G rollout. CHH CoNeX is now designing its street cabinets with densification in mind, carrying out highly complex engineering to design and build cabinets capable of housing a greater number of cables and access networks.
The company’s specially engineered cabinet designs enable engineers to put more network resources into the same amount of space, thereby maximising the capacity of new cabinets without network providers having to continually acquire more cabinet and racking space.
Kevin Wilcox, sales director at CHH CoNeX, explains: “Higher data rates and the increase in fibre network options, together with innovative modular designs for cabinets, ultra-high-density shelving and optical distribution frame racks make densification a possibility. At CHH CoNeX, we are designing our cabinet solutions with densification in mind, maximising rack space in order to provide expanded capacity to accommodate ever-increasing bandwidths and densities.”
The company’s densified cabinet designs provide an example of what could be achieved in the UK’s 5G rollout, if more street-side cabinets had improved capacity and enabled greater spatial efficiency for the installation of cable looms and assemblies. Thousands more small cells are expected to be required to service 5G and this sort of infrastructure densification must be carried out fairly and quickly to get the cost of 4G and 5G deployment down across the country.
The most obvious way to do this is to invest more heavily in digital infrastructure and to install a greater number of data cabinets and connection points. However, real estate, particularly in urban areas, is at a premium – and expensive. In addition, planning permission is becoming increasingly harder to come by. By manufacturing cabinets with greater capacity and duct miniaturisation in mind, the country can make better use of these resources and accelerate the roll out of new network connections.
Wilcox concludes: “Designing cabinets and street furniture with densification in mind requires highly complex engineering. It’s not just a case of building larger housings. We have to balance competing optical and mechanical performance parameters and industry design and installation standards to optimise internal space.
“However, our recent designs demonstrate that it is possible to achieve greater capacity within traditional cabinet designs, with a bit of intelligent thinking.”