Siklu wireless solution survived back-to-back hurricanes in Puerto Rico

Siklu wireless solution survived back-to-back hurricanes in Puerto Rico
AeroNet, one of Puerto Rico’s leading service providers, was using Siklu’s MultiHaul, a point-to-multipoint 60GHz radio, to deliver business broadband in Old San Juan before two back-to-back hurricanes devastated the island. The storms wiped out much of the fiber and wireless infrastructure, but the MultiHaul survived both storms intact. With no fiber available and a long expected time for redeployment, residents turned to AeroNet’s wireless solutions. The MultiHaul with its multi-gigabit throughputs, robust built and rapid installation, was instrumental in bringing businesses and MDUs back online.

AeroNet provides broadband services to both the business and residential market in Puerto Rico. In Old San Juan, a 400 year old neighborhood with narrow scenic streets and no communications infrastructure, they relied entirely on wireless systems. However, AeroNet were increasingly challenged to provide their business customers with a 100Mbps to 500Mbps connectivity in the area, profitably. The 5GHz band was crowded, making it difficult to expand throughput for existing customers and to subscribe new ones successfully, particularly since they were using a single dedicated point-to-point link per customer.

AeroNet turned to Siklu’s MultiHaul, which provides them with a combination of multi-gigabit capacity and interference-free operation over the unlicensed 60GHz band, even in a dense area like Old San Juan. The fact that the terminal units are small and unobtrusive make it an ideal solution for the historic neighborhood. And installation was simple and fast due to auto-alignment.

Soon after installing the first MultiHaul links the island was devastated by two back-to-back Hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Much of the fiber infrastructure, installed on electric poles, was ruined. Sub-6GHz wireless radios were blown away by the 175mph winds. However, the MultiHaul, due to its very small size and robust built, remained intact. To AeroNet’s surprise, once the electricity came back online the MultiHaul units automatically aligned and service came back immediately.

With limited fiber availability, business and residences turned to AeroNet. Using the MultiHaul, AeroNet were able to deploy high capacity links to businesses and residential buildings extremely fast. “The MultiHaul was an easy upgrade for our PtMP links, enabling us to immediately benefit from Siklu’s field proven 5G fixed-wireless technology. It allows us to upgrade capacity significantly and increase deployment density, while using our existing assets for wireless installations” said Gino A. Villarini, president of AeroNet.

“We’re thankful the MultiHaul can ease Puerto Rico’s recovery in some small way,” said Eyal Assa CEO of Siklu. “Siklu’s radios have now survived several hurricanes, monsoons and a typhoon. Our small footprint mmWave wireless systems are proving extremely resilient, and a good substitution for bulkier and capacity limited narrow-band 5GHz radios, and fiber where it is unavailable.” 

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