Vodafone is trialling new microwave technology that could quadruple current backhaul capacity in channelling voice and data traffic away from base stations.
It is also thought that performance and quality of service levels for customers would be enhanced.
Vodafone has carried out a range of trials investigating the potential of ethernet technology. Under current estimates, the upgrade from typical microwave backhaul technology to ethernet microwave backhaul technology is capable of raising peak capacity from around 32Mbps to around 180Mbps using the same frequency range.
Vodafone said that as the increase in performance is based on upgrading cheaper electronics in the cabinet rather than the most expensive microwave dish itself, the move also offers cost efficiencies.
Vodafone global network director Andy MacLeod said: “As Radio Access Networks are upgraded to reflect growing demand for mobile broadband services, it is important to ensure that the backhaul is able to deliver on that potential.
“The trials show that microwave ethernet technology can play a role in maintaining high levels of mobile broadband performance for our customers through adopting a holistic approach to maintaining service levels.”
The technology is expected to be made commercially available from the end of the year.