Indonesia-based XL Axiata completed tests of wireless broadband equipment from Huawei which uses LTE for backhaul, enabling the operator to overcome a common obstacle to expanding coverage in hard-to-reach locations.

The trial of the vendor’s RuralStar Pro kit, carried out in Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, enabled LTE backhaul to be automatically connected to a base station. The distance between the relay station and the host location was about 31km, supporting a downlink transmission speed of up to 106Mb/s, the operator said in a statement.

XL CTO Gede Darmayusa noted it plans to use the technology to extend its 4G network in remote areas where it often faces limited backhaul access.

Deploying LTE for backhaul will allow the operator to use spectrum, generally provisioned for radio access for user devices, to provide access between base stations, which will enable it to reduce the high cost of microwave and satellite transmission, XL stated.

The RuralStar Pro integrates baseband, radio transmitting devices and LTE for wireless backhaul in one module.