BridgeWave: 1Gbps Backhaul on 80GHz

Posted by Sam Churchill on

BridgeWave Communications today announced the launch of its FlexPort family of high-capacity 80 GHz radios for mobile backhaul. Purpose-built for mobile operators and service providers, BridgeWave’s FlexPort supports both today’s legacy traffic and the expanded requirements of future 4G traffic.

With the launch of FlexPort, BridgeWave, says it offers the first carrier-class backhaul platform for 4G migration. FlexPort is a single Outdoor Unit (ODU) platform that connects today’s TDM-based mobile base stations, while simultaneously supporting full-rate gigabit IP transport for tomorrow’s 4G networks.

The high-frequency 80 GHz spectrum provides up to 1.5 Gbps of capacity with planned product rollouts in the coming months for rates up to 2.6 Gbps – five to ten times the capacity of single-channel, lower licensed frequency products at significantly lower per megabit cost. The 80 GHz band has bandwidth to burn and Bridgewave is a leader in 80 GHz solutions, with greater than 70 percent market share.

BridgeWave’s FlexPort is said to offer several key capabilities:

  • Scalable, Future-proof Backhaul – Up to four native SONET/SDH payloads and gigabit Ethernet streams can be handled over a single RF carrier.
  • Ease of Network Planning – Frequency agility not available other 80 GHz products. As cell density increases, the ability to tune anywhere in the 80 GHz band greatly simplifies network planning.
  • Efficient Spectrum Use – Utilizing QPSK modulation provides improved spectral use compared to other 80 GHz solutions for lower licensing costs and better frequency reuse/conservation.
  • Carrier Ethernet Management – FlexPort’s advanced Carrier Ethernet Network Management (Ethernet OAM & CFM), unlike any other 80 GHz solutions, enables end-to-end management and monitoring.

In 2003, the FCC allotted the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz radio frequency bands for commercial use. Studies show that backhaul accounts for approximately 50 percent of mobile network operational costs.

“As carriers migrate to 4G networks, they will need to develop cost-effective backhaul strategies that do not forsake their legacy TDM investments while accounting for the stress that bandwidth hungry IP-based 4G applications will place on networks,” said Earl Lum, president of EJL Wireless Research.

Amir Makleft, CEO of Bridgewave, told Dailywireless that 4G systems, like Mobile WiMAX and LTE, will require 100-180 Mbps per sector, or close to 500 Mbps per tower. The 6-38 GHz bands are getting congested, but their 80 GHz AR80x can deliver the goods reliably (using adaptive rate modulation in case of heavy rain), flexibly (using a system agnostic technology) and cost/effectively (as the volume leader in 80 GHz). The company’s AdaptRate feature can temporarily downgrade a 1 Gbps link to 100 Mbps to maintain connectivity, while the AdaptPath option can switch over to an alternative link when needed.

Bridgewave’s upgradeable 60 GHz product, using the unlicensed 60 GHz band, delivers some 100 Mbps for around $10,000 per link, with a range up to half a mile. The company’s most expensive solution, the extended-range 80 GHz product with AdaptRate, AdaptPath and AES encryption, lists at $47,000 per link. The FlexPort family of carrier-class gigabit wireless systems will be available in the second quarter.

Other Gbps wireless gear is available from Alvarion, Ceragon, DragonWave, E-Band Communications, Gigabeam, Loea, Proxim’s GigaLink, and Exalt, among others. Exalt, for example, just announced their new EX-i Series GigE long haul systems. The EX-i Series is an indoor system, using the upper and lower 6 GHz FCC bands.

Related Dailywireless stories on Millimter Band radios include; Exalt on 5 GHz, DragonWave: More Bits per Buck, 3.65 GHz Gets Real, 70GHz Radios, NextPhase + GigaBeam Deliver SoCal Biz Nets, EZ Wireless Deploys 60 GHz for DOJ, FiberTower to Backhaul Sprint WiMAX, XO Expands Backhaul, and Millimeter Gigabit Gets Competition.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 at 1:33 pm .

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