4G Microwave Backhaul

The bottleneck for mobile wireless, is now the backhaul, says RCR Wireless. Currently most cell towers are fed by 4-6, T-1 lines at 1.5 Mbps each. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile plan on running much more fiber to their towers and are eyeing microwave solutions.

Cellular speed is limited by your distance from the tower, signal strength, the number of people using the tower — and its backhaul capacity. A tower capacity of 10 Mbps, shared by 100 people, just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Clearwire and Sprint use DragonWave microwave to deliver 100+ Mbps to their WiMAX towers. Clearwire accounted for more than 80% of Dragonwave’s sales last year.

Clearwire CTO John Saw estimates that 90 percent of the firm’s network uses radio backhaul. Mobile WiMAX and LTE will require 100-180 Mbps per sector, or close to 500 Mbps per tower, according to the Clearwire CTO. Clearwire may have picked off the best (lowest) microwave frequencies already.

What’s left?

Well, for a start, there’s Siklu’s Wireless backhaul, says RCR Wireless. Siklu uses the regulated 71-76 GHz E-band spectrum, which the firm believes is superior, both technically and economically, to the lower 6-38 GHz spectrum. Siklu claims to offer gigabit-per-second wireless connectivity at the lowest price point in the entire industry, with its 1Gb capacity millimeter radios going for less than $3000, some $2000 less than the cheapest comparable competitor.

Siklu says the advantage of the E-band frequencies is mainly due to a reduction of the licensing fee incurred because the nature of propagation in the frequencies and the standardized directional “pencil beams” that result in a better spatial separation of the wireless links which in turn result in better frequency re-use.

Millimeter-wave wireless links can be deployed with minimal interference, allowing more efficient spectrum re-use, reducing coordination requirements, and allowing regulators to adopt a “light licensing” scheme which cost a fraction of the “traditional” licenses and can be obtained within minutes using an on-line registration tool. For mobile operators with hundreds or even thousands of links in their networks the lower frequency licenses means dramatic annual savings, according to Siklu.

Exalt microwave systems use the 18 GHz, 23 GHz, and 5 GHz frequencies to deliver Ethernet traffic over distances exceeding 20 miles. Exalt’s unique capacity aggregation capability, are said to enable a full duplex, 1 gigabit per-second (Gbps) Ethernet transport. It drives Cruzio’s wireless Internet access business on both sides of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Proxim Wireless, Alvarion, and Trango provide a wide range of licensed and unlicensed microwave solutions in a variety of bands for cellular, 4G or industrial backhaul.

Other Gbps wireless gear is available from Bridgewave, Ceragon, E-Band Communications, Gigabeam, Loea, and Proxim’s GigaLink.

The wireless network for Washington State Ferries uses 60 different radios, including the 15 aboard the boats. Sunrise used Proxim WiMax gear that uses the outdoor routing protocol, which helps eliminate hidden radio nodes. The protocol involves a polling procedure` to find the nearest receiving radio, which helps eliminate hidden radio nodes said Milt Gregory, CEO of Cupertino, Calif.-based Sunrise Wireless.

Proxim’s Tsunami base stations provide the WiMax backhaul. It connects to on-board Wi-Fi networks that largely rely on radios from Cisco. The Wi-Fi network was originally built and operated by Parsons of Irvine Calif., which sold the operation to Boingo last year.

Verizon will begin rolling out its LTE network in 25 markets starting on November 15th. Verizon’s LTE network promises to be ten times faster than its 3G network.

Verizon Wireless will deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s 7750 service router, 7705 service aggregation router and its 5620 service aware manager.

Verizon Global Wholesale, their fiber arm, will be providing fiber links between more than 3,500 Verizon Wireless cell sites and the company’s mobile telephone switching offices in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Verizon will start selling Apple’s iPhone in January, 2011, says Bloomberg. Perhaps an LTE iPhone will follow later.

Dailywireless has more on Millimeter Band including; Microwave for Highway Surveillance,DragonWave: Faster, Cheaper Backhaul, Spectrum Bridge: Largest Spectrum Aggregator, Hospital Builds 60 GHz Network, Canon’s Optical Link, MIMO 4×4 On a Chip, Exalt: GigE on 5 GHz, SF Bay Unwired with Proxim, Stephouse: Fast, Reliable 5 GHz Long Shots, Proxim Unwires Indiana’s Statewide ITS Network, T-Mobile: Now HSPA+ Coverage for 75M, Verizon: Spectrum Scarcity is Good, BridgeWave: 1Gbps Backhaul on 80GHz, 3.65 GHz Gets Real, Millimeter Gigabit Gets Competition and More 70GHz Radios

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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