On August 3, the FCC approved new channels for backhaul at 6 GHz and 11 GHz (see page 46 of the FCC document). The 6 GHz band will offer a 60 MHz wide channel and the 11 GHz band will allow a 80 MHz wide channel. The FCC wants to make more efficient use of 11, 18, and 23 GHz fixed microwave bands.
The FCC also liberalized their rules to allow smaller antennas in the 6, 18, and 23 GHz bands without materially increasing interference. Clearwire, for example, uses thousands of links in the 18 and 23 GHz bands with 50 megahertz channels to provide backhaul for its WiMAX network, mostly using DragonWave gear.
Permiting the use of smaller antennas in the 5925-6875 MHz band (6 GHz band), 17700-18820 MHz and 18920-19700 MHz bands (18 GHz band), and 21200-23600 MHz band (23 GHz band) would be especially useful in rural areas with little worry of interference. Clearwire cites “technology advancements and more sophisticated band sharing techniques” would allow smaller antennas without an increased risk of interference.
The FCC expects there will be savings in operational costs. For example, if an operator using a 6 GHz link is able to use 3-foot antennas instead of 6-foot antennas, its site rental costs could decrease by $7,200 each year.
Exalt says they are the only microwave vendor with a true 80 MHz profile available today. Other vendors have a maximum 56 MHz profile.
Their Exalt ExplorerAir LR radio, using the 80 MHz profile and 512 QAM, is capable of 720 Mbps. Exalt claims its ultra-high system gain ensures that even at this higher data rate, availability is better than some competitive systems running at 448 Mbps. ExploreAir outdoor radios are software defined and configurable for easily capacity scaling. They cost around $10K a pop.
The Exalt portfolio includes radio systems that operate in worldwide frequency bands ranging from 2 to 43 GHz. Frequency coverage includes popular FCC and ITU/ETSI licensed bands, license-exempt 2.4, 5, and 24 GHz bands, and government use bands such as 4.5 GHz and the 4.9 GHz public safety band.
Ubiquiti Networks has announced a new outdoor wireless backhaul radio platform called AirFiber. Their proprietary in-house radio design uses the license-free 24GHz band, and provides up to 1.4Gbps up to 13 km, without the capital costs associated with fiber. At $2,995 per link, it’s meant for wireless ISPs.
Ubiquiti seems to be taking aim at DragonWave, a leading provider of high-capacity packet microwave solutions.
FiberTower spectrum will bundled with DragonWave’s Avenue product line, enabling FiberTower’s 24 GHz and 39 GHz licenses to serve mobile carriers with six-inch and smaller antennas to provide street-level microcellular backhaul offerings.
Other Millimeter Band articles on Dailywireless include; Millimeter Frequencies Proposed for 5G, LightPointe RF/Optical Bridge, Dragonwave Adds 5GHz & 80 GHz Microwave, License-free Backhaul Speeds Up, Gigabit Backhaul: The New Battlefield, 4G Microwave Backhaul, DragonWave: Faster, Cheaper Backhaul, Microwave for Highway Surveillance, 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, and Millimeter Gigabit Gets Competition