TWS technologies, based in the Netherlands, are always looking for new systems to enable reliable connections for their customers, anytime, anywhere.
Safaricom, the largest telecom company in Kenya, recently selected Aviat’s WTM 4800 multi-band radio platform to support their 5G backhaul rollout.
In 2015, PNG outlined its Vision 2050, committing the government to promote the social and economic development of the nation by that date. National leaders spoke of W.W. Rostow’s five-stage model of development. The second of those stages is all important: the building of infrastructure necessary for the success of all sectors of economic and social life, which includes manufacturing, technology, transportation, and communication.
Are you considering deploying microwave links in your network? Instead of deploying 15, 18 or 23 GHz why not try WTM 4800 Multi-Band with 80/xxGHz. You can replace your microwave links with Multi-Band which combines E-Band and traditional microwave (15/18/23GHz) on a single link over a single antenna to drastically improve capacity that can be typically achieved by microwave alone.
- December 20, 2018
- all-outdoor, Microwave Radio, MTBF, ODU, outdoor radio, radios, RF, RF Performance, sub-band free, TCO, Total Cost of Ownership
By Stuart Little, Director of International Product Line Marketing
In the past years, a few microwave vendors have introduced ‘sub-band free’ RF outdoor units into the market. The main claim of these radios is that a single hardware variant can be deployed in any frequency sub-band, simplifying and lower costs involved with ordering, deployment and sparing of microwave networks.
However, these new radios are not available in all bands and come with a number of limitations, including lower RF performance, larger size, and weight, higher cost, limitations in modulation and channel sizes, amongst others.
This large western US state had a longtime relationship with a microwave radio vendor and would have continued buying from them if their radios and support evolved with the State’s needs. However, over time its needs changed and it had to have more capabilities from its communications network. But it did not want to unnecessarily build new sites and erect costly new towers.
- July 30, 2013
- backhaul, custom survey, Ethernet, internet, Internet Protocol, microwave, microwave antennae, MIMO, Mobile network operator, network throughput, quantifiable data, TCO, Total Cost of Ownership
The general mobile industry sentiment has typically been that the capacity bottleneck is the biggest challenge in backhaul. Thus, the focus has been on adding more capacity to address the surge of 3G and now 4G traffic. So you might think that this concern would rank first, particularly among microwave-centric operators, who are often looking to maximize their network throughput. We recently commissioned the experts at Heavy Reading to do a custom survey to get some quantifiable data to clarify this key question and a few others.
85 mobile operators were selected and surveyed globally, including a good cross-section from both developed and emerging markets. The respondents were screened to ensure that they all had a stake in microwave-specific backhaul: 93 percent had deployed microwave and the rest had plans to deploy it. In fact, 45 percent were categorized as heavy microwave users—those where more than 50 percent of their cell sites were served by microwave backhaul.
So we asked this select group, which consisted of mostly planners, engineers and strategy leaders, “What is the biggest challenge your company faces regarding the future development and deployment of microwave backhaul?”
The results were interesting in that “total cost of ownership” actually eclipsed “increasing capacity” as their biggest challenge, as shown in the pie chart of survey responses below.
- February 15, 2013
- all-outdoor, Electronics and Electrical, Extremely high frequency, forklift upgrade, microwave, millimeter-wave, ODR, Radio, Radio frequency, technology, Telecommunications, Total Cost of Ownership
Photo credit: mrbill / Foter.com / CC BY
A quick Google-glance around the Internet will reveal a panoply of all-outdoor radios (ODRs) in both microwave and millimeter-wave bands. ODRs do not conform to a universal norm in terms of networking features, power consumption, bandwidth scalability (i.e., capacity) or outright radio horsepower (i.e., system gain).
So if you find yourself asking the questions, “Which ODR is the best fit for my network?” or “How do I narrow the ODR field?” it is good to start with the basics.
The right product choice can be quickly resolved—or at least the candidates can be short-listed—by focusing on three ODR product attributes that most heavily influence the value-for-the-money (i.e., total cost of ownership or TCO) equation:
- Packet throughput capacity, which dictates the usable life of the ODR
- Power consumption, which affects the energy bill
- RF performance, which impacts antenna size—more system gain equates to smaller antennas
For many microwave backhaul networks, the growth in underlying traffic is such that products which cannot scale to 500 Mbps/1 Gbps per channel will run out of momentum too early and precipitate the dreaded “forklift upgrade” (also known as the “CFO’s nightmare”).
These same CFOs are also suffering sleepless nights due to rising energy costs—which in some countries can double year-over-year. Therefore, it behooves the operator to seek and prioritize the use of über energy-efficient products, such as the Aviat WTM 3200, which—and this is important—do not compromise on RF performance.
That brings me to my last point: System gain (RF performance) remains a core TCO factor insofar as it can drive smaller antenna usage with the concomitant capex savings. Still, there might be little to differentiate ODRs in terms of RF performance—in which case the spotlight will fall on these other attributes to sway the decision.
Having worked on the operator side and wrestled with TCO analysis on many occasions, my experience tells me that you can narrow your ODR choice quickly by reflecting on these three attributes and the TCO gains they can deliver.
Product Marketing Manager
Spectrum above 6 GHz is much more available for small cell backhaul than spectrum below 6 GHz.
A different solution to handle the burgeoning demand for mobile broadband capacity will be needed. More spectrum coupled with more spectral efficiency will not be sufficient. A clear solution is more sites, but deploying more macro-sites in urban and dense urban areas (where most of the traffic will be needed) will not be feasible.
Small cells promise a new “underlay” of outdoor and indoor, low power micro-cells that are deployed on public and private infrastructure within the urban clutter, are seen as seen as a likely solution. Sites being considered include:
- Pole tops (e.g., such as street lighting, traffic light systems, electric utility poles, telco poles)
- Bus stops
- Building walls
- Building rooftops
These new sites will need to be compact, simple to install, energy efficient and incorporate an organically scalable and tightly integrated backhaul solution. As a result, there will be many more sites—some projections estimate that up to 10 small cells will be deployed for every macro-site. Small cells hold out the promise of great gains for the end users but massive challenges for the operators.
Small cell deployments so far have mainly been concentrated in Europe (3G) and the USA (LTE). 3G small cells may also be deployed in other regions as a means to avoid the difficulties in obtaining planning approval for larger macro-cell sites.
It’s Still Early
Today, as far as wireless small cell backhaul (SCBH) solutions are concerned, there is evidence of product immaturity and hyperactivity in equal measure.
There is profusion of aggressively hyped solutions, including many that are a rehashing existing/niche solutions and at the opposite extreme some very new and unproven technologies. In practice, these solutions are jockeying for position while operators grapple to understand the formidable planning and infrastructure challenges being thrown up by their small cell ambitions. It is apparent that few appear that they will fully satisfy the anticipated and emerging requirements in terms of performance (i.e., capacity, latency, availability), size/shape, ease of deployment and most importantly, total cost of ownership. For the complete article, download the PDF.
Stuart D. Little
Director, Product Marketing
- November 13, 2012
- backhaul, Kuwait, LTE, MENA, Middle East, mobile, operator companies, Saudi Arabia, south sudan, Total Cost of Ownership, United Arab Emirates, Zain
Zain Group held its Zain Technology Conference in early November 2012 for its suppliers in order to better align its technology investments for the future.
Last week, I travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates with my colleague, Steve Loebrich, to attend and present at the Zain Technology Conference. That brought together senior technical staff from the Zain Group of mobile operator companies from eight countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan and Sudan. This was the second time this pioneering mobile operator has held this conference since 2009. Zain launched the first mobile network in the Middle East in 1983 and now serves more than 41 million subscribers.
At the conference, Zain announced its new initiative “Ghanduna Zain” (Zain Tomorrow), which is a new strategy to bridge its technology investment plans with the future. Like mobile operators all around the world Zain is working hard to support the booming demand for mobile broadband data as well as providing basic voice and data services, through high-speed 3G technology and now with the impending launch of LTE services in its Kuwait network.
In the words of Zain Group’s CTO, Hisham Allam, “The purpose of our conference is to facilitate the exchange of the latest industry expertise, and given we have vast areas of growth in the fields of voice and data services, such trends pose both an opportunity as well as a challenge in terms of managing the expansion in traffic efficiently.” Allam continued, “The rise in mobile data and the growth in the usage of smartphones to access content is a reality, with smartphones representing over 90 percent of all mobile devices sold in Kuwait at this point in time. The increasingly sophisticated nature of modern mobile-services consumers requires that we become fully aware of their needs and their expectations in terms of quality of services.”
During the conference, Zain’s vendor partners gave presentations on new technologies and highlighted their products and services. Aviat Networks participated along with our partner, Middle East Telecommunications Company (METCO), which has worked with Zain for the past 25 years in transmission and backhaul networks in countries such as Kuwait, Iraq and Sudan. During the breakout sessions, Aviat conducted two presentations covering Network Convergence and lowering the Total Cost of Ownership of microwave backhaul networks and an overview of technology options and challenges for providing backhaul for new Small Cells.
Overall, it was a great event and extremely well-organized by Zain, and I look forward to the next conference. You can view a short video of the conference on CNBC Arabia (in Arabic).
Director Product and Regional Marketing