Sprint Opts for Microwave Radio over Fiber for Backhaul

Sprint-opts-for-microwave-over-fiber-in-backhaul-Aviat-Networks-March-10-2016In late January and into February 2016, a big tumult ensued when Sprint announced that it would begin to move its mobile backhaul strategy from one based on leased fiber to another based on owned microwave radio. The story first ran in technology news site Re/code and quickly got reposted with additional commentary by FierceWireless, Wireless Week and others, and which was reiterated this week in RCR Wireless.

While the breathtaking headlines about reducing costs by $1 billion caught most people’s attention—primarily through reducing tower leasing costs and not using competitors’ networks—lower down in the copy came a potent reminder from Sprint about the economic benefits of microwave radio. It also highlighted the fact that backhaul has entered a transitional period (see article end for more on that).

Most of that $1 billion that Sprint seeks to save comes by way of moving away from AT&T and Verizon fiber backhaul networks. You might think that Sprint would build its own fiber network instead. But that would take too long and still have an exorbitant price tag associated with it. It’s a function of both out-of-pocket capital costs and embedded lost opportunity costs. Bottom line: laying fiber connections is expensive and slow. Putting up a network of high-speed, broadband microwave relay towers is quicker and easier. Continue reading

Aviat Helps Enhance Voice and Data for Ncell in the Himalayas

Just this February, Ncell, the leading mobile provider in Nepal, awarded Aviat Networks an Appreciation Certificate for successfully migrating its existing VSAT network to high-speed Eclipse microwave radio. This project was executed in the Himalaya range at an average attitude of 4,410 meters above sea level with three passive repeater links. Included in this rollout is a 99 km microwave link.

According to Ncell, this is the world’s highest 3G rollout. As a result, this upgrade is considered a feather in Ncell’s hat.

While Aviat Networks has completed many successful projects with Ncell, this one is worth a special mention. Awarded in 2013, this project has helped Aviat establish itself as a key Ncell vendor for the access network. The implementation includes equipment and services. Continue reading