5G is fast becoming a reality in many parts of the world. According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 461 operators in 137 countries/territories are now investing in 5G, including trials, licenses acquisition, planning, deployment, and launches. Of those, 176 operators in 72 countries/territories had launched one or more 5G services.
It’s pretty simple – network operators need to build more capacity to support active or future planned deployments of 5G. Even operators who don’t see 5G on the horizon yet are facing new capacity demands, whether they have 4G/LTE networks or are delivering rural broadband services using fixed wireless access.
In March 2020, Ireland was preparing for lockdown, placing additional strain on rural networks. Enter BBnet, an ISP operating in Ireland; Irish Wireless, equipment distributor; and Aviat Networks. The three companies teamed together to design and plan a new link that delivered rural broadband services to parts of County Limerick in a few weeks.
Part 1 of our “Revolutionizing 5G Mission Critical Transport Networks” blog post series addressed microwave versus fiber as the better solution for mission critical 5G. We now continue our exploration focusing on mission critical use cases. Many critical applications, such as connected/autonomous cars, industrial Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, and public safety applications, require consistent reliability from their mobile networks. Under threat of multi-day outages from disasters and other types of network downtime and service outages, mobile networks must ensure the reliability and resiliency needed for 5G operation and its critical missions.
When lives and property are at stake, a reliable transport is crucial. As it has for decades, microwave will play a key role in keeping 5G mission-critical network up and running.
Randy Jenkins, Aviat Networks’ Director of Business Development for North America, attended the “5G Transport & the Edge” meeting of technology leaders in New York on October 10. He sat on the microwave transport in the 5G environment panel, titled “Redefining the Access Network: Examining RAN Architecture & the Implications for 5G Transport.”
Author: Stuart Little, Director, International Product Line Marketing
Have you heard the buzz about Multi-Band? Multi-Band combines traditional microwave channel alongside an E-Band (80 GHz) channel, joining the capacity of the latter with the high availability of the former. Multi-Band makes E-Band carrier-class over longer distances, making it a much more viable and deployable solution for 5G backhaul.
Without becoming reality, 5G mobile communications have already captured the imagination of operators and technology providers. So can the general public catch up with the hype soon? We’ll see. Meantime, behind-the-scenes mechanics of prepping for 5G continue, building on prior technologies. At each step of the evolution of backhaul infrastructure, different challenges cropped up.
Through various innovations, wireless transport technology has consistently surpassed capacity demands through 2G, 3G and 4G transitions and remains on trajectory to continue in a 5G network. Reliability of wireless backhaul products has never been better, and costs continue to decline especially relative to fiber-based options. From a product point of view, many good and reliable options exist that cover all frequency bands and form factors to solve the problem of backhaul, small cell and other sub-applications.
In many wireless networks, transport engineering looks after the microwave radio function while the IT department has domain over IP equipment. These two organizations started independently and grew separately over many years. It did not seem that there was any problem with this arrangement.
However, it led to the selection of equipment—radios and routers—that worked really well on their own but had no awareness of one another. Not surprisingly, these technology solutions did not perform together optimally.