Takeaways from 5G Transport and the Edge Panel Discussion on RAN Architecture & the Implications for 5G Transport

Takeaways from 5G Transport and the Edge Panel Discussion on RAN Architecture & the Implications for 5G Transport

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.”

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Top 10 Benefits of a One-Box Multi-Band Solution

Top 10 Benefits of a One-Box Multi-Band Solution

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.

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Design Your Multi-Band Links in AviatCloud

Design Your Multi-Band Links in AviatCloud

Aviat Design, Aviat’s cloud-based link planning application, supports WTM 4800 E-Band and Multi-band designs. Aviat Design is the industry’s first and only integrated Multi-band link design solution showing a combined view of availability and capacity for the link. This enables easy, fast, intuitive E-Band and Multi-Band designs (all specs included, no pathloss files to download or update, easy cloud access). Popular design tools will require 2 separate link calculations for Multi-Band, and will not result in a combined design for the link, making it virtually impossible to understand the expected link performance or capacity or estimate the proper antenna size. Aviat Design is FREE for use at www.aviatcloud.com.

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Wireless Backhaul is Not Dead Yet

Wireless Backhaul is Not Dead Yet

By Stuart Little, Director of International Product Line Marketing, US

This Halloween, zombies aren’t the only thing coming to life. Evolutions in e-band and multi-band mean wireless will play a crucial role in the rollout of 5G.

5G is coming (and hopefully it won’t be accompanied by White Walkers) and will bring with it tremendous challenges for network operators, and no less critical will be backhaul, where needed capacities will grow from the hundreds of Megabits to multiple Gigabits. In their latest Microwave Outlook (from December 2017), Ericsson forecasts that by 2022 the typical backhaul requirement for a high-capacity radio site will be in the around 1 Gbps, increasing to as much as 5 Gbps towards 2025.

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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.

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Fishing for the Small Cell Red Herring

Fishing-for-Small-Cell-Red-Herring-Aviat-Networks-microwave-backhaul-blog-February-22-2014

Photo credit: Foter / CC BY-SA

As the telecom community searches for reasons why Small Cell architectures have not yet launched en masse, “experts” are quick to suggest that lack of backhaul technology as the key perpetrator.

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More on E-band Backhaul: a Tale of Two Operators

Tight city spaces will need small E-band radios for microcell backhaul. Photo credit: La Citta Vita / Foter / CC BY-SA

Tight city spaces will need small E-band radios for microcell backhaul. Photo credit: La Citta Vita / Foter / CC BY-SA

The last time we were together, we discussed the prospects for urban backhaul in 2014. True, it will be a very exciting time in the 70 GHz and 80 GHz E-band frequencies. The promise of small cells is finally coming to fruition after the hype cycle had all but chewed and spit them out. Remember when you first heard of DSL and cable modem? By the time you could get one, the media had stopped talking about them for at least two years. But we’re digressing.

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Urban Backhaul with 70-80GHz E-band Radios

E-band-millimeterwave-backhaul-radios-in-the-70GHz-and-80GHz-spectrum-will-be-able-of-mounting-on-various-urban-infrastructure-Aviat-Networks-blog-17-January-2014

Urban infrastructure for E-band radio. Photo credit: christine592 / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

For years and years, microwave and millimeterwave radio technologies have coexisted without very much overlap in either their markets or applications. Microwave radio served telephone company needs (e.g., long distance backhaul, mobile access aggregation) for the bulk of its implementations with some vertical deployments for oil and gas, public safety and utilities organizations. Typically, licensed bands in service ranged from 6GHz to 42GHz—with 11GHz and under popular for long haul; 18-38GHz trendy for short urban hops. Generally, millimeterwave radio is considered to be between the 60GHz and 80GHz bands and found its applications confined to those for intra-campus communication from building to building for universities, civic centers, other government conglomerations and large, spread-out (i.e., 1 to 5 miles) corporate facilities.

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E-Band Global Regulation Roundup

Because of need for higher capacities, the trend toward shorter link distances for mobile backhaul and declining product costs, 70/80GHz (i.e., E-band) solutions are gathering significant interest for mobile backhaul and enterprise access applications. However, because these frequencies are new to most people, there is little understanding of costs and other issues related to licensing the 70-80GHz spectrum.

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Mobile World Congress 2012 Day 2

Aviat Networks meets customers at Mobile World Congress 2012

Aviat Networks personnel were busy on Day 2 of Mobile World Congress 2012 meeting customers, analysts and journalists.

So we are halfway done, and the crowds surged today. The GSMA should be pretty pleased with the attendance, with most halls being packed full. We had another busy day in our pavilion, meeting with customers, press, media and analysts, bringing them up to speed with our success in providing proven backhaul solutions for LTE networks around the world.

There has been lots of discussion at the show about small cells and possible backhaul solutions but not much in the way of visible solutions. On the backhaul side 60 GHz point-to-point seems to be the flavor of the month, with NEC launching its new solution, among others. Not long ago E-Band (70-90 GHz) was the favorite, but concerns about OPEX appear to be driving vendors to the lower frequency band, which is license-free, as opposed to the “lightly licensed” E-Band. Whether this actually will make any meaningful difference in the overall cost of providing backhaul for small cells may depend on a lot of factors. What is certain is that it is too early to tell, as many agree that deployment of small cells will still be one to two years away yet, so the best backhaul solutions may still be on the drawing board. All we know is that no single technology will be a clear winner, and that all solutions will need to satisfy the requirements of very low cost, sufficient capacity, size and ease of deployment.

On a similar and related front, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent among others were promoting their new integrated/Carrier Wi-Fi solutions, fresh off the recent news of Ericsson’s acquisition of BelAir Networks. Carrier Wi-Fi promises to converge mobile and Wi-Fi technologies to provide a seamless broadband experience for customers and improve network coverage and capacity as an alternative to deploying new cell sites.

Finally, for those willing to stay late and tolerate the queue into the conference auditorium, Google’s Eric Schmidt gave another thought-provoking and potentially controversial keynote about Google’s vision for the mobile Internet. You should be able to catch a replay on the GSMA’s Mobile World Live website sometime soon.

See you on Day 3!

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