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.
- September 24, 2020
- 26 links backbone, 4X4 MIMO, alternative to fiber, fiber, high capacity, LOS MIMO, microwave backbone, MIMO deployment, Multipath propagation, Spectrum
The backbone deployment consisted of
all utilizing the same 4×4 MIMO configuration.
Africell Sierra Leone is a mobile network operator in West Africa with over 4 million subscribers who had just launched 4G in 2018 on their radio access network. This launch caused capacity constraints on the transport layer of their network.
According to NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, broadband use has multiplied by more than twenty times since the early 2000s. However, three out of every ten Americans still do not enjoy its benefits. That represents a sizable market, and a good part of that market is in rural areas that lack the infrastructure for it. For service providers, the challenges lie in entering those markets quickly and effectively, and at lower ownership and operational costs than fiber or other solutions.
- March 14, 2016
- AT&T, backhaul, California ISO, cost per mile, DWDM, E-Band, fiber, fiber optic technology, FierceWireless, IP/MPLS, Layer 3, RCR Wireless, Re/code, SDN, software defined networking, Sprint, urban backhaul, Verizon, Wireless Week
In 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.
- November 24, 2015
- 2G, 5G, coax, copper, fiber, IP, IT, Layer 1, LTE Advanced, microwave, Microwave Router, SCADA, transport
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.