IRU 600 v4 was announced 2 months ago and is the newest all indoor radio for the North American market. The latest version offers the ability to utilize true wide channels (up to 80MHz) and high modulations (up to 4096QAM) to transport ultra-high capacities, while retaining the radio’s extra high-power (EHP) amplifier. The IRU 600 v4 builds on the tradition of its industry-leading predecessor, which introduced the EHP and reshaped the way microwave paths were designed; users were finally able to design longer links with higher path reliability while using smaller antennas. Now with the v4, users can also design paths with approximately 3x more capacity than the previous version.
The v4 was introduced roughly 3 years after the EHP was released and while 3 years seems like a long time, it is a relatively low cycle time for new technology and hardware in the microwave space. The adoption of the EHP has been tremendous and disruptive and while applications for EHP has been widespread, we recognized the need to look further into the future. Networks are changing and evolving rapidly so the need for constant product evolution is crucial to extend longevity. Most microwave network refreshes have occurred every 10 years or so and this has allowed microwave radios to remain technologically static for just as long. 10-year refreshes are often no longer viable because recent capacity trends and adoption of Ethernet traffic are forcing networks to migrate much faster – networks that previously lasted 10 or 15 years are now facing pressure to be refreshed every 4 years or shorter.
However, financial realities dictate microwave networks just cannot be swapped out every 4 years. Microwave technology must be ready for the future and outpace those technology cycles driven by IP/Ethernet and capacity demands.
For microwave networks to last the changes over time, they need to be able to support high capacities and advanced IP capabilities, be interoperable with previous product versions, and offer expansion ports for seamless network migration. In addition, networks must maintain the availability or up-time required for mission critical networks. The primary issue facing network designers is the tradeoff between capacity and system gain and this forces designers into choosing one or the other and forces networks to be designed for near-term requirements and subject to major upgrades down the road.
The new v4 addresses these challenges by providing ultra-high capacity options, innovative migration solutions, along with the extra high-power amplifier to provide the optimal balance of capacity and system gain. The v4 also gives you different options for capacity, from high-modulation options to wide-channel options, which provides additional flexibility when it comes to network designs. In terms of longevity, it provides the best defense against technology obsolescence and is the only product in the industry that can outpace the demands of the network.