Cash revenue Euros microwave antennas As the manufacturers of Andrew Solutions' microwave antennas, CommScope knows how to design antennas to meet tough electrical and mechanical specifications. The mechanical specifications are intuitive and most people can deduce why they are important. For example, the antenna's ability to operate properly after an ice or wind event relates to the mechanical parameters in an antenna specification.

But the electrical specifications are perhaps a little more elusive. For instance, can we rightly deduce that using antennas to direct the microwave beam in a more controlled way will result in a 15% increase in capacity across a network? Do we, as antenna designers, realize what 15% more capacity means in in terms of additional ongoing revenue per year to the operator?

What is the capital investment cost for spending more on better antennas versus the ongoing cost of operating a less efficient network?
And why do we care? Well, it seems that operators are willing to deploy radios that minimize outages so it's logical that operators would want to deploy antennas in their backhaul network that do the same.

I will offer answers to these questions in my presentation at the Layer123 Packet Microwave & Mobile Backhaul Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany on 24-25 September. As part of my talk, I will show the results of a case study of a simple antenna swap-out conducted on a backhaul network of more than 1,000 links in Eastern Europe. This case study offers real-world data associated with the various microwave antenna deployment scenarios.

I will also tell you about the price you pay in terms of network performance using today's Class 3 de facto standard antennas instead of our recommended choice for congested networks today and tomorrow, Class 4 microwave antennas. We'll multiply those numbers by 2,000 (for a 1,000 link network) and compare the capital cost with the ongoing operating cost…I think you'll be surprised at the results!

If you will be in Düsseldorf for the conference, come over to Stand 15 and discuss this or any other microwave backhaul questions you have with our Andrew Solutions team. If you won't be there, leave me a question or comment in the section below. Also watch for our soon to be released white paper, which will provide detailed data about this case study and give you food for thought about the benefits you could get from your own network.

About the Author

John Cole

John Cole is vice president of product line management for the Microwave Systems team at CommScope. His career spans nearly 30 years to include initially working as a microwave engineer on active and passive radar components before moving to Andrew Corporation, where he became an antenna designer and co founder of the ValuLine Microwave Antenna business unit. In 1997, John moved in to a product line management role where he led successful businesses in both satellite antenna/electronics and microwave point to point antennas. John holds several patents relating to antenna design, an electronics/engineering diploma and a BSc (honours) degree in technology from the UK Open University.

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