You’ve probably heard CommScope talk many
times over about the importance of the quality and performance of microwave
antennas and the detrimental effect that deployment of sub-standard antennas
can have on a backhaul network. (As a refresher, check out a previous blog post of mine.)
We’re not the only ones talking. Sky Light Research
is an analyst firm specializing in wireless point-to-point backhaul
technologies. Their market share reports are used widely in the industry and
regarded as one of the most dependable sources of unbiased information in the
In this Microwave Journal article from December 2013, Emmy Johnson, founder and principal
analyst of Sky Light Research, takes an independent look at the issues of
microwave antenna quality and performance. I encourage everyone to read Emmy’s
article for a thorough analysis of the topic.
As one of our other bloggers has written, the ongoing demand for capacity in the wireless industry is
being met by radios with higher modulation schemes; however, these schemes can
make links more susceptible to interference. Spectrum is an expensive and
sought after resource, and the more we can re-use this investment while
providing high Quality of Service (QoS), the better for all concerned. This is
precisely the reason we developed the Sentinel®
microwave antenna solution.
What’s the point of engineers developing
the best radios in the world, and then not getting the best out of them by attempting
to save a few dollars on initial antenna CapEx? It has been shown that this
initial cost-saving is actually insignificant compared to higher operating
costs over the lifetime of the network because of poor antenna selection. Savings
on tower lease costs, product costs, transportation/storage and spectrum along
with opportunities for additional revenue through improved capacity and reduced
network downtime are extremely interesting to us in the market.
One of the hot topics in the wireless
industy is backhaul from small cells. The high link density in these urban
networks takes frequency congestion to another level. With the service level
expectations of consumers in these heavily populated areas every bit as high as
they have been in previous macro cells, again, QoS must be maintained. We should
ask ourselves if mobile operators are going risk the reputation of their
networks by deploying lower performance products using unregulated technologies
in these critical cells where data offloads and capacity demands are going to
be huge. It seems many are reluctant to even consider this.
What do you think? Are you seeing similar
issues in backhaul networks?
Emmy. “Quality Counts: Backhaul driven performance through Antennas.” Microwave
Journal. December 2, 2013.