Experiencing interference with your 5GHz service?

By Andrew Westerman 4 min read

To satisfy connectivity requirements, Internet service providers, large enterprises, municipalities and others often seek short-range wireless links in order to avoid costly fiber deployment or leased lines. License-exempt sub-6GHz solutions, and specifically 5.xGHz, has long served as an ideal solution, as it offered a low-cost, single time investment, which is widely available and easy to manage.

These solutions offer free-of-spectrum-charges connectivity, which, in theory, can accommodate bi-direction traffic of as much as 700Mbps.

Such capacity could be achieved, however, in an optimal scenario in which high modulations could be implemented (Typically 256QAM) and wide channels could be used (up to 80MHz).


Unfortunately, as the 5GHz solution gained popularity and its user base grew (for point-to-point as well as point-to-multipoint applications), so did the level of interference.  Ever-growing capacity requirements and congestion have led to great interference that has caused the 5GHz solution to become less reliable – ultimately compromising its users’ ability to provide quality service.  

The effect of spectrum congestion and interference on links’ availability and capacity can be dramatic. 5GHz technologies mitigate such interference by reducing modulation (in order to increase system gain), and while a 5dB system gain change will reflect in about 50% of the capacity (down to ~300Mbps), one can often require to overcome a 10dB step which results in 1/10 of the capacity. Another interference mitigation technique is reducing the channel bandwidth, which results in filtering out some of the interference, increasing the system gain but halving the capacity.

So, while your link was planned to serve 700Mbps of traffic – you may find yourself with a poor 70Mbps pipe and lots of frustrated customers.

Alternatives for 5GHz connectivity might be solutions in the 24GHz and 38GHz ranges. Those bands, however also suffer from congestions and interference (24GHz as it based on license-exempt bands) or from the lack of available spectrum (38GHz)

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

There is, however, a better match for today’s capacity and quality of service needs – Ceragon FibeAir IP-20E - a compact, ultra-high capacity E-Band (70-80GHz) solution.

FibeAir IP-20E eliminates both interference and capacity limitations as it allows multi-gigabit connectivity in a licensed band – at minimal costs, minimal footprint, and minimal power consumption.

It does so by using the practically-unlimited E-Band spectrum, with channel spacing of 62.5MHz-500MHz, allowing you to accommodate capacity requirements of up to 2.5Gbps.

FibeAir IP-20E allows you to keep a 5GHz-like physical footprint with the flat panel integrated antenna. This configuration enables you to overcome concerns (as it practically looks like a 5GHz access point) and install your link anywhere (without the limitation derived from antenna size with other alternatives).

It also minimizes spectrum fees with the unique support of narrowband channels (down to 62.5MHz spacing) – so you only pay for the spectrum you actually need. Moreover, quick installation wizards and the unified CeraOS operating system allow you to increase staff productivity and gain faster time to market.

As 5GHz can no longer ensure your service level, Ceragon FibeAir IP-20E allows you to future-proof your infrastructure – today.

Learn more about Ceragon's FibeAir IP-20 and other IP-20 platform solutions

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