Much more capacity, zero compromise!

By Dudy Cohen 4 min read

Let’s talk about getting more capacity – much more capacity – into your access, backhaul, and backbone without compromising on well… anything!

Most service providers need to find a way to enable higher capacity. The demand for capacity is constantly growing, whether it’s for connecting enterprise customers, urban cell sites, or data centers.

So let’s talk briefly about millimeter waves and E-bands

Millimeter waves, and specifically E-Band, have evolved as an extremely cost-effective solution for ultra-high speed connectivity for short ranges.

Technically, millimeter waves are signals transmitted at frequencies between 30GHz to 300GHz (the name is derived by dividing it by the speed of light to get the wavelength). However, the main focus when referring to millimeter waves is usually on the 71GHz to 86GHz band, also known as the E-Band.

The advantage of the E-Band is that it contains a lot of available spectrum. You can easily use 250MHz, 500MHz, and more, and still achieve multi-Gbps capacity, a task that's difficult and often expensive in lower frequencies. The higher frequency also enables the use of small form factor equipment and small antennas, which are a great match for street-level deployments. This is why companies like Facebook are testing E-Band technology for various applications.

So what’s the catch?

The trade-off, however, is that the higher the frequency, the higher the signal attenuation. This means that the benefits and capabilities of E-Band come with the price of limited reach and availability.

When looking at a typical urban network, which usually requires a higher capacity, most wireless transmission links are a few-hundred feet in length – making them ideal for E-Band.

However, for longer links, which are a few miles in length, E-Band implementation is more challenging due to high attenuation. This in turn leads to an insufficient link budget, which causes poor link availability and compromises service quality for customers (and their SLAs).

Benefit from the best of both worlds with Multiband

Don’t despair though – there is a way to enjoy the best of the two worlds (traditional microwave and millimeterwave). By using Multiband, you can achieve the ultra-high capacity of an E-Band link while still maintaining the ultra-high five-nines’ availability of your microwave link.

Instead of tearing down the existing microwave (MW) link when installing the new, shiny E-Band gear, multi-band uses it to maintain your link’s availability. A layer-1 carrier bonding mechanism is used to distribute the traffic between the two carriers (MW and E-Band) per the available capacity of each carrier at any given time.

Once a fading condition is created at the E-Band link, the capacity remaining on the MW link will be sufficient to carry high-priority traffic (and probably a lot of your best-effort traffic as well). When the E-Band link rebounds, you will gain the full link’s capacity. Most importantly, because the overall link’s availability derives from the microwave link, the availability is very high.

So, when it comes to achieving ultra-high capacity with E-Band links, there is no need to compromise on availability (or anything else)!

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