The Many Flavors of Millimeter Wave

By Jeremy Ladner 12 min read

Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, famously said that customers ordering the original Model T “could have any color as long as it's black.” While the ‘One Size Fits All’ product approach has the benefit of simplicity, the reality is that different customers have different needs. Serve the needs of more customers, and you’ll earn the trust, loyalty, and business of more customers.

Countless Types of Connectivity Customers

Communication networks come in a vast variety of types and sizes. From tier 1 continent-crossing Communications Service Providers (CSPs), to local private network operators responsible for regional public safety, municipal governments, utilities, energy production, and of course, Internet Service Providers (ISPs). There are many options for delivering connectivity, among them fiber, microwave, and millimeter wave. (see whitepaper).

Why choose millimeter wave? Millimeter wave enables high-capacity, low-latency transport while overcoming the shortage of available spectrum on microwave frequencies by using lower-cost alternatives. The result is fiber-like capacity and reliability with wireless ease of deployment. However, trying to sell this diverse group of customers, the exact same millimeter wave (mmW) network connectivity solution would be misguided. That’s where Ceragon’s comprehensive catalog of millimeter wave network connectivity solutions, covering both E-band and V-band comes in handy.

Ceragon knows that different customers have different challenges, different goals, and different resources. With more than a dozen Ceragon millimeter wave devices to choose from, we’re certain you’ll find the right fit among our millimeter wave family. To make selecting the perfect fit a bit easier we thought it might be helpful to look at a handful of common customer use cases and some potential corresponding Ceragon solutions.

1// National Mobile Network Operator (MNO)

The Challenge | Connecting a New Residential Community
A prominent US mobile network operator was looking for a solution to extend its high-capacity coverage into a new rural community in a location with various network availability challenges. Because the community's population was relatively small, the anticipated near-term return on investment (ROI) was limited. The operator wanted to minimize risk and the total cost of ownership for the network expansion while ensuring new customers would receive the capacity and availability they required.

The Solution | Multiband IP-50E w/ IP-50C
Ceragon’s Multiband solution combines the benefits of both microwave and millimeter wave providing the mobile network operator with power, performance, and versatility – all at an affordable price. The unique multiband pairing ensures availability even in the most challenging network environments.

Handling the millimeter wave side of the multiband workload is Ceragon’s IP-50E, delivering 10 Gbps of capacity along with impressive Layer 1 (L1) aggregation capabilities. L1 aggregation allows operators to bundle multiple lower-capacity links into a single high-capacity link, maximizing throughput and enhancing network efficiency. This is especially beneficial for operators looking to provide high-capacity connectivity over extended distances.

Ceragon’s IP-50C steps up to take care of the microwave duties for this multiband duo. In addition to rock-solid availability, the IP-50C adds 4 Gbps of capacity, bringing the solution’s combined total up to an impressive 14 Gbps.

2// Regional Water Utility

The Challenge | Remote Monitoring of IoT Devices

A regional water utility was expanding and updating its facilities to accommodate the needs of a growing suburban community. It needed to ensure real-time monitoring and control of IoT devices in pumping stations as well as sensors used to observe water levels and identify any potential contaminants. Previously, personnel had to physically download data from each sensor, a time-consuming and inefficient process. The network update was needed to deliver real-time data transmission, monitoring, and remote operation of equipment, improving efficiency, reliability, and community safety.

The Solution | Point-to-Multipoint N265 Nodes and T265 Terminals

Ceragon’s MultiHaul TG N265 Nodes and T265 Terminals were the chosen solution. The T265 Terminals use the V-band frequency and serve as endpoints communicating with the N265 nodes. This Point-to-Multipoint (PtMP) solution delivers a capacity of up to 1.8 Gbps, enabling real-time data transmission and remote operation of IoT equipment. In addition, the Terminal Units (TUs) incorporate advanced features such as multiple Ethernet ports and Power over Ethernet (PoE) out for powering third-party devices, like sensors and cameras, adding another layer of functionality, versatility, and value.

The N265 nodes deliver a targeted 90° area of sector-specific coverage, providing ample capacity in dense scenarios. This ensures precise control over equipment and enables the required real-time monitoring and control. Security measures include AES 128-bit Over the Air (OTA) for wireless links and secure management protocols, ensuring high standards of data integrity and safety. The Ceragon PtMP V-band solution addresses the current challenges while also providing scalable, reliable, and future-friendly infrastructure that can evolve with the utility's expanding needs.

3// Municipality

The Challenge | Providing Free Wi-Fi for the City’s Busy Tourist Area

The local tourist board of a large North American city had been receiving multiple requests from various business associations to provide free Wi-Fi access for the city’s large and growing tourist area. Tourists flocking to the city to enjoy the harbor area situated in the center of various boardwalks, museums, art galleries, hotels, and world-famous restaurants were suffering from connectivity issues. Poor Wi-Fi was preventing them from booking accommodations, ordering food, securing transportation, and making reservations for events. For the city to maintain its reputation as a top destination, it needed to take immediate action.

The Solution | Point-to-Multipoint N366 Nodes, T280 Terminals, and EH-8010FX

This municipality’s Wi-Fi woes were solved with the help of Ceragon’s V-band MultiHaul TG N366 Nodes and T280 Terminals with backhaul provided by the EtherHaul 8010FX E-band radio. The technology was perfectly suited to the municipality's need for a budget-conscious solution that could be deployed quickly, addressing the connectivity challenges faced by the tourists in the harbor area and surrounding attractions.

Operating on millimeter waves, the Nodes provide full 360° coverage of all four sectors with 1.8 Gbps of capacity per sector in dense urban scenarios. This ensures high-speed broadband to the Wi-Fi access points across the entirety of the tourist area. This design also provides complete isolation between backhaul and services, ensuring a secure and efficient network that is critical for a public Wi-Fi service.

The ease of deployment and management of these devices, including their small footprint, lightweight design, pre-configuration, and intuitive management web GUI, allows for swift installation and commissioning. This ensures that the city can quickly respond to the needs of its tourists, enhancing their experience and maintaining the city's reputation as a top destination.

4// Local Internet Service Provider (ISP)

The Challenge | Rural Connectivity Across a Digital Divide

When it comes to rural connectivity and bridging the digital divide, cost is often a key consideration. This remote maritime community came together and partnered with a local ISP to share the costs of infrastructure and deployment, making it possible to provide local residents and businesses with the high-capacity connectivity they need to keep up with global competition.

The Solution | IP-50EX Carrier Grade Millimeter Wave w/ Up To 10 Gbps

Clever community cooperation and a willingness to use existing infrastructure, such as high points at local businesses and on private farms, meant that expensive and time-consuming tower planning and building could be avoided altogether. This collaborative approach made network deployment far faster and more affordable.

One of the worries expressed by residents regarding the use of existing infrastructure was the size and weight of any devices that would be mounted on roofs, masts, water towers, and barns. Ceragon had the perfect solution. The IP-50EX E-band mmW radio has a remarkably compact form, lightweight design, and impressive 10 Gbps capacity. Despite all the unique challenges this rural community faced, cooperation, creativity, and a compact E-band solution enabled the delivery of high-capacity connectivity, bridging the digital divide.

5// Public Safety

The Challenge | CCTV Security Cameras for a Sports Stadium

A major American city was in the process of building a new state-of-the-art stadium for its national sports teams. Arena operators wanted to make certain that security personnel and local public safety officials would be equipped with CCTV cameras covering the 70,000-seat stadium interior, a large complex of convention halls, as well as the sprawling parking facility with spots for 18,000 cars. The cameras would play a critical role in helping to ensure the safety of guests, employees, and the local community.

The Solution | Point-to-Multipoint N366 Nodes, T280, T265, T260 Terminals

While the arena is all about fun and games, ensuring security for event attendees is a serious business. To handle the CCTV camera network, the customer selected Ceragon’s MultiHaul TG Point-to-Multipoint N366 V-band Nodes for full 360° coverage along with a variety of V-band terminals, including the T280, T265, and T260, each providing various features and benefits.

The PtMP network delivers reliable, uninterrupted video transmission, unlike standard Wi-Fi, which can suffer from signal instability, making it less than optimal for critical CCTV purposes. This mmW PtMP technology ensures robust capacity with narrow beams, providing optimal coverage for the CCTV cameras deployed across the stadium, convention halls, and parking facility.

Millimeter Wave Solutions That Meet Your Needs

While Ford’s quote about customers being able to buy the Model T in “any color as long as it's black” is both fun and famous, it’s far from factual. The Model T was actually sold in a variety of colors, makes, and models for most of its production run. Ford knew that if the mass production process he helped pioneer was going to be a success, he would have to meet the needs of diverse customers who weren’t all interested in driving a black car.

Ceragon’s family of millimeter wave products covers a vast variety of budgets and use cases, from the simplest and most cost-effective devices to the most powerful high-capacity millimeter wave radios packed with future-friendly features – Ceragon has it all.

Learn more about Ceragon’s family of Millimeter Wave devices

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