Posted by: Aviat Networks | February 5, 2016

Super Bowl of Wireless: Phones at Microwave

Super-Bowl-2-of-Wireless-Phones-vs-Aviat-Microwave-Radios-February-5-2016Here at Aviat Networks we have the privilege of extremely close proximity to the site of Super Bowl 50, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. We are about a half mile away and from our building parking lot we can clearly see the venue where the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will clash for the championship of American professional football.

And while hundreds of millions of Americans and hundreds of millions more people around the world will watch the game raptly on television, 75,000-plus fans at the ballpark will see it in person. Not only will they watch it with their own eyes but also use their iPhones, iPads and Android smart devices to tweet, post YouTube and Vine videos or otherwise cheer or jeer the real-time action of the game on Facebook.

What many don’t know concerns the game within the game: how all this wireless data will get out of the stadium to the mobile service provider networks and finally onto the Internet and social media. As it turns out, Aviat Networks will also have an up-close virtual seat to this tilt of the cellular subscribers vs. their wireless carriers.

To help the operators, Aviat’s microwave radios have been installed at permanent cell sites close to the stadium to offload the in-house wifi network and those subscribers using 3G and LTE to backhaul mobile traffic coming from basestation equipment to the provider networks. In addition, several COWs (i.e., Cellsites-on-Wheels) have been temporarily set up near the stadium and surrounding Bay Area venues to add extra capacity, and Aviat radios will also be active with these to backhaul their mobile traffic.

Overall, Aviat radios will be utilized by two providers at the site of the Big Game to backhaul user mobile data—and even the odd phone call. Also Aviat’s radios will be used in the local first responder public safety network to support its communications in case of trouble.

In this sports confrontation, the stakes are high on and off the field. Especially off the field, with some estimates of total mobile data traffic from the game site from first whistle to final gun going as high as six to seven terabytes! However, unlike the outcome of the football game, we already know who will win in the faceoff of users and their phones vs. providers and microwave radios.

Our advice: give the points and take the providers. And like in the ABBA song “Waterloo” about another historic high-risk test of wills, the users won’t really care about coming out on top, because they’ll feel like they win when they lose!

If you enjoyed this blog, go here to see more pictures of Aviat microwave radios winning the wireless game even before the Big Game happens!

Posted by: Aviat Networks | December 18, 2015

AT&T, T-Mobile Agree on the Future of Small Cell

AT&T and T-Mobile recently filed comments with the FCC that will enable small cell backhaul in urban cores for greater subscriber connectivity.

AT&T and T-Mobile recently filed comments with the FCC that will enable small cell backhaul in urban cores for greater subscriber connectivity.

In the last few weeks, the future prospects of small cell antennas got brighter and shrank at the same time. AT&T and T-Mobile both filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of an industry-wide waiver of rules against flat-panel antennas for backhaul radios in the 70-80GHz bands. Currently, out-of-date FCC regulations about antenna radiation patterns hold back development and deployment of this type of equipment that urban dwellers will find acceptable in big city cores.

The current rules effectively call for the use of parabolic antennas that will be unsightly and would violate the aesthetics considerations and zoning regulations in many city core locations—precisely the type of environment that 70-80GHz radios exist to service. While the FCC regulations seem to necessitate parabolic antennas to keep radio beams focused and from interfering with equipment in the vicinity that uses the same wavelengths, mobile subscribers prefer more visually friendly solutions.

How to get from here to there
For the last few years, Aviat Networks has been working with the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition and others to get the FCC to update its regulations in the 70-80GHz bands. The problem: when the FCC promulgated these rules, the idea had never occurred to anyone that these bands would ever service small cell applications. And the applications that the FCC’s 70-80GHz rules were designed to support never materialized, with only 5,500 links registered in this spectrum since 2005, according to T-Mobile.

However, with this breakthrough in support from Tier 1 operators like AT&T and T-Mobile, the FCC should feel reassured that granting the waiver to the antenna rules for 70-80GHz bands is in the best interest of all the wireless industry service providers. And with OEMs in addition to Aviat asking for the waiver, no specific vendor will be favored. We urge other wireless service providers, communications equipment OEMs, subscribers and anyone else interested in moving forward as fast as the technology can go to also contact the FCC about granting this industry-wide waiver.

In the meantime, to learn more about urbanized small cell backhaul in the 70-80GHz bands, download this white paper.

-Derek Handova
Corporate Marketing
Aviat Networks

Posted by: Aviat Networks | November 24, 2015

Adaptive Media Awareness: Making Layer 3 Microwave Aware

Adaptive Media Awareness for improving microwave radio and IP router performanceIn many wireless networks, transport engineering looks after the microwave radio function while the IT department has domain over IP equipment. These two organizations started independently and grew separately over many years. It did not seem that there was any problem with this arrangement.

However, it led to the selection of equipment—radios and routers—that worked really well on their own but had no awareness of one another. Not surprisingly, these technology solutions did not perform together optimally.

Old world of low-data-rate applications
In the old world of 2G, SCADA and other low-data-rate applications, lack of microwave and IP integration, or awareness, was no Big Fatal Decision—BFD. However, now that LTE-Advanced has taken hold and 5G beckons on the horizon, network operators can no longer afford an ill-paired microwave and IP solution stack in their backhaul. They require a new solution that combines microwave and IP technologies. Let’s take a closer look.

The problem
The problem: Microwave networks differ from all other networks in use today. While other Layer 1 transport technologies such as coax, copper and fiber come in well understood capacities (e.g., 100Mbps, 1Gbps, 10Gbps) and transmit over media that never vary, microwave communications capacities constantly change with dynamic atmospheric conditions. In addition, complex data coding and compression schemes utilized by microwave are hard for interconnecting equipment including IP routers to decipher.

The solution
The solution: IP networking gear needs awareness of the microwave medium. In addition, IP kit must adapt to the unpredictability of microwave. In other words, routers must be capable of adaptive media awareness to interpret data back and forth between the microwave and IP realms. Regular routers used to dealing with the invariable environments of clean rooms and data centers cannot. A new breed of device that integrates microwave and IP into a single chassis is needed: a microwave router.

The result
To find out the result, sign up to download the Aviat Networks’ “Adaptive Media Awareness” white paper.

Posted by: Aviat Networks | November 13, 2015

Ericsson and Cisco: Better Together in Mobile Backhaul?

Ericsson and Cisco announce a partnership for mobile backhaul.If you pay much attention to the mobile backhaul space, you may have noticed a big press launch this week by Ericsson and Cisco for a new partnership between the two tech giants. Both vendors will partner in the mobile backhaul space reselling each other’s solutions.

Analysts inside and outside the backhaul space have been hot to lodge their points of view on this combination. But as in William Shakespeare’s overused quote about “the sound and the fury” it might signify nothing. OK, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but there’s less here than meets the eye.

Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good ‘story’
Let’s take a look at the facts, as commonly understood in the industry. While Cisco is the 800 lb. gorilla in the IP networking room, when it comes to cell site routers it’s less than a 90 lb. weakling for microwave backhaul. Truly, Ericsson ranks high among microwave backhaul vendors, but its IP routers are not top-shelf offerings and leave much to be desired. You may think, well that was the point of the announcement: for Cisco and Ericsson to bolster each other’s relative portfolio failings by teaming up.

However, just as two wrongs do not make a right, a duo of less-than-optimal products cannot have the makings of a No. 1 contender. The shortcomings of both vendors’ kit are still present. Customers do gain the advantage of having one throat to choke, but they will just be choking the same throat twice as often.

Tried-and-tired method of microwave and IP
The underlying tried-and-tired method of using a different microwave radio and IP router in conjunction to solve Layer 3 issues in microwave backhaul still remains: individual devices living separate operational lives. Like a divorced couple staying in the same house, they may talk to each other when they must, but they don’t really like to. So, too, do microwave radios and IP routers have the ability to communicate, but they’re not designed to interact and honestly they’re not very good at it.

Which brings us to the inspiration for the integrated microwave router—the CTR 8000 platform from Aviat Networks. As we’ve made the case before, CTR 8000 microwave routers have been engineered from the ground up to function natively in both the microwave and IP communications worlds. The two technologies function seamlessly within one device. And existing as one piece of gear, a microwave router is easier to deploy and manage in the mobile backhaul network than a pair of randomly cobbled together radio and networking boxes.

In addition, with Aviat’s coded-for-microwave-networking software, ProVision, the leading network management system, admins at Network Operation Centers (NOCs) have full monitoring and management capability. They can see with minimal latency just how effectively microwave and IP activities are being carried out by CTR.

To find out more about the family of CTR 8000 microwave routers, we invite you to see our video that explains the benefits in crystalline detail.

Derek Handova
Corporate Marketing
Aviat Networks

Posted by: Aviat Networks | November 5, 2015

AfricaCom Demos! Come See the All-outdoor Microwave Router

Aviat-Networks-Demos-CTR-8380-at-AfricaCom-17-19-November-2015Aviat Networks We’re taking appointments for a limited number of demo slots. Sign up now before they’re all gone!

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