Posted by: Aviat Networks | November 24, 2015

Adaptive Media Awareness: Improving Performance for Microwave

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.

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!
Posted by: Aviat Networks | October 27, 2015

How Microwave Networking Enables Nationwide 4G

Aviat Networks-RFS 4G case studyLTE mobile connectivity now exists in many more urban places than not. Virtually all big cities have multiple choices for LTE and most have at least one choice for LTE Advanced—the real 4G wireless. For example, you can see iPhone and Android users taking advantage of all this high-capacity coverage as they leisurely view high-definition YouTube videos without buffering and actually livestream major league sports in cafes, parks and just walking around at lunch.

However, some rural areas still do not have any real 4G. So the 67 percent of adults with smartphones could be frustrated in their quest for audiovisual content out in the countryside. Closing the Digital Divide and getting to more of the broadband underserved in the sparsely populated locales challenges telephone companies and their technology suppliers alike. To deploy high-speed wireless access, one particular carrier saw that IP/MPLS services needed to push out to the edge of the network. And in the competitive world of mobile telephony, it had to happen quickly before someone else got there first.

North America LTE 4G rural rollout
To help roll out rural LTE 4G for one of North America’s largest Tier 1 carriers, Aviat Networks and Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) partnered to deploy Aviat CTR 8540 and CTR 8312 microwave routers augmented by RFS CompactLine microwave antennas. With the CTR microwave routers integrating IP/MPLS capability the operator is prepared for MPLS migration to the network edge. Together with RFS CompactLine deep-dish antennas designed for easy installation, the two companies collaborated with the LTE 4G provider to complete the initial rural rollout exceeding operator timeline expectations.

Backed by innovative microwave networking, the Tier 1 carrier completed its 4G rollout within the designated timetable. Under the pressure of a tight deadline, both Aviat Networks and RFS came through.

Securing the business
“Securing the business of a Tier 1 carrier is fiercely competitive and with a project like this, one misstep can cost us the contract,” says Neal Salzman, senior director, service provider sales, Aviat Networks. “RFS worked closely with us to ensure we delivered on our joint commitments to a very important customer. We were impressed with the way RFS navigated the challenges presented and kept us and our customer apprised every step of the way.”

With such a large quantity of microwave antennas necessary for this nationwide 4G rollout over a short period, RFS called upon all available resources at its factories for antennas in Brazil, France and the United States in order to make and ship the equipment on time.

For many years, Aviat has made a point about having the correctly sized antennas in each specific installation scenario. Whether for extremely long links over water or ultra-long links over land, operators need to choose the solution for the conditions encountered in the field.

To find out the complete conditions of this LTE 4G operator customer success story, please download the case study.

Posted by: Aviat Networks | September 21, 2015

Offshore: Microwave Radio use in Explosive Situations

BATS-Aviat stabilized microwave antenna system certified ATEX and IECEx Zone 1 for use in explosive environmentsIn oil and gas exploration, danger’s part of the business. In particular, offshore drilling is hazardous (e.g., water inundation, drill-hole blowouts). However, there are acceptable levels of risk, and the industry participants take those into account when they work in the field. But one item that should not be a hazard is the microwave radio installations rigs and other platforms use to communicate to shore.

As all know, microwave radios use a certain amount of electricity in order to operate. And microwave radios, waveguides and antennas emit energy when they transmit. However, onboard an offshore rig or other types of floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels flammable gasses are always present and have the possibility of becoming explosive in the presence of operating microwave radio equipment.

Until recently there were few solutions that could offer protection against the high chance of calamity associated with using microwave aboard an FPSO. Now there is a solution that has passed ATEX and IECEx Zone 1 certifications for mitigating the danger of explosive gasses: the BATS DVM ExP2 has passed both major safety body equipment requirements for operation in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Pressurized radome keeps flammable gas away from Eclipse radios
The BATS pressurized radome enclosed antenna aiming and tracking system (AATS) combined with one or two Aviat ODU 600s connected with a 0.9m or smaller antenna is the only microwave radio solution for potentially explosive atmospheric situations that is certified for use as per these two leading safety regimes. The system purges any potential flammable gas from the radome and once pressurized keeps any flammable gas out and away from the powered microwave radio.

Gas cannot get inside due to the positive pressure of the system. The only way gas could enter is if there is no longer positive pressure within the dome. In that case, everything in the dome is automatically shut off. The system is designed so that there is no possible way for gas to enter the system and any electronics to be active. All microwave and stabilization systems are plugged into a hardwire PDU/alarm system that automatically shuts power off at the source in the event of a loss of pressure.

Only antenna alignment system based on two technologies
Combined with its AATS capabilities to align microwave antennas onboard floating platforms to shore, a BATS-Aviat microwave radio antenna solution can stabilize the microwave signal on a vessel or platform as it moves—due either to sea motion or sway. This system uses two types of alignment technologies: GPS and Signal Quality Tracking Algorithms (SQTA).

With SQTA, the microwave radio beam is tested for the center of the beam, which is aimed directly at the center of the receiver. This algorithm runs continuously resulting in a dynamically aimed system through the BATS sync system, keeping the link on beam as much as possible as the ocean conditions change and move the floating platform. Systems that rely exclusively on GPS to accomplish microwave antenna alignment between ship and shore—and vessel to vessel—are very inexact, achieving lower quality links that may be off-center with only a portion of the signal strength and capacity of an on-beam signal.

In addition, in emergency shutdown (ESD) situations, it is unwise to have heavy reliance on GPS because if the floating platform is powered down, the GPS units will also lose power. A BATS-Aviat solution has its own internal power and using the signal tracking algorithm, it can maintain a last line of communication to shore or a companion rig when everything else onboard is shutdown.

For more information on the BATS-Aviat microwave radio antenna alignment solution, please download the datasheet.

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