What do Orlando, Winnipeg, Rio de Janiero, Spokane and Santa Clara have in common? Nothing, except for the fact that they’re all on a list of places where we have been this past month visiting customers and participating in events. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the good fortune to go, but some of our top marketing and engineering team members did and had the chance to meet industry experts to share and exchange ideas and thoughts on microwave backhaul technology, trends and opportunities.
One of the major events we attended was CTIA Wireless Conference 2011, which was held March 22-24 in Orlando, FL. At the show, we participated in a panel discussion and presented on the latest trends in microwave radio technology at the Tower Technology Summit. In one of the sessions, Shaun McFall, our CMO, talked about the backhaul capacity requirements to support 4G/LTE cell site deployments. You can read his viewpoint on “Why Fiber is not the Answer for 4G/LTE Backhaul in North America.”
In addition, Gary Croke, our senior product marketing manager provide his insights on how microwave technology is well positioned to serve both the short and long haul backhaul needs for deploying next-generation cellular networks. You can read more about his viewpoint on his blog post.
And if that wasn’t enough, we announced our IEEE 1588v2 synchronization capability for mobile backhaul and co-promoted it with Symmetricom® as part of its SyncWorld Ecosystem Program. Find out more information about deploying IEEE 1588v2 Synchronization over Packet Microwave Networks.
Moving on to Canada, Gary gave a different presentation titled “Hybrid Radio and Essential Functionalities for Smart Grid” at the MIC/MUG 5 UTC Regional Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on April 14. Attendees at the conference included utility radio engineers who were interested in learning about upgrading legacy TDM-based microwave systems and devices to meet the needs of Smart Grid. Gary’s presentation focused on hybrid radio, Strong Security, Adaptive Coding and Modulation, and improved capacity and performance—all features required to support the evolved Smart Grid utility network. Find out more about the Utilities Telecom Council.
Another great event that we participated in this month was the LTE Latin America 2011 Conference in Rio de Janiero. Unfortunately—again—I did not get a chance to go, but Louis Samara, our director of marketing/channel sales, Latin America, did attend and spoke on the importance of microwave backhaul for mobile operator migration to Long Term Evolution/4G. During the conference, he met with Emmanuel Jaffrot, asesor tecnologico del ministro de planificacion federal, Argentina, Humberto Roca, CTO ANTEL, Uruguay, and Juan Carlos Pepe, general manager Telecom Personal Paraguay to discuss several telecommunications initiatives. Check out our Flickr site to see the photos and get additional details on our visit.
Another interesting event was the WiMAX Rural Operators Summit, organized by the WiMAX Forum and held in Spokane, WA, April 26. Stuart Little, our hip, savvy, director of marketing, attended the event, which was the first event of its kind organized by the forum in the US. It drew good attendance from operators and vendors, including a few international attendees. The agenda covered a variety of topics of concern for smaller operators who are deploying wireless networks to bring broadband services to the unserved and underserved rural communities in the US.
Speaker panels included larger operators such as Sprint and Clearwire, as well as smaller ones like Ecliptixnet Broadband and Keyon Communications, with some interesting debates including how operators are navigating the challenging process of winning and utilizing federal Broadband Stimulus funds. Probably the biggest challenge that these rural operators have is access to capital to invest in their networks. Of course, stimulus grants help, if you’re one of the lucky ones to win an award. For the rest, cost is a huge driver for their equipment selection. On the WiMAX side, specific requirements such as frequency bands for the US (e.g., 3.65 GHz) make it difficult for them to deploy a WiMAX basestation to serve customers in very small rural communities, since vendors struggle to achieve economies of scale to drive prices down far enough.
On the backhaul side, focus is also on cost, not so much on capacity. Many operators utilize very cost effective unlicensed microwave solutions for backhaul, but to support a real “carrier-grade” network licensed microwave is preferred to enable the high reliability and interference free operation. Stuart sat on a panel with three representatives from other independent microwave companies, where we discussed how we as an industry are bringing new solutions to lower the cost of ownership of licensed microwave for rural operators. New techniques, such as ACM and ring network topologies can help to reduce antenna sizes, one of the largest OPEX drivers. Some of the proposals now presented to the FCC will also help rural microwave deployment, including reducing restrictions on minimum antenna size and bandwidth efficiency in the lower frequency bands.
Whew! That was a lot of detail, but worth the trip to Spokane.
Now onto the one of the coolest events, which will be broadcast tomorrow, the “LTE Backhaul Capacity Requirements: Diving Deeper” webinar. Panelists will include Stuart and Peter Croy, senior IP network architect for Aviat Networks, in addition to other industry experts.
Following on from our previous webinar where Stuart and Peter addressed the practical backhaul capacity requirements of 4G/LTE, this webinar discussion will dive deeper into our analysis, share some new insights, provide updates on operators’ plans regarding backhaul and discuss how the emerging small cell market will address network capacity needs and what new backhaul innovations will be needed for these small cells. Please join us for this highly interactive webinar to delve further into the network capacity requirements for LTE backhaul.
So what’s ahead for next month? Well, it will be busy. So many interesting events and topics!
LTE Backhaul Conference, London, May 3-6
London is our first stop. Although just after the fanfare of the Royal Wedding—which by the way would have been nice to see in person! But LTE backhaul is “just” as exciting. At the LTE Backhaul Conference in London on May 3-6, we will host a workshop on “IP Mobile Migration Challenges and Issues.” If you live in the UK or will be in London, we invite you to join us alongside mobile operators and industry partners to tackle some real-world issues related to IP backhaul migration, including planning for realistic LTE capacity demands and packet synchronization migration, in this engaging and interactive workshop. Details about the conference.
Transport Networks for Mobile Operators Conference, London, May 10
While in London, Stuart will also speak at the 13th Annual Transport Networks For Mobile Operators Conference on May 10. Stuart’s topic will focus on “A Realistic Look at LTE Backhaul Capacity.” Find out more about the conference.
UTC Telecom, Long Beach, CA, May 10-13
At this conference, Gary will speak on the topic of “Microwave Technology Options.” In his session, he will give an overview of the microwave options and applications best suited to each form in a side-by-side comparison that will enable you to develop your microwave plan for the future. Find out more about this conference.
LTE World Summit 2011, Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 17-18
Peter will speak on the topic of “Examining the Role of Carrier Ethernet in Meeting Mobile Backhaul Capacity Needs Including LTE.” View the conference details.
That’s it for now. I will be back in touch next month to update you on the latest happenings at Aviat Networks. Until then, follow the dialogue and news on our social sites.
Director of Corporate Communications, Aviat Networks