National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show 2012

NAB 2012NAB 2012 was extremely well attended by both vendors (all three exhibition halls were fully occupied) and participants. Thanks to the continuing conversion from analog to digital broadcasting, TV companies are investing heavily in equipment and software solutions. Every company was presenting digital solutions from cameras to studio equipment to TV transmitters to Microwave Radio transport.

Every facet of the solution set must be upgraded to accommodate the intricacies of digital networks. In the case of the Microwave Radio, they are moving to bi-directional radios that can not only carry the studio content up to the transmitter site, but also can carry collected content from various mobile generating platforms (trucks, helicopters, etc) back to the studio for editing.

It was interesting to see Cisco, HP and other networking companies exhibiting. The integration of Internet Protocol (IP) into the broadcasting community has created a real demand for networking appliances like routers and switches. Other devices like Microwave Radio must also be able to accommodate IP protocols for efficiently carrying the video content to the various transmitters in the network.

I was amazed at the range of nationalities represented. Clearly this show offers value to broadcaster across the globe. I heard a figure of over 400 people from Brazil attended the show. I think I heard people complain about their tired feet in 25-30 different languages! The combined attraction of NAB and Las Vegas is very difficult to pass up.
See you at NAB 2013.

Randy Jenkins
Director Business Development
Aviat Networks

Managed Services for Emerging Markets – Dubai 2012

This time last week, we were participating in the Managed Services for Growth Markets conference in Dubai. The conference consisted of two days of presentation and panels discussing the latest trends in Managed Services for emerging markets. We heard how several customer organizations have leveraged Managed Services to improve performance, costs, and, ultimately, their bottom line.

This is similar to what we are seeing and hearing across our own customer base. There is a growing demand for wireless network services suppliers to take on more of the support and maintenance of networks. By outsourcing operational activities, our wireless customers can focus on perfecting the services they offer to their customers.

Our own Ross Gillett, Director of Services for the Middle East and Africa, participated on a discussion panel focused on how suppliers, such as Aviat Networks, bring value to their customers through Managed Services. Ross emphasized that specific knowledge of the local customer requirements is key in developing a successful solution. Whether it is a mobile service provider, low latency customer or a state agency—they are all basically looking for someone who can bring value to their investment.

The bottom line is that good partners focus on making their customer successful!

Emerging markets are an important area of focus for us and this particular event had strong support from a number of our existing customers as well as several potential new customers from these markets. We heard a number of presentations outlining some of the unique challenges customers and Managed Service providers have to address in this region. We also had a chance to speak with conference participants and share our experiences with managing multiple customer networks.

In our exhibition hall reception area, we had numerous opportunities to interact with suppliers, media and even competitors to share stories, challenges and where we see the market headed. These one-to-one conversations are the best part of a conference since it gives us an opportunity to share, on a personal level, how Managed Services are being leveraged on a broad basis.

We will definitely be returning next year.

Pat Davis
Director, Global Support Services

Dick Laine’s 4 Keys to Successful Transmission Engineering of Microwave Links

Dick Laine, Principal Engineer, Aviat Networks

Dick Laine, Principal Engineer, Aviat Networks

Transmission engineering of a microwave link requires creativity and skill. So if you are looking for inspiration as well as high-quality wireless engineering instruction look no further than the “Radio Head Technology Series.” Radio Heads is a collection of videos and podcasts featuring our very own Dick Laine. Dick is arguably the most experienced microwave engineer in the wireless communication business, having spent more than 50 years working with microwave radio from its inception—here at Aviat Networks and our predecessor companies (e.g., Farinon, Harris MCD).

Dick has been involved with nearly every aspect of RF transmission, microwave link and network transmission design, and the effects of geoclimatic conditions on transmission of voice and now IP radio data packets.

In his own unique style, Dick has been teaching basic and advanced concepts for digital microwave transmission in seminars and training classes worldwide. Students who have taken his classes return years later eager to get a refresher from Dick and to hear about some of his great adventures in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and in the Americas.

In the first Radio Heads video titled “Check List for a Successful Microwave Link,” Dick explains the four key objectives or requirements for a well-done microwave link design along with “check list” items that the project manager or transmission engineer evaluates for proper design and deployment of a digital microwave link. If you have not already signed up for this video series, register to view the content.

If you find this video of value, please pass along the information to your friends and colleagues via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or your other favorite social media network.

Coverage Maps for New Wireless Spectrum Available to Fixed Services

United States radio spectrum frequency allocat...

United States radio spectrum frequency allocations chart. The FCC has freed 650 MHz of spectrum to increase sharing possibilities for 7GHz and 13GHz bands. (Photo credit: United States Department of Commerce employee via Wikipedia)

As we blogged last summer, the FCC has released 650 MHz of new wireless technology spectrum for Fixed Service wireless communication technology operators. Now Comsearch, a leading provider of spectrum management and wireless engineering services in the US, has highlighted this issue in its latest online newsletter, with an article that includes some very informative coverage maps showing the zones where the new bandwidth is available.

These maps are excellent at conveying the limitations of the newly released spectrum for microwave link applications in the 7 GHz (6.875–7.125) and 13 GHz (12.7–13.1) bands. After taking into account the zones that are reserved for existing Fixed and Mobile Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) and the Cable TV Relay Service (CARS) users, these new bands are only available in about 50 percent of the US land mass covering only 10 percent of the population.

What do you think? Should the FCC loosen the spectrum sharing rules even more for 7GHz and 13GHz bands? Take our poll and tell us:

Wireless Network Services: Disaster Monitoring and Recovery

Category F5 tornado (upgraded from initial est...

Category F5 tornado (upgraded from initial estimate of F4) viewed from the southeast as it approached Elie, Manitoba, on Friday, June 22, 2007. (Photo credit: Justin1569 at Wikipedia)

In 2011, the United States experienced its worst tornado outbreak in more than 50 years. And communication systems were not spared from the carnage.

In the video below, Robert Young, senior manager for Aviat Networks’ Americas TAC/NOC explains how the company’s San Antonio network operations center (NOC) and its expertise in disaster monitoring and recovery helped microwave communication systems rebound from severe weather challenges. He details how the Aviat Networks Technical Assistance Center (TAC) and NOC team provided support for customers during the 2011 tornado outbreak.

One of the special services Aviat Networks’ NOC offers is in the form of Special Event Recovery and Monitoring. Two of Aviat Networks’ major customers were directly affected by the 2011 tornado outbreak. The storms were tracked, and the customers were preemptively notified of the storm tracks. Approximately 600-plus tornadoes were monitored in one week, and Aviat Networks managed disaster recovery of more than 300 outages due to the storms. Continue reading

You can read more about how Aviat Networks is working with Basin Electric on its microwave backhaul network here: http://investors.aviatnetworks.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=659669