Welcome to The New Trunking
Long-Haul Trunking is a subset of the broader microwave market focused on solutions optimized for high capacity, long distance transmission operating in lower (less than 13 GHz) frequency bands, as an alternative to fiber. Traditionally, this segment has been composed of products in two categories, All-Indoor Trunking or Split-Mount Trunking.
For mission critical applications such as utility, state/local government, transportation, and certain mobile operator networks, all-indoor radios have been and will continue to be the go-to solution for long haul microwave applications.
For non-mission critical applications like many mobile networks, this trunking segment of the market, particularly the all-indoor category, has remained largely unchanged for decades… until now.
- 2 meter equipment rack
- Requires walk-in shelter
- Capacity limited
- High power consumption
- High system losses for longer waveguide runs
- Requires air conditioned environment
All-Indoor trunking systems typically require a full rack of equipment, installed in a walk-in shelter, that then needs strict environmental controls (ie: air-conditioning). Radios are connected to the tower-installed antenna waveguide. With all active electronics being at ground level, these radios are easy to access during failures, but they are also hard to install, require costly accessories, such as waveguide pressurization and dehydration equipment, and need to be carefully and regularly maintained. Older generation radios have capacity limitations and with the cost of operations and cooling (especially for sites powered exclusively by diesel generators), these architectures are no longer sustainable for non-mission critical applications.
Advanced all-indoor systems are very much a key part of long haul trunking applications for mission critical networks. Mission critical networks require indoor mounted radios that can be easily accessed without tower climbs for lowest mean time to repair (MTTR) and high system gain for maximum link availability and lowest total cost of ownership. For mission critical networks, these all-indoor systems will continue to be a mainstay for years to come.
Split Mount Trunking
In the 1980’s, a small company in Silicon Valley California invented the modern, split-mount microwave radio. That company eventually became (in part) Aviat Networks, and their innovation was to move the radio frequency components up the tower, behind the antenna (eliminating any need for waveguide) and shrinking the indoor equipment down to a compact indoor unit measuring just a few inches high. This revolution in microwave radio design was adopted for short-haul ‘access’ applications and quickly became the standard across the industry, as it still is today.
Driven by the ongoing need to reduce operational costs, Service Providers around the world have focused on reducing or eliminating site footprint required for both for the RAN and transmission sub-systems. Aviat was one of the first to introduce so-called ‘Split-Mount Trunking’ solutions, that brought access-type architectures to the Trunking domain in the 6 to 11 GHz bands. This approach combines multiple radio units together onto a single antenna, with a compact indoor unit that requires minimal indoor footprint. Waveguide is eliminated, and the need for DC power and air-conditioning greatly reduced.
However, Trunking systems often require Space Diversity (using a second receive antenna to cancel out the negative effects of signal reflections) to achieve the combination of high capacity, high availability and long reach. Split-Mount access radios are optimized for non-diversity applications, meaning the number of radios need to be doubled for a space diversity link, increasing weight, bulk, equipment cost and power consumption. Despite all the benefits when compared to all-indoor systems, Split-Mount Trunking solutions are still too big and do not meet capacity demands of next generation Trunking applications.
The NEW Trunking
- All-outdoor solution
- No Indoor Unit required (optional)
- Outdoor Radio Units + OBU
- Integrated Space Diversity support
- Highest capacity
- Lowest power consumption
- Lowest cost/Mbps
- Lowest overall TCO
Welcome to The New Trunking
The New Trunking represents the next logical step in the evolution of long haul microwave. This new paradigm has revolutionized link capacities to support upwards of 10 Gbit/s per link, providing a real alternative to fiber. The New Trunking has:
- All-outdoor architecture, eliminating the need for any shelter or cabinet altogether;
- Integrated space diversity capability, so the same RF unit can support both diversity or non-diversity links with the same hardware;
- Ultra-high 4096QAM modulation support;
- Wide RF channels up to 112 MHz (yes, in some places you can deploy these channels!);
- Capacity acceleration techniques like Multi-Layer Header Compression;
- Multi-channel aggregation capability, up to eight channels.
Benefits of The New Trunking
All taken together, the New Trunking approach provides huge benefits to operators with non-mission critical applications seeking to transform their long-haul trunking and backbone microwave systems in preparation for the demands of the future:
- No indoor equipment to install or maintain;
- Up to 70% reduction in power consumption;
- Up to 40% savings from being able to use smaller antennas;
- Up to 35% savings on installation costs from eliminating elliptical waveguide runs;
- Up to 300% more link capacity;
- At least 65% reduction in the cost per Mbit/s.
The New Trunking solution from Aviat represents a major change in the way operators will implement long haul microwave systems, giving them a real choice instead of deploying costly fiber infrastructure, while also dramatically lowering their overall costs.