Class 4 Microwave Antennas

What is a Class 4 Microwave Antenna?

Class 4 Antennas explained:

CableFree Class 4 Microwave Antenna 1Class 4 antennas provide the current best RF performance allowing mobile operators and Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) to increase the link capacity of a network by deploying new microwave links where high levels of interference are present. Class 4 antennas will allow customers to offer the highest performance in even the most congested environments. The higher side lobe suppression supports networks in ultra-dense areas and enables earlier reuse of frequencies. The lower interference increases the carrier-to-interference-ratio and allows smaller antennas with better link throughput, reducing tower leasing fees. The lower interference also enables higher modulation schemes, increasing the data capacity per antenna.

Benefits of a Class 4 Antenna

Increase the link capacity of the network
– Improved radiation patterns for ETSI Class 4 providing better performance
– Less interference and higher carrier-to-interference ratio
– Allows radios to operate at higher modulation levels
• Minimize the total cost of ownership
– Improved network efficiency
– Facilitates better re-use of a frequency channel
– Small antennas with better link throughput reduces tower leasing fees

Intended Use for Class 4 Antennas

CableFree Class 4 Microwave Antenna 1Class 4 antennas are intended for “extremely high interference potential” situations, according to ETSI. For a more detailed treatment of antenna classifications and radiation patterns, see the ETSI document “Fixed Radio Systems; Point to Point Antennas.”

Wider channels, larger capacity

For situations where the operator needs to increase capacity from a wireless backhaul site, the easiest way remains widening the channel size. But at sites that experience extremely high interference, the operator may not be able to coordinate radio frequency pairs in wide channels with Class 3 antennas. However, moving up to Class 4 antennas would allow the operator to optimize the signal-to-noise ratio and let higher modulations come into play, so wide channels could be coordinated with correspondingly higher data rates

Smaller is Better

In cases of high interference, larger antennas can be used to reduce it. For a subset, smaller Class 4 antennas can be used instead of their oversize Class 3 counterparts. Thus, operators who deploy Class 4 antennas gain the added benefit of dropping down a parabolic dish antenna size as compared to a Class 3 antenna in the same application. In general, smaller dishes advantage the operator due to their lighter weight and lower opex tower charges, albeit with an initially bigger upfront capex. Because Class 4 antennas represent an elevated level of precision tooling and more detailed manufacturing versus lower class antennas, capex of these passive, higher-performance infrastructure pieces always weighs in the balance.

 

According to Andy Sutton,  Principal Network Architect at EE:

Using Comsearch’s iQ.linkXG microwave planning software, CommScope analyzed the technical and commercial benefits of using Class 4 Sentinel antennas in the network. The results were most impressive. For the two frequency bands of the microwave backhaul network studied, which is comprised of over 6,200 links in total, the core findings were:

  • Potential savings of $5 million in total cost of ownership (TCO) over five years by enabling a greater link density and therefore reducing the need for third party Ethernet Leased Lines
  • Greater utilization of owned block allocated spectrum reduced the need for link by link licensing (from the national regulator) and therefore could save $44,000 in license fees over five years
  • $4.5 million could be saved per year based on optimizing capacity by freeing congested channels while still ensuring new links met the strict quality of service criteria
  • 96 percent and 31 percent of links which couldn’t be planned due to frequency congestion in 40 and 10 GHz could be assigned a channel, respectively
    • A strong opportunity to trade some of the above by reducing antenna size and thus reducing TCO on tower lease costs

(content from EE above reproduced with acknowledgement from Commscope. Other content including photos from RFS).

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Links, Please Contact Us

Mean Square Error (MSE) for Microwave Links

What is Mean Square Error ?

Mean Square Error (MSE) is similar to Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) except that it accounts for distortion and interference in addition to noise power.

Mean Square Error MSE Microwave Link
CableFree Microwave ODU

Distortion may come from several sources such as bad Ethernet cables (poor shield, damaged, or low quality), path degradations such as multipath, or Fresnel zone encroachment.

Interference can come from other transmitters on the tower, as well as from sources inside an indoor shelter. High power transmitters inside a shelter can cause interference when near the PoE device or when located very close to the cabling.

There are maximum acceptable MSE values for each modulation which are useful in determining the quality of the link. The MSE value reported is only relevant to one tx-rx path, so the MSE of each tx-rx path must be evaluated to verify the link is operating as expected. The lower the number the better, so a -35dB is better than a -30dB.

Other possible causes for unacceptable MSE

These include

  • XPIC parameters are incorrect
  • Insufficient isolation between polarisations on an XPIC link
  • Insufficient performance to support high QAM modulation
  • Inbalance between paths on an XPIC dual polarity link

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Links, Please Contact Us

OFCOM Channel Plans for E-band 70GHz-80GHz

OFCOM Channel Plans for E-band 70GHz-80GHz

Here is a chart showing channel plans for the UK

OFCOM - E-Band
OFCOM – E-Band

Uses & Applications

70GHz to 80GHz bands (E-band) are used for Point to Point (P2P) Microwave (Millimeter Wave, MMW) Radio Links

Sources of Data and Graphics

All contents (C) OFCOM and taken from:

OfW48 UK Frequency Allocations for Fixed (Point-to-Point) Wireless Services and Scanning Telemetry This document shows the current bands managed by Ofcom that are available for fixed terrestrial (point to point) links and scanning telemetry in the UK.

Technical regulations

The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive
99/5/EC (R&TTED) has been implemented in ‘The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000, Statutory
Instrument (SI) 730. In accordance with Articles 4.1 and 7.2 of the R&TTED
the:
• IR2000: The UK Interface Requirement 2000 contains the requirements for the licensing and use of fixed (point-to-point) wireless services in the UK.
• IR2037: The UK Interface Requirement 2037 applies for scanning telemetry services.
• IR2078: The UK Interface Requirement 2078 applies for the 60 GHz band

Notes specific to the frequency charts

The first column describes each available frequency band, represented by a diagram (not to scale). The frequency band limits are listed below the diagram; frequencies below 10 GHz are represented in MHz, while those above 10 GHz are in GHz. The width of each guard band is shown above the diagram, and is always specified in MHz.
The channel arrangements in some bands are staggered, so that the width and position of the guard band vary for different channel spacings. In these cases, a table underneath gives details of the guard bands for different spacings (with all frequencies in MHz).
The first column also includes the title of the relevant international recommendations for each band, produced by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). CEPT recommendations are available at http://www.cept.org/ecc/ and ITU Recommendations at http://www.itu.int.
The final column contains the channel spacing for duplex operation in each frequency band except for bands above 60 GHz. Details of standard systems assigned in the UK are shown in the relevant technical frequency assignment criteria.

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Planning, Please Contact Us

OFCOM Channel Plans for 52GHz and 55GHz

OFCOM Channel Plans for 52GHz and 55GHz

Here is a chart showing channel plans for the UK

OFCOM - 52GHz 55GHz
OFCOM – 52GHz 55GHz

Uses & Applications

52GHz and 55GHz bands are used for Point to Point (P2P) Microwave Radio Links

Sources of Data and Graphics

All contents (C) OFCOM and taken from:

OfW48 UK Frequency Allocations for Fixed (Point-to-Point) Wireless Services and Scanning Telemetry This document shows the current bands managed by Ofcom that are available for fixed terrestrial (point to point) links and scanning telemetry in the UK.

Technical regulations

The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive
99/5/EC (R&TTED) has been implemented in ‘The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000, Statutory
Instrument (SI) 730. In accordance with Articles 4.1 and 7.2 of the R&TTED
the:
• IR2000: The UK Interface Requirement 2000 contains the requirements for the licensing and use of fixed (point-to-point) wireless services in the UK.
• IR2037: The UK Interface Requirement 2037 applies for scanning telemetry services.
• IR2078: The UK Interface Requirement 2078 applies for the 60 GHz band

Notes specific to the frequency charts

The first column describes each available frequency band, represented by a diagram (not to scale). The frequency band limits are listed below the diagram; frequencies below 10 GHz are represented in MHz, while those above 10 GHz are in GHz. The width of each guard band is shown above the diagram, and is always specified in MHz.
The channel arrangements in some bands are staggered, so that the width and position of the guard band vary for different channel spacings. In these cases, a table underneath gives details of the guard bands for different spacings (with all frequencies in MHz).
The first column also includes the title of the relevant international recommendations for each band, produced by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). CEPT recommendations are available at http://www.cept.org/ecc/ and ITU Recommendations at http://www.itu.int.
The final column contains the channel spacing for duplex operation in each frequency band except for bands above 60 GHz. Details of standard systems assigned in the UK are shown in the relevant technical frequency assignment criteria.

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Planning, Please Contact Us

OFCOM Channel Plans for 18GHz

OFCOM Channel Plans for 18GHz

Here is a chart showing channel plans for the UK

OFCOM - 18GHz
OFCOM – 18GHz

Uses & Applications

18GHz bands are used for Point to Point (P2P) Microwave Radio Links

Sources of Data and Graphics

All contents (C) OFCOM and taken from:

OfW48 UK Frequency Allocations for Fixed (Point-to-Point) Wireless Services and Scanning Telemetry This document shows the current bands managed by Ofcom that are available for fixed terrestrial (point to point) links and scanning telemetry in the UK.

Technical regulations

The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive
99/5/EC (R&TTED) has been implemented in ‘The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000, Statutory
Instrument (SI) 730. In accordance with Articles 4.1 and 7.2 of the R&TTED
the:
• IR2000: The UK Interface Requirement 2000 contains the requirements for the licensing and use of fixed (point-to-point) wireless services in the UK.
• IR2037: The UK Interface Requirement 2037 applies for scanning telemetry services.
• IR2078: The UK Interface Requirement 2078 applies for the 60 GHz band

Notes specific to the frequency charts

The first column describes each available frequency band, represented by a diagram (not to scale). The frequency band limits are listed below the diagram; frequencies below 10 GHz are represented in MHz, while those above 10 GHz are in GHz. The width of each guard band is shown above the diagram, and is always specified in MHz.
The channel arrangements in some bands are staggered, so that the width and position of the guard band vary for different channel spacings. In these cases, a table underneath gives details of the guard bands for different spacings (with all frequencies in MHz).
The first column also includes the title of the relevant international recommendations for each band, produced by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). CEPT recommendations are available at http://www.cept.org/ecc/ and ITU Recommendations at http://www.itu.int.
The final column contains the channel spacing for duplex operation in each frequency band except for bands above 60 GHz. Details of standard systems assigned in the UK are shown in the relevant technical frequency assignment criteria.

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Planning, Please Contact Us

OFCOM Channel Plans Upper 6GHz

OFCOM Channel Plans for Upper 6GHz (U6)

Here is a chart showing channel plans for the UK

OFCOM - Upper 6GHz
OFCOM – Upper 6GHz

The Upper 6GHz Band is defined as follows:

Standards: CEPT/ERC/REC 14-02 E
ITU-R F.384-10
Frequency Range: 6425 – 7125 MHz
Total Width of Band: 700MHz
Channel Plan FDD (Frequency Division Duplex)
Channel Widths & Spacing 20, 30, 40, 60MHz
Lower Sub-Band 6425-6760MHz (335MHz)
Upper Sub-Band 6780-7125MHz (345MHz)
T-R Spacings (Transmit to Receive) 340MHz

Uses & Applications

Upper 6GHz bands are used for Point to Point (P2P) Microwave Radio Links

Sources of Data and Graphics

All contents (C) OFCOM and taken from:

OfW48 UK Frequency Allocations for Fixed (Point-to-Point) Wireless Services and Scanning Telemetry This document shows the current bands managed by Ofcom that are available for fixed terrestrial (point to point) links and scanning telemetry in the UK.

Technical regulations

The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive
99/5/EC (R&TTED) has been implemented in ‘The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000, Statutory
Instrument (SI) 730. In accordance with Articles 4.1 and 7.2 of the R&TTED
the:
• IR2000: The UK Interface Requirement 2000 contains the requirements for the licensing and use of fixed (point-to-point) wireless services in the UK.
• IR2037: The UK Interface Requirement 2037 applies for scanning telemetry services.
• IR2078: The UK Interface Requirement 2078 applies for the 60 GHz band

Notes specific to the frequency charts

The first column describes each available frequency band, represented by a diagram (not to scale). The frequency band limits are listed below the diagram; frequencies below 10 GHz are represented in MHz, while those above 10 GHz are in GHz. The width of each guard band is shown above the diagram, and is always specified in MHz.
The channel arrangements in some bands are staggered, so that the width and position of the guard band vary for different channel spacings. In these cases, a table underneath gives details of the guard bands for different spacings (with all frequencies in MHz).
The first column also includes the title of the relevant international recommendations for each band, produced by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). CEPT recommendations are available at http://www.cept.org/ecc/ and ITU Recommendations at http://www.itu.int.
The final column contains the channel spacing for duplex operation in each frequency band except for bands above 60 GHz. Details of standard systems assigned in the UK are shown in the relevant technical frequency assignment criteria.

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Planning, Please Contact Us

OFCOM Channel Plans 4GHz and Lower 6GHz

OFCOM Channel Plans for 4GHz and Lower 6GHz (L6)

Here is a chart showing channel plans for the UK

OFCOM 4GHz & Lower 6GHz
OFCOM 4GHz & Lower 6GHz

The 4GHz Band (3600MHz to 4200MHz) is defined as follows:

Standards: CEPT/ERC/REC 12-08 E
Frequency Range: 3600 – 4200 MHz
Total Width of Band: 600MHz
Channel Plan FDD (Frequency Division Duplex)
Channel Widths & Spacing 15, 30MHz
Lower Sub-Band
Upper Sub-Band
T-R Spacings (Transmit to Receive) 320MHz

 The Lower 6GHz Band (5925MHz to 6425MHz) is defined as follows:

Standards: CEPT/ERC/REC 14-01 E
Frequency Range: 5925 – 6425 MHz
Total Width of Band: 500MHz
Channel Plan FDD (Frequency Division Duplex)
Channel Widths & Spacing 29.65, 59.3MHz
Lower Sub-Band 5925-6167.58MHz (242.58MHz)
Upper Sub-Band 6182.42-6425MHz (242.58MHz)
T-R Spacings (Transmit to Receive) 252.04MHz

Uses & Applications

4GHz and Lower 6GHz bands are used for Point to Point (P2P) Microwave Radio Links

Sources of Data and Graphics

All contents (C) OFCOM and taken from:

OfW48 UK Frequency Allocations for Fixed (Point-to-Point) Wireless Services and Scanning Telemetry This document shows the current bands managed by Ofcom that are available for fixed terrestrial (point to point) links and scanning telemetry in the UK.

Technical regulations

The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive
99/5/EC (R&TTED) has been implemented in ‘The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000, Statutory
Instrument (SI) 730. In accordance with Articles 4.1 and 7.2 of the R&TTED
the:
• IR2000: The UK Interface Requirement 2000 contains the requirements for the licensing and use of fixed (point-to-point) wireless services in the UK.
• IR2037: The UK Interface Requirement 2037 applies for scanning telemetry services.
• IR2078: The UK Interface Requirement 2078 applies for the 60 GHz band

Notes specific to the frequency charts

The first column describes each available frequency band, represented by a diagram (not to scale). The frequency band limits are listed below the diagram; frequencies below 10 GHz are represented in MHz, while those above 10 GHz are in GHz. The width of each guard band is shown above the diagram, and is always specified in MHz.
The channel arrangements in some bands are staggered, so that the width and position of the guard band vary for different channel spacings. In these cases, a table underneath gives details of the guard bands for different spacings (with all frequencies in MHz).
The first column also includes the title of the relevant international recommendations for each band, produced by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). CEPT recommendations are available at http://www.cept.org/ecc/ and ITU Recommendations at http://www.itu.int.
The final column contains the channel spacing for duplex operation in each frequency band except for bands above 60 GHz. Details of standard systems assigned in the UK are shown in the relevant technical frequency assignment criteria.

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Planning, Please Contact Us

OFCOM Channel Plans 450MHz and 1.4GHz

OFCOM Channel Plans for 450MHz and 1.4GHz

Here is a chart showing channel plans for the UK

OFCOM 450MHz & 1.4GHz
OFCOM 450MHz & 1.4GHz

Uses & Applications

450MHz and 1.4GHz bands are used for Point to Point (P2P) Microwave Radio Links

Sources of Data and Graphics

All contents (C) OFCOM and taken from:

OfW48 UK Frequency Allocations for Fixed (Point-to-Point) Wireless Services and Scanning Telemetry This document shows the current bands managed by Ofcom that are available for fixed terrestrial (point to point) links and scanning telemetry in the UK.

Technical regulations

The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive
99/5/EC (R&TTED) has been implemented in ‘The Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000, Statutory
Instrument (SI) 730. In accordance with Articles 4.1 and 7.2 of the R&TTED
the:
• IR2000: The UK Interface Requirement 2000 contains the requirements for the licensing and use of fixed (point-to-point) wireless services in the UK.
• IR2037: The UK Interface Requirement 2037 applies for scanning telemetry services.
• IR2078: The UK Interface Requirement 2078 applies for the 60 GHz band

Notes specific to the frequency charts

The first column describes each available frequency band, represented by a diagram (not to scale). The frequency band limits are listed below the diagram; frequencies below 10 GHz are represented in MHz, while those above 10 GHz are in GHz. The width of each guard band is shown above the diagram, and is always specified in MHz.
The channel arrangements in some bands are staggered, so that the width and position of the guard band vary for different channel spacings. In these cases, a table underneath gives details of the guard bands for different spacings (with all frequencies in MHz).
The first column also includes the title of the relevant international recommendations for each band, produced by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) or the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). CEPT recommendations are available at http://www.cept.org/ecc/ and ITU Recommendations at http://www.itu.int.
The final column contains the channel spacing for duplex operation in each frequency band except for bands above 60 GHz. Details of standard systems assigned in the UK are shown in the relevant technical frequency assignment criteria.

For Further Information

For More Information on Microwave Planning, Please Contact Us

Upgrading Dragonwave Microwave Links

Why consider upgrading Dragonwave Microwave Links ?

Many users consider upgrading existing Wireless Links such as Dragonwave to add greater capacity, or network coverage.  When considering a wireless vendor, factors generally include:

  • Vendor Track Record
  • Vendor Corporate Stability
  • Product Performance & Reliability
  • Product Support and Service
  • Manufacturing Leadtimes
  • Attractive Vendor Roadmap
  • Product Pricing including all required options

Generally, Microwave links are required to operate unattended for many years in challenging outdoor environments, and therefore reliable and stable products and vendors are paramount in the selection process.

Turbulence in Wireless Vendor Market Space

Amongst many ongoing changes in the market for Microwave Backhaul and Microwave Transmission vendors, there is ongoing consolidation, M&A, and other activities.  Recently, Packet Microwave Vendor Dragonwave recently underwent receivership and buy-out by Transform-X.

According to RCR Wireless article dated 3 August 2017,

Once a significant player in the microwave backhaul space, Ottawa, Canada-based company DragonWave has effectively shutdown, with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice placing a financial receiver in charge of the firm’s “property, assets and undertakings.”

With assets sold by the Receiver to Transform-X, and the Dragonwave business is no doubt being reshaped by the new owners of the business.

CableFree FOR3 Full Outdoor 1024QAM Microwave Link - Upgrade Dragonwave
Full Outdoor 1024QAM Microwave Link from CableFree

Upgrade to Latest Microwave Technology for Higher Capacities

Some vendors are fully shipping products today with 1024QAM, XPIC, and upgrades to 2048QAM, XPIC, 10Gbps MMW (Millimeter Wave), which are features above and beyond those achieved by many in the market today.  Customers can upgrade today and achieve higher capacity, longer range, reach and availability, at low Total Cost of Ownership compared to competing options.

Future Roadmap for Microwave Upgrades

In addition to today’s products, an impressive roadmap ensures access to higher speed links and features in future products also.   Consideration is worthwhile into:

  • Vendor roadmaps to higher capacity links with microwave up to 4Gbps or more per link existing today.
  • Upgrading to E-Band MMW for shorter links especially in congested city environments
  • Using E-band Millimeter Wave for short links to free-up existing microwave spectrum, relief of spectral congestion and re-using valuable microwave spectrum for longer links where required

For More Information on Microwave Upgrades:

For more information on upgrading your Microwave Radio Network, Please Contact Us

Microwave Links power ISP backbones in the Middle East

Implementing Microwave for High Speed Internet ISP Backbones in the Middle East

CableFree FOR3 Microwave links are being installed by ISPs in Iraq for Internet Backbone Connectivity. These links offer 880Mbps full duplex capacity with easy upgrade capability to 2+0 for 1.76Gbps full duplex, and are typically installed on towers or buildings for clear Line of Sight between network node locations.

CableFree FOR3 Microwave Installation in Middle East
CableFree FOR3 Microwave Installation in Middle East – pictures from Noor AKD

High Capacity Microwave

CableFree FOR3 can expand to 3.5Gbps and above for ultra high capacity links.  Microwave links are fast to install and can be deployed within hours, and distances up to 100km or more on suitable towers.
Microwave is low cost alternative to fibre optic and leased line connectivity and are highly reliable with uptimes of 99.999% or higher possible.
Pictures from Iraq from CableFree regional partner Noor AKD.

CableFree Products are used extensively in the Middle East region with installations in countries including Iraq, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and several others

CableFree Microwave Link on a Tower in Iraq
CableFree Microwave Link on a Tower in Iraq near Baghdad

Microwave Product Data

Please visit our website for Product Data here:
http://www.cablefree.net/for3

Other CableFree products offer up to 10Gbps capacity using MMW technology.