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Wireless connection as alternative to optical fiber

Optical fibers are currently the most popular data transfer medium at all levels of communication and data networks. They provide enormous transport capacity while maintaining high reliability and resistance to failures and interference. Optical cable laying, however, is demanding in terms of time and capital costs, and it is often complicated as well. There are locations where optical cables cannot be installed at all. Often there are various obstacles such as roads, watercourses or regulations for the care of historical monuments, which make digging in historical centers impossible.

Alternative solutions are therefore suitable is such situations where optical cable laying is lagging due to various obstacles, or laying cannot be justified for economic reasons. Microwave links are one of alternatives often being used (sometimes on a temporary basis), offering the benefit of quick implementation. A link in an unlicensed spectrum can be implemented within 24 hours, while the affordability is also important; furthermore, the microwave link, employed as a temporary solution, is easy to disassemble and move to another place. The only thing it requires is direct visibility. The throughput of current microwave links can reach as much as 5Gbps, which is far below optical cable capacity, but it can be sufficient for many applications or scenarios. For example, it is not economic to lay optical cables between apartment blocks with merely two or three existing customers, but a microwave link can pay back in less than 12 months. With the increasing number of customers there is enough time to lay optical cables and then move the microwave link to another place.

VUMS DataCom’s product portfolio includes two technologies for the above use. EtherHaul radio devices by Israeli company Siklu, using unlicensed E-band and V-band, are well-known at our market. In just three years they have become number one on the E-band communications market. These communication links offer high quality of service with the throughput of up to 5Gbps (full duplex) across the distance in the order of kilometers. Ceragon Networks’ IP-20C communication link for licensed spectra provides up to 2Gbps (full duplex) throughput across the distance in the order of tens of kilometers; although it requires a paid-for frequency spectrum, this technology is gradually becoming more and more popular. It represents a unique solution in its category, and often the only possibility for communication link’s implementation. VUMS DataCom is a partner and a direct importer of both above-mentioned technologies, with both product families representing a part of VUMS DataCom’s core portfolio.

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Wireless connection as alternative to optical fiber

This diagram shows both basic applications of point-to-point microwave links: an interconnection of two provider sites (POP), or a fast customer connection to the provider’s network.

Because of their high throughput, the full-duplex versions of E-band radio devices can easily substitute for optical cables. In their half-duplex version, they are often employed for the last mile with typically highly unsymmetrical data traffic.

This solution applies to not only E-band, but in general to any frequency band designed for fixed point-to-point microwave links, whether licensed or unlicensed. Spectrum selection depends on the required bandwidth and the communication link’s length.

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blue, the colour of rivers, represents the flow of data communications -  Green, the indicator of starboard on ships will help with navigation and improve the quality of communications

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