Backhaul specialist DragonWave has introduced a high power, dual channel microwave packet radio unit for use in licensed backhaul bands between 6-42GHz. It claims the product provides the fastest throughputs and most advanced networking capabilities on the market. The product, the Harmony Enhanced MC, is in customer trials now and has General Availability scheduled for June.
The aim is to give operators a product that can be SDN and Gigabit Ethernet ready, delivery multi gigabit capacity, and DragonWave said possible applications included serving high capaity LTE-A sites, aggregation points and long haul high capacity links.
The product uses two modem instances to create two 112MHz channels per radio. With dual radios, that provides 4Gbps capacity (1Gbps uncompressed per channel per radio). Other technical markers include 4×4 MIMO support, 112MHz channel support and the potential to apply 4096QAM. The all outdoor node includes an integrated Ethernet switch with 10GE port, and has been designed to be SDN-ready, Friesen said. That means the switch has SDN capabilities – OpenFlow interface for dynamic control of VLANS and prioritisation – that can be switched on when operators are ready.
Although that sounds like an expensive package, DragonWave says that by increasing spectrum usage, eliminating the need for an indoor Ethernet switch unit, and by minimising antenna size – thereby reducing tower lease costs – the product actually enables a lower total link cost than earlier version. In fact it says the 5 year TCO is reduced by over 50%.
Greg Friesen, VP Product Management, DragonWave, told TMN, “Operators are seeing increased capacity demands from LTE-A, and as LTE network rollouts are increasing they are also getting more capacity on the aggregation links. Also, even though they are only starting to think about 5G, they know they will want new backhaul links to be as high capacity as possible.”
Friesen said that the Ceragon IP20 product family is the closest competitor on the market in terms of product category. although he put the DragonWave kit ahead in terms of capacity. Ceragon claims that its IP-20C provides 1Gbps throughput over a 28/30MHz channel, with integrated XPIC, 4x4MIMO, and modulation up to 2048QAM.