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Category Archives: Backhaul

Mimosa Launches 24 GHz Backhaul

Mimosa Networks has launched its  MicroPoP architecture based onthe Mimosa B24 backhaul radio and the Mimosa N5-360 quad-sector antenna.  Optimized for dense urban and suburban deployments, the expanded MicroPoP coverage will improve service providers’ return on investment by fueling new business opportunities and cutting costs.

Mimosa’s enhanced MicroPoP architecture enables service providers to offer end users higher bandwidth wireless connections of between 200 Mbps and 300 Mbps, simply by getting closer to their customers.

The Mimosa-designed MicroPoP architecture solves this issue by allowing service providers to deploy access points closer to subscribers, on utility poles, street lights, and hub home locations.  The introduction of the B24 backhaul overcomes the lack of deep fiber into a neighborhood, and the new N5-360 antenna nearly doubles the coverage of the Mimosa A5c access point.

According to Mimosa’s CTO, Jaime Fink, “With such a competitively-priced high-bandwidth solution, fixed wireless broadband providers can finally dare to compete with the incumbent wireline providers, and make money doing so. Properly architected, a service provider deploying the new MicroPoP in an urban or suburban area can expect a return on investment in as little as six months, which is a game changer for scaling these types of deployments.  Wireless service providers are no longer limited to the edges of the revenue-rich suburban neighborhoods where cable and DSL have typically dominated the landscape.”

The B24 can be deployed alone as a point-to-point link or provide transport for a larger multipoint network within a self-healing ring.


Mimosa Networks Launches Short-Range 24 GHz Wireless Backhaul Radio

Mimosa Networks has launched the Mimosa B24 gigabit-speed radio for backhaul in the unlicensed 24 GHz band.

Designed from the ground-up using high-volume components to achieve maximum performance, the B24 delivers speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps IP throughput, automatically allocating traffic dynamically as needed. The radio is engineered for a number of key urban and suburban applications including MicroPoP backhaul, building top-to-building top connections for enterprise, campus and multi-dwelling units (MDUs), and video surveillance or smart city connectivity.

The B24 offers reliability for backhaul links of up to 3 km (2 mi), and leverages Mimosa’s proprietary Spectrum Reuse Sync (SRS) technology, allowing up to eight collocated B24 radios to share the same channel, on the same tower or rooftop, each running at 1Gbps.  For redundancy and flexibility, concurrent ethernet and fiber connections are supported, a feature previously unheard of in products with similar price points.

Fujitsu, Ceragon to Deliver 5G Backhaul to North America

Fujitsu Network Communications and Ceragon Network have signed a reseller agreement for Fujitsu to sell Ceragon’s wireless backhaul solutions portfolio. This agreement expands Fujitsu’s end-to-end wireless networking portfolio to include the Ceragon FibeAir IP-20 microwave and millimeter wave solutions. The Ceragon platform will enhance Fujitsu’s multivendor wireless backhaul solutions portfolio with its versatility, spectral efficiency, bandwidth capacity, low energy consumption and proven reliability.

Fujitsu will combine its systems integration services with Ceragon’s wireless backhaul products to offer comprehensive turnkey solutions including design, build, operations and maintenance to North American service providers. Additionally, the Ceragon FibeAir IP-20 platform is a strategic fit for the multivendor solutions offered through Fujitsu’s Network Modernization (NetMod) programs to replace legacy or discontinued equipment. Fujitsu market-leading NetMod services include digital cross-connect systems (DCS), SONET, operation support systems (OSS) and microwave replacement. NetMod increases network reliability, capacity and performance, lowers the total cost of ownership and readies the network for next generation services.

“By leveraging Fujitsu’s extensive services portfolio along with Ceragon’s wireless backhaul solutions, we can bring our customers a formidable offer to densify, upgrade, and transform their networks,” said Greg Manganello, SVP and head of services at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.

“This is a strategic partnership for Ceragon, as it allows us to further expand our North American footprint and reach a wider range of customers,” said Ira Palti, president and CEO of Ceragon. “By integrating our IP-20 Platform solutions into its solutions portfolio, Fujitsu is now able to bring wireless backhaul solutions where they best resolve the unique challenges of North American service providers addressing capacity, reach, availability and site acquisition challenges.”

Public Safety Broadband Communications Is More than LTE

By Louis Lambert

The nationwide public safety wireless broadband network to be built by contractors to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) on Band 14, which is 20 megahertz of radio-frequency spectrum in the 700-MHz band, promises to deliver advanced wireless capabilities for U.S. public safety agencies. The network will deploy LTE high-speed wireless data that uses orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing as its radio access technology, along with advanced antenna technologies. With AT&T as the FirstNet prime contractor, state and local first responder organizations are making plans on how to deploy FirstNet within their jurisdictions.

LTE-based broadband services represent the next generation for public safety communications. This is not to suggest that legacy land mobile radio systems are going away any time soon, however. For decades, land mobile radio communications have been the mainstay for police, fire and emergency medical services. In fact, many state public safety communications officials expect to maintain their land mobile radio systems even as LTE comes on stream. Their main concern is that LTE many not reach outlying or rural areas of their jurisdictions where land mobile radio still works.

At the same time, there are public safety communications applications better-suited to unlicensed frequency bands rather than occupying capacity on the LTE Band 14 network.

Video surveillance is a good example.

Video cameras — both point-tilt-zoom or bullet-types — installed at intersections and high-traffic spots throughout urban and suburban areas each generate multimegabit-per-second internet protocol (IP) data streams. How much data is generated from each camera depends on the frame rate, resolution and recording interval.

The problem is that rolling up data from all the cameras covering a wide area and delivering those signals to a monitoring center over the FirstNet public safety broadband network would occupy an inordinate amount of network capacity at the expense of other first responder broadband communications.

Wide-area Operation at 4.9 GHz

In this instance, video surveillance traffic is handled better over a point-to-multipoint microwave radio system operating in the FCC-designated, licensed public safety frequency band from 4940 MHz to 4990 MHz (the 4.9-GHz band). A point-to-multipoint deployment such as this would work in parallel with FirstNet.

The main advantage of this approach is that round-the-clock, high-bandwidth services such as video surveillance can be offloaded from the LTE backbone, thereby freeing up capacity for critical communications during emergencies.

Here’s how it works.

The point-to-multipoint 4.9 -Hz system configuration consists of one or more base stations or sector controllers that connect with multiple remote terminals collocated with, and connected with, video cameras at the various monitoring locations within the sector controller coverage area. Multiple sector controllers can be installed at the same tower or mounting location to achieve 360-degree area coverage.

Point-to-multipoint systems in video surveillance applications should exhibit some key performance characteristics, including:

  • High capacity— Base stations or sector controllers are configured to handle hundreds of remote units with as many as hundreds of megabits per second throughput for every sector. Several base stations may be needed for coverage depending on the jurisdiction, geography of the area and the number of installed cameras.
  • Low latency— Video transport requires low latency, or delay, for a high-performance surveillance system to operate in real time or in near-real time. Latency is desirable in the low millisecond range over connections between the remote terminals and the sector controller.
  • Ease of installation— All-outdoor compact radios that operate with power over Ethernet (PoE) in small form factors with different mounting options have important attributes for rapid deployment.
  • Reliability – Systems should be installed and left to operate with little or no maintenance.
  • Lowest total cost of ownership— High-performance, cost-effective systems involve the fewest base stations that can serve the largest number of remotes.

Public safety communications organizations benefit from this approach in numerous ways. They have no spectrum costs because the 4.9-Hz band is available to all local public safety jurisdictions. They save on capital expense because with a high-performance point-to-multipoint system, fewer base stations connect with hundreds of camera sites over a wide area. Such systems have adaptability because cameras are fixed assets and point-to-multipoint systems are designed for connecting large numbers of fixed assets with high capacity, especially for data uploads.

The systems have flexibility because point-to-multipoint wireless links offers the benefit of being able to move cameras with remote terminals to new locations as coverage needs change. Point-to-multipoint systems that emulate fiber-optic performance (Redline calls it Virtual Fiber broadband wireless communications) achieve high performance with high-speed, low-latency

secure connections for real-time video feeds. In many cases, a combination of wireless and fiber cable, where available, provide the best business balance. Easy-to-install, high-reliability radios that require no special technical skills to deploy remote units and that have zero maintenance costs offer the advantage of low operating expense.

Backhaul Alternatives

At the same time, hauling voice, data or video traffic from the edge of the network back to the core (ergo, the term backhaul) is required in every wireless network whether LTE or land mobile radio is used as the access technology between the base station and the user equipment.

In such networks, all traffic — voice, data or video — ultimately is carried as IP data over the radio frequency to a hub or junction from which these IP signals are routed to a designated monitoring center, a network operations center or an internet peering point.

Fiber-optic cable is an ideal backhaul medium where the cable runs directly to the tower or close to it. However, fiber cable is not available everywhere and is expensive to install, especially in rural areas. In these instances, a point-to-point microwave radio system is the best alternative.

Such point-to-point radio systems are available in licensed and unlicensed frequency bands and can perform at fiber-like speeds. Determining which point-to-point system is right for the application is a function of available spectrum, desired throughput capacity, transmission distance and upfront and operating costs.

First responder organizations can benefit from using point-to-point systems that offer spectrum options, such as systems available in sub-6-GHz unlicensed bands from TV white space (UHF 470-698 MHz) to frequencies between 4.9 GHz and 5.8 GHz for both line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight transmission. Where RF interference may be a problem in certain areas and where line-of-sight transmission is needed, point-to-point systems operating in licensed bands between 6 GHz and 30 GHz frequencies offer a better solution.

Lightweight, compact, all-outdoor radios allow first responder organizations to deploy them on existing structures. The use of the same radio at each end of a microwave hop saves capital expenditures, and simplifies installation and activation. First responders that cover wide areas can realize reliable, high-speed communications over long distances (50 miles or more) with point-to-point systems operating in the 4.9-5.8 GHz band.

In the end, public safety communications organizations can obtain significant operational and economic benefits by deploying readily available, high-performance, cost-effective wireless broadband technologies that complement the FirstNet LTE Band 14 nationwide public safety broadband network.

Louis Lambert is vice president of business development for Markham, Ontario-based Redline Communications, a provider of wide-area wireless networks for the most challenging applications and locations. His email address is llambert@rdlcom.com.


Is Your Public Safety Backhaul Network Up To Task?

By Fai Lam, Marketing Director, IP/Optical Networks, Nokia

With the growing sophistication and increased level of security threats, the need for better situational awareness and closer cross-agency collaborations has become ever more pressing. Accordingly, public safety agencies are evolving their mission-critical communications infrastructure toward the highly efficient, flexible capabilities of internet protocol (IP) to enhance first responder effectiveness and safety. The bedrock for this evolution is a new, converged backhaul network architecture grounded in Internet Protocol/Multi-protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS), atop packet microwave and optical transport infrastructure.

The demands are high. Public safety agencies looking to evolve to IP/MPLS require a mission-critical communications network that meets a set of stringent requirements (see Fig. 1). It must be reliable and resilient in order to ensure uninterrupted communications even in the face of severe storms, floods, terrorism and other type of unexpected emergencies. To provide effective response, enhanced situational awareness becomes essential. Consequently, the new network also needs to have flexible service convergence to adopt new applications, including fourth-generation wireless technology of  LTE that can offer increased channel capacity and improved spectrum efficiency, and network scalability to accommodate growing video and data traffic. To protect communications investment, it also must be fully interoperable with existing land mobile radio (LMR) systems and applications such as simulcast, and be ready to continue to evolve as necessary.



Fig. 1: Public safety backhaul network evolution requirements

Dependable Communications 24 x 7 x 365

Like its TDM-based predecessor, an IP/MPLS-based backhaul network offers constant, reliable and secure communications to connect first responders with one another, the dispatch center and the data center, ensuring that all public safety personnel are connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

While legacy backhaul networks are typically based on a traditional access-aggregation-core ring architecture, the packet-based paradigm of IP-MPLS backhaul allows flexible deployment of inter-connected rings. This multi-ring topology, coupled with dynamic IP/MPLS, can restore traffic at SONET speed using fast re-route (FRR) capability when one node or link in the ring goes down. Moreover, during multi-fault scenarios, which are not uncommon during natural disasters, it can rapidly re-establish critical communications with a secondary label switched path (LSP) with remaining network connectivity. Therefore, a multi-ring IP/MPLS network allows better availability and resiliency, with much less chance of one incident – a storm or other disaster – disrupting critical communications.  Combining SONET-speed restoration and multi-fault resiliency with other protection mechanisms – including pseudowire and control hardware redundancies, non-stop routing and services, deterministic QoS, microwave link adaptive modulation and 1+1 protection switching – critical traffic will be preserved even under inclement conditions.

Convergence Flexibility and Network Scalability

An integral element for enhancing situational awareness is broadband communications that give first responders and dispatch center personnel a 360 degree perspective on any event with high-definition video, drones and other rich data applications such as geographic information system (GIS). A new LTE radio system is central to this broadband infrastructure. In addition, public safety agencies can deploy advanced applications such as high-definition CCTV and sensors to gather greater quantities of data for advanced analytics such as gunshot detection and facial recognition, allowing them to act more effectively.

Broadband communications give first responders and dispatch center personnel a 360 degree perspective on any event with high-definition video, drones and other rich data applications such as geographic information system (GIS).

The key for supporting all of these features is the convergence flexibility provided by IP/MPLS backhaul. The use of IP/MPLS virtual private network (VPN) services can accommodate all public safety applications with complete segregation and security (encryption can be enabled with ease for sensitive applications) over the same network, resulting in improved network operational efficiency when compared with the paradigm of disparate networks. This paradigm is commonly known as network segmentation. Furthermore, the support of IP VPN and service-aware stateful firewall in the IP/MPLS platform also facilitates controlled, secure communications between different agencies for closer collaborations. Additionally, other government agencies and operations will be able to attain budget savings by using the spare capacity. With highly customizable classification policy, deterministic multiclass QoS in IP/MPLS treats all traffic with the appropriate priority, and ensures no performance degradation for critical applications in a properly designed network.

Complementing the VPN and QoS capabilities is network scalability. As video and data traffic grow, the backhaul network capacity needs to be able to scale up. An IP/MPLS platform with integrated microwave awareness and WDM networking support, together with a unified network services platform, simplifies the process of deploying additional microwave channels or optical Ethernet links. The unified network services platform facilitates network and services management across IP/MPLS, optical and microwave domains, attaining optimal operational efficiencies and agility.

Investment Protection 

As governments worldwide continue to face budget constraints, they need to invest prudently with a long-term horizon. Ultimately, IP/MPLS backhaul will offer public safety agencies of today the migration capability to gracefully bridge the past to the future with full interoperability with critical legacy applications in use today, full network scalability to 10 Gb/s, and even 100 Gb/s link coupled with wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) optics when necessary, and software-defined networking (SDN) to prepare for future capabilities requirement such as insight-driven automation and optimization. Accordingly, public safety agencies can continue to use current life-critical applications such as LMR system and simulcast without disruptions, and adopt new technologies with no constraints. This approach protects agencies’ overall communications investment, and offers an evolvable foundation for more advanced (e.g. LTE) public safety communications capabilities.

Public safety is in the middle of momentous changes. The familiar LMR radio in every police car, on every fire engine and in every ambulance will eventually give way to a new generation of ruggedized devices that look like smartphones and tablets. Critical data and video will play an expanding role, alongside critical voice, in first responders services. The backhaul network that ties everything together must work even harder and stretch beyond today’s capabilities. This is creating the need for a new approach to continue delivering life-critical communications, whether that be voice, video or data. With converged IP/MPLS backhaul, government agencies at all levels around the world are ready to strengthen public safety, increase operational efficiency, improve collaborations between jurisdictions and agencies at all levels, and augment city services – all while benefiting from an efficient, future-ready platform for future network expansion, ready to embrace emerging applications to address new communications needs.

Marketing Director Fai Lam is responsible for promoting Nokia’s IP/Optical Networks portfolio to enterprises and governments. A seasoned professional in networking and communications technology, Lam has helped industries such as power utilities with their transformation projects. He has held positions in product development, product line management, business development and marketing. His marketing campaigns have resulted in major market penetration and product awards. Lam holds a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, an MBA from the University of Ottawa, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada.