Exalt Communications has several models of microwave backhaul radios that can take advantage of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent ruling that allows the use of wider channels in the 6-GHz and 11-GHz bands. The ruling allows service providers and other network operators to handle more capacity and offer faster data at much lower cost than is currently possible. “Because the FCC has doubled the maximum channel bandwidth at 6 and 11 GHz, the cost of deploying equipment has essentially been cut in half. This makes expanding broadband coverage far more cost-effective and can open opportunities to provide coverage in new areas,” Mark Davis, Exalt senior director of product marketing, told Backhaul Bulletin.
Davis also told the Bulletin that the economic implication of the FCC’s latest decision regarding wider channels for microwave backhaul radios is straightforward. “To carry more traffic—data, voice, video—requires higher modulation rates or wider channels,” he continued. “The ruling addresses wider channels and there is a certain maximum channel size allowed in any Part 101 band (6, 11, 18 and 23 GHz). A network operator always has the option of increasing capacity by adding channel bandwidth by installing more radios. But this typically doubles or triples the cost of the equipment,” said Davis.
Exalt designed ExploreAir, ExploreAir LR, ExploreAir HP, and ExtremeAir radios to support the 80-megahertz-wide channels now available in the 11-GHz frequency band. ExploreAir LR, also supports the 60-megahertz-wide channels available in the 6-GHz lower band. Network operators can use Exalt ExloreAir and ExtremeAir systems to provide twice the single-carrier capacity achievable before the ruling—without the need to buy additional hardware.
The benefit of the FCC ruling to Exalt customers is clear, according to Davis. “They can double the capacity for the same CAPEX, and that means far less cost per megabit per second,” he told the Bulletin. “The ruling benefits Exalt because we’re currently the only vendor to commercially support these wider channels. Other players in the market will eventually catch up, but it will take time because a change in hardware is required. We designed our radios in anticipation of this ruling and, because of our foresight regarding the use of these wider channels, we’re first to market and that’s a big advantage.”