What are Microwaves?

Microwaves represent a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum generally considered to cover the frequency range of 1 GHz to 30 GHz, with equivalent wavelength range from 300 mm to 10 mm.

What is mmWave?

In recent years, RF technology has been extended to higher frequencies, up to 300 GHz (1 mm in wavelength). Thus, the range from 30 GHz to 300 GHz is designated as millimetre wave.

Where is this in the overall spectrum?

Typically, the electromagnetic spectrum below the microwave region is occupied by TV and FM broadcasters and various UHF (ultra-high frequency) satellite and communication systems. The electromagnetic spectrum above the microwave and millimetre wave regions is used for infrared systems and then gradually merges into the visible light (optical) region.

What is the range of a microwave system?

Apart from the atmospheric absorption peaks around 50 – 60 GHz, microwaves travel through the atmosphere almost as well as through free space. Smog, cloud and mist have very little effect, unlike infrared signals that can be completely absorbed under these conditions. This is a key advantage of ‘free space’ microwave systems compared to higher frequency infrared and optical ones. EMClarity’s microwave links have been designed for distances ranging from a few hundred metres to more than 50km using a range of antennas.

Why use Microwave for Wide Area Networks (WAN)?

Choosing the right networking technology is based on productivity / performance and cost. The benefits offered by microwave technology for broadband WAN networks are: reliability, flexibility, cost effective bandwidth, and rapid deployment.

A large amount of information can be modulated on to the microwave carrier. Modulation techniques vary but in general there is a trade-off between how much information can be packed into a given bandwidth and the susceptibility of the information to noise and interference. The microwave sector offers the flexibility of point to point, point to multi point and mobile communications with cost effective data rates from around 100 kbps to more than 10 Gbps depending on the application.

What is backhaul?

In 4G mobile networks the term “backhaul” generally applied to the intermediate communications links between the cell towers and the “core” network in which data can be distributed over the network. Data formats are typically internet protocol or ethernet packets

What is fronthaul?

“Fronthaul” is a term that has arrived with 5G network architectures. 5G networks require many more cell sites than 4G. This led to the concept of separating the “remote radio head” (RRH) from the “base band unit” (BBU) to reduce cell site costs related to civil works, lease fees, power consumption and maintenance. In 4G, the RRH and BBU were combined at the cell site. In 5G, the RRH takes the radio elements of the base-station and separates them from the BBU which handles signal processing and communicating over the backhaul links. The Achilles’ heel of this separation is that the fronthaul links need to be really fast in order to synchronise the transmissions across the network. But this is exactly the strength of EMClarity’s radio links – high data throughput, very fast and at a tiny fraction of the cost of optical fibre fronthaul links.