Backhaul Innovation: RFS unveils 5G-Ready Dual Band Microwave Antennas


Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a global designer and manufacturer of total-package solutions for wireless and broadcast infrastructure, announces it is first to market with its family of innovative dual-band microwave antennas.

By combining the E-band antenna which give capacity but has distance limitations, with an additional frequency, the dual-band antenna proves itself capable of delivering higher capacity over longer distances. RFS’ dual-band antennas, have already been deployed by a major OEM in Eastern Europe, proving that microwave works as a viable alternative to fibre for 5G backhauling requirements in urban areas.

Although fibre is generally considered to be the standard solution for 5G backhauling due to its high throughput, the capabilities demonstrated in a real-world deployment by RFS’ dual-band microwave antennas highlight the possibilities of microwave backhaul for 5G

RFS’ dual-band microwave antennas support high-capacity, low-latency 80 GHz E band transmissions as well as higher availability 15 GHz, 18 GHz or 23 GHz transmissions that can travel longer distances. With this combination, the medium-frequency band can supplement the E band with additional capacity and longer reach. As a result, mobile operators can backhaul higher volumes of 5G traffic over longer distances than they can with single-band microwave antennas and with lower latency than fibre connections.

The dual-band approach also brings with it an array of additional benefits for operators when compared to using two single-band antennas that support carrier aggregation. The visual impact is reduced as a result of consolidating into a single antenna. Operators have a lower cost of ownership due to reduction in transportation, installation, and tower leasing costs. They also benefit from easier upgrades; when operators come to replacing 2 ft single band link to a Dual Band antenna link, the identical form factor minimises the challenges of introducing new equipment. Additionally, deployment is simplified as the initial alignment is done with Microwave frequency which means only fine-tuning alignment is required for the E band.

“As mobile operators plan their evolution to 5G, many are asking whether microwave transport technology is advanced enough to handle the demands of a 5G radio access network,” says Benoit Bled, product line manager for microwave antennas at RFS. “Our answer is an enthusiastic yes. By supplementing traditional E band transmissions with 15, 18 or 23 GHz transmissions, we’ve unleashed the full power of E band and made 5G microwave backhaul a reality. Our dual-band microwave antennas have already been used in a European deployment that proves it.”

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