Part 1 of our “Revolutionizing 5G Mission Critical Transport Networks” blog post series addressed microwave versus fiber as the better solution for mission critical 5G. We now continue our exploration focusing on mission critical use cases. Many critical applications, such as connected/autonomous cars, industrial Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, and public safety applications, require consistent reliability from their mobile networks. Under threat of multi-day outages from disasters and other types of network downtime and service outages, mobile networks must ensure the reliability and resiliency needed for 5G operation and its critical missions.
When lives and property are at stake, a reliable transport is crucial. As it has for decades, microwave will play a key role in keeping 5G mission-critical network up and running.
The Garden Route district is located along a 300 kilometer stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa in Western Cape province, about 450 kilometers east of Cape Town. It’s a popular tourist destination, especially in spring and summer. However, its lush vegetation is prone to field fires, particularly in drier times.
In late October 2018, field fires raged across the area, with ongoing blazes in the municipality of George and the Outeniqua Pass area. Hundreds of municipality firefighters, area volunteers, and firefighters assisting from other districts fought to contain the fire. Seven fatalities were reported, and the pass was closed for an extended period. Entire suburban sections of George, not far from thickly wooded areas along the Garden Route, were evacuated.
FirstNet is facing technological challenges as it careens toward key decisions for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. That was the key takeaway when APCO held its Public Safety Broadband Summit in Washington D.C., May 13-14. In that context, backhaul continues to be a hot topic. Typically more of an afterthought in commercial telecom systems, backhaul becomes the 900-pound gorilla in the room when defining high reliability telecom networks such as mission-critical public safety networks. This is due to the extremely high cost of fiber—CAPEX for new runs and OPEX for leasing—as well as its proven lack of survivability in worst-case scenarios.
For example, during Superstorm Sandy, 25 percent of all affected commercial mobile sites were down, and most had to be propped up by temporary microwave radio backhaul solutions due to the lengthy time needed to replace the damaged fiber. Chief Dowd of NYPD provided insight into the situation stating that the network’s reliability is defined during worst-case conditions, not during sunny days.
Aviat Networks’ APCO presentation, below, from the Broadband Summit dives deeper into these issues:
Or we can talk to you directly about your concerns for your mission-critical Public Safety network requirements.
Director, Business Development
If you look in the November issue of MissionCritical Communications, you will see an article by Aviat Networks director of marketing and communications, Gary Croke. In his article “Know Your Microwave Backhaul Options,” Gary covers:
- Benefits of using indoor, outdoor and split-mount microwave radios in various scenarios
- Rationale for choosing microwave over fiber (especially for LTE)
- Deployability of microwave
- Software-upgradeable capacity for “pay-as-you-grow” capex scalability
- Cost contribution of towers over the first 10 years of LTE implementation
- And more
You can read Gary’s article (on page-30) here—MissionCritical Communications—November 2012.
Public safety agencies with first responder assignments, mobile service providers with national footprints, and utilities companies all have communication networks carrying mission critical applications. These networks require robust, secure and powerful microwave radios.
So what are the defining characteristics of Mission Critical Microwave?
- Hybrid (TDM and IP): Native TDM, native IP. No proprietary emulation or encapsulation.
- RF performance: Superior system gain. Adaptive Coding and Modulation.
- Reliability: 100+ year proven terminal (1+0) MTBF.
- Strong Security: Secure Management to prevent unauthorized access. Secure payload encryption to prevent eaves-dropping.
- Bullet Proof Redundancy: Full port, card, system level redundancy. Integrated T1 loop switch (USA).
- Physical Design for Usability: Front access, no hidden cables. Compact footprint. Expansion port.
But delivering Mission Critical Microwave extends far beyond products and deals with the way a company behaves and treats its customers including:
- A mindset that integrates uncompromised commitment to design and to building the most robust, secure and dependable microwave radios;
- A culture of innovation to ensure the most innovative new microwave products are being developed to meet the needs of your critical applications;
- Engineering professionals that are there at your side before, during and after any equipment deployment, to help you at every step of the way;
- A commitment to customer service and support so that customers can depend on their chosen vendor.
At Aviat Networks, we believe one of the things that sets us apart is our focus on Mission Critical Microwave. For critical applications it’s extremely important that customers have comprehensive local support at their fingertips. Our products are usually supported locally, so our customers know they’ll have immediate access to professional engineers when they need them, without waiting for out-of-country spares or support, including escalation to Tier III level technical support if needed.
At Aviat Networks, our engineers have been designing and building microwave networks for over 50 years. We are the microwave experts, because it’s all we do.
Senior Product Marketing Manager