Microwave Communication Packet

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WHITE P AP E R

WHAT IS PACKET MICROWAVE?
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This white paper provides a definition of Packet Microwave radio systems and demonstrates how these systems along with Hybrid radio systems are providing an ideal solution for wireless backhaul for next generation mobile broadband networks. Packet Microwave platforms offer highly scalable solution that leverages new technology features to enable higher throughputs to keep pace with expected growth in demand. Hybrid microwave solutions can also support all required Packet Microwave features but add crucial support for native TDM for ongoing legacy traffic needs, giving operators the best of all possible network migration solutions in a single platform.

WHITE P AP E R WHAT IS PACKET MICROWAVE?

INTRODUCTION
The growth in mobile broadband services is driving a sea change in the technologies employed to build and operate mobile networks. In particular, the introduction of all-IP transport promises to replace traditional time division multiplexed (TDM) networks to provide network scalability and lower operational costs. To support this network evolution, a new class of licensed microwave backhaul solutions has been introduced to the market, known variously as Packet All-IP or Next Generation radios. What characterizes these new products, and how do they differ from the Hybrid radios that are already on the market? Are they really different or in some way more suitable for 4G/LTE/WiMAX backhaul networks, as has been suggested?

NEXT GENERATION MICROWAVE RADIO FEATURES
So-called Next Generation radios are designed—not surprisingly—to support Next Generation broadband networks and have evolved a set of features that take advantage of the packetized nature of Ethernet/IP traffic to make maximum use of the available licensed spectrum. Next Generation microwave features generally include all or a combination of the following: • • • • • • • Software scalable high capacity, with throughputs of 1 Gbit/s or more in a single radio channel Native IP transport with built-in Layer 2 Ethernet switching Intelligent use of spectrum using Adaptive Coding and/or Modulation, combined with cochannel operation with XPIC Legacy TDM traffic supported natively (hybrid) and/or using emulation technologies such as Pseudowire (PWE) Packet synchronization support (e.g., IEEE 1588v2, Synchronous Ethernet) Advanced OAM (Operations, Administration, and Management) to ITU-T Y.1731, IEEE 802.1ag and IEEE 802.1ah Support for one or more architecture choices, including all-indoor, split-mount and all-outdoor

DEFINING PACKET MICROWAVE
There is no industry standard definition of what constitutes a Packet Microwave radio, which has led to a variety of claims from various vendors. To provide an answer, it is helpful to examine what is not a Packet Microwave radio. To support the emerging need to transport Ethernet/IP, traditional microwave of the type found on the market before 2003, typically relied upon external adapters that encapsulated Ethernet packets within TDM frames, whether that was E1/DS1 or virtual containers in the case of SDH/SONET. This service adaptation was inefficient, involving additional overhead that wasted RF bandwidth and introduced latency. Despite what some vendors claim, not a single vendor on the market still offers this type of solution for Ethernet transport.

2 AVIAT NETW ORKS

WHITE P AP E R WHAT IS PACKET MICROWAVE?

In contrast, Packet Microwave has been on the market in one form or another for some time. Beginning around 2003, microwave products became available with integrated Ethernet interfaces (i.e., 10/100/1000BaseT), which enabled Ethernet packets to be mapped directly onto the radio airframe, without any encapsulation, which is the fundamental definition of a Packet Microwave radio. In all microwave systems, the payload needs to be prepared for transport over the air, since the modulator can only handle data in pre-defined lengths. So whether...
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