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High-Capacity Wireless Backhaul Solutions


High-Capacity Wireless Backhaul Solutions

Many customers who hear "wireless backhaul" think of replacing or backing up a T1 connection. It does that - and a lot more! Advancements in technology now let you transmit speeds of up to 1.25 GHz wirelessly. TESSCO can help you determine the best wireless backhaul option for your system, then supply the design expertise and products to get it done right.

Technology Snapshot

In virtually any multi-location application using Internet technology or wireless, backhaul is required. As wireless technology evolves beyond traditional T-1 capabilities, wireless backhaul is emerging as a versatile and integral component of sending data from one point to another, where it can be distributed to many points of access. While it could be a choke point for the network, backhaul can also be its strength when designed correctly. Wireless backhaul in commercial or enterprise networks has become very attractive with the high data rates, ease of installation and scalability. Wireless backhauls are now capable of transmitting upwards of 1.25 Gbps, and they can travel over long distances to a network operations centers or access point cluster.

Because of the large variation in speed, distance, frequency type, and price, choosing the correct backhaul solution can make or break the entire system.

Selecting Your Backhaul Solution

Selecting the best backhaul option requires a balance of speed, distance and price. For wireless technologies, a general rule is the faster and longer the link the more expensive, so networks should be designed to support the current needs as well as at least a 30% growth in traffic. It is generally less expensive to install a unit that costs a little more on the front end, but can scale up by 30% than to install one that will cost less in the beginning but needs faster replacement. More is not necessarily better! And if a network will only require 10Mbps for the foreseeable future, there is no need for a 300Mbps backhaul that will increase short-term costs with no long-tern return.

Licensed vs. Unlicensed Options

Another element of a wireless backhaul is licensed versus unlicensed frequencies. Unlicensed systems operate in frequencies that anyone can use, typically 2.4, 5.8, or 24GHz.

Unlicensed links can be up and running in a relatively short time and without a lot of added expense to the end user. The drawback is potential interference. With unlicensed radios the end user has no control over who is able to use the frequency and thus can encounter unexpected or unplanned interference. However if the proper precautions are taken one can use an unlicensed link successfully for a number of years.

Licensed links, on the other hand, tend to have higher throughputs and be more reliable. Because the frequency is licensed, users are certain they're the only ones in the area allowed to use that frequency. They also have confidence of knowing the occasional access point at a home or coffee shop is not going to take down mission-critical data or slow their network. Licensed links are generally more expensive because of licensing fees and the additional time needed to install the system.

TESSCO Value-Added Services: Network Design

TESSCO Technologies has developed a design assistance program to assist you with the creation and validation of wireless backhauls. With some information about the intended use of the backhaul, TESSCO will work with you to create a system that will meet your needs.

Backhaul Products and Vendors from TESSCO

TESSCO offers you a broad range of solutions, in many data transmission speeds and in both unlicensed and licensed frequencies (partial list below):
Unlicensed Licensed
AirStream by Wireless Solutions Stratex
Bridgewave RAD
ADTRAN AirStream by Wireless Solutions
BelAir Networks