Today, modern digital microwave radio is widely deployed throughout the world to transport information over distances of up to 60 kilometers (and sometimes farther) in a telecommunications network. Microwave radio is totally transparent to the information carried across the link, which can be voice, data, video, or a combination of all three. Transport can be in a variety of formats, including more traditional circuit-switched Time Division Multiplex (TDM), or more recent packet-based data protocols such as ATM, Frame Relay or IP, often carried using the ubiquitous Ethernet. In some cases, packetized data can be overlaid on a TDM frame structure such as PDH, SDH or SONET.
Microwave radio offers a number of compelling advantages over cable/fiber-based transmission:
- Rapid Deployment – a microwave link can be installed in as little as one day
- No right-of-way issues – radio spans all obstacles such as roads, railways, etc., avoiding any requirement to seek permissions that inevitably are costly and introduce time delays.
- Flexibility – the capacity of a microwave link can be easily increased at minimal or even no cost. Radios can also be redeployed if network needs change or as a result of customer churn. Losing customers does not mean assets are lost like in the case of fiber build.
- Easily crosses city terrain – In many metropolitan and city authorities, street digging to install fiber is either extremely restricted, prohibitively expensive or is even banned outright.
- Operator-owned infrastructure - no reliance on competitors
- Low start-up capital costs, which are independent of the link distance.
- Minimal recurring operational costs
- Radio infrastructure already exists for many networks in the form of rooftops, cellular masts and existing radio transmission towers.
- Microwave radio is not susceptible to common catastrophic failure of cable systems caused by cable cuts, and can be repaired in minutes instead of hours or days.
- Better resilience to natural disasters (flood, earthquakes)
Two very important characteristic of digital microwave radio transmission is its immunity to noise, and the ability of the radio to operate in the presence of adverse environmental conditions.
BTC Networks provides the following forms of Microwave Applications
- Mobile Cellular Networks
- Last Mile Access
- Private Networks
- Disaster Recovery
- The Digital Divide
- Developing Nations
- Control and Monitoring