E-Band Communications Wireless Backhaul

70 / 80 GHz Overview


The 71-76 and 81-86 GHz bands (widely known as "e-band") are permitted worldwide for ultra high capacity point-to-point communications.  The 10 GHz of spectrum available represents by far the most ever allocated at any one time, enabling fiber-like gigabit per second (Gbps) and greater data rates that cannot be achieved at the bandwidth-limited lower microwave frequency bands.  E-band propagation characteristics are comparable to those at the widely used microwave bands, and with well characterized weather characteristics allowing rain fade to be understood, link distances of several miles can confidently be realized.

E-band wireless systems offer the most compelling alternative to buried fiber with the following advantages over competing high capacity wireless technologies:

·         Highest data rates - E-band offers the highest data rates of any wireless technology, with systems available that offer 1 Gbps and above full-duplex throughput.

·        Guaranteed data rates - Unlike WiFi, WiMAX and other broad-coverage technologies whose system performance depends heavily on the radio and user environment, e-band systems offer guaranteed data throughput performance, even under deteriorated transmission conditions.

·        Long distance transmissions - E-band wireless offers the longest transmission distances of the higher capacity wireless systems. Under any environmental condition, a 1 Gbps e-band system can transmit many times further than similar data rate 60 GHz or free space optic systems.

·         Robust weather resilience - Conventional path planning techniques, using established and proven precipitation models, enable system designers to implement robust wireless networks that meet their system availability requirements.  E-band is not subject to fog, dust, air turbulence or any other atmospheric impairment that can disable optical links for hours.

·        Guaranteed interference protection - Since e-band is a licensed technology, all links are granted full interference protection from other nearby wireless sources. In the unlikely event of interference, the full weight of the wireless regulator is available to identify and remove the interference source. 

·         Low cost, rapid license availability - Links are licensed under a "light license" process, whereby licenses can be obtained quickly and cheaply. Such licenses provide the full benefits of traditional link licenses, but at a fraction of the cost and application time.

·         Cost effective, fiber-like wireless solution - High capacity e-band wireless systems are available at a fraction of the cost of buried fiber alternatives. Installed wireless systems have payback periods of months when compared to the costs of trenching new fiber. Installing dedicated wireless technology can often be more economic than leasing fiber-provided high capacity services.