Wireless Microwave Links

Wireless Microwave Links

Microwave links provide high speed, private, direct Ethernet links between two or more sites and thus provide high bandwidth at much lower costs than Leased Lines.

Use as a Leased Line Replacement
The most common business use of wireless microwave links, are to use as a replacement for a Leased Line or a ‘point-to-point’ link. Organisations with two or more sites need reliable, high-speed connections between their sites to enable them to share voice & data services between the sites. This is a Wide Area Network (WAN) requirement and Microwave links provide a cost effective WAN alternative solution to Leased Lines. The same set-up can also be used to link a business to a Supanet linked site to gain Dedicated Internet Access.

A Microwave link can connect two sites that are within range and have a line of sight. If the two locations are within several kilometres of each other and the path is not too obstructed with hills or tall trees, then a high performance microwave wireless link can usually be connected between them. Using suitable frequencies, it may be possible to link sites with no clear ‘line of site’ at lower bandwidths.

Microwave links are used by all types of users from small enterprises, colleges, health authorities, government and large private companies

The microwave link itself consists of hardware at each site consisting of suitable Microwave Dish, Transmitter/Receiver Unit and Router.


Benefits of a Wireless Microwave Solution:
Fast: Speeds of 10Mbps to 1GBps can be achieved.
Carrier Grade: 99.999% reliable, with full Quality of Service support
Cost effective: Lower recurring costs makes the total cost of ownership competitive
Secure: Operates on secure high frequencies unable to be detected by unauthorised users
Flexible: Speeds can be increased in the future.

Disadvantage of other methods
A Leased Line provides 10Mb, 100Mb or 1Gbps connectivity, but has high recurring costs. Users that are not connected with existing optical fibre, may also be charged very expensive set up charges to lay new fibre connections to their site.

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) can provide connections between sites using the Internet connection at each site, typically ADSL connections. ADSL appears to be very cheap, offering speeds of 8 or even 20Mbps for very low prices, but suffers from very low upstream bandwidth (6% of downstream), contended with up to 20 or 50 other users, and has no Quality of Service. Thus such VPN IP links would in practice be slow and may not be suitable.

Other Common Uses of Wireless Microwave Links
The most common use is replacing Leased lines and providing point to point links for voice, data and Dedicated Internet Access as above. Other uses include:-

  • Wireless Networks to provide a site with complete indoor & outdoor wireless coverage for voice & data access, using the latest WiFi, Mesh & WiMax technology.
  • Provide Broadband Hotspots over a large sites e.g. a leisure site. This can provide complete indoor and outdoor coverage of a site and generate revenues by offering visitors WiFi broadband.
  • IP/Wirelss CCTV – Protect an area with high resolution CCTV, record multiple channels using advanced DVR technology over wireless or wired infrastructures. E.g. use by councils in an inner-city area.

Wireless Microwave Link Solution from Supanet

Supanet has extensive experience in all the elements necessary to make a wireless network operate efficiently. Wireless network equipment will only provide a high performing, reliable system if it has been planned, designed and installed correctly. Supanet is familiar with the many aspects of a wireless system to ensure network success and can provide its clients with a full range of services that would include:- Wireless Microwave
  • Business & technical consultancy by looking at existing and future connectivity needs
  • Network planning & design of the link
  • Site surveys
  • Installation & commissioning
  • Training of staff
  • Ongoing Maintenance and support

Supanet Local Ring
Wireless Microwave Links form a key part of Supanet Local Ring projects. Such projects mean that businesses can have low cost high speed links in certain towns and cities that have multiple supanet points of presence. The business building is directly linked to a Supanet site that is within its line of vision, via the Wireless Microwave Link.
See example Supanet Blackburn Ring Project for more details.

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