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DragonWave unveils sub-6 GHz backhaul radio for small cells

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DragonWave took the wraps off of a new sub-6 GHz point-to-point microwave backhaul system for urban small cell deployments.

The Canadian vendor's Avenue Link Lite microwave radio has a 7.5-inch-square footprint and supports both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. The radio was created for use in outdoor non-line-of-sight (NLOS) deployments, and DragonWave said the device's design specifications help ensure it complies with strict city-zoning regulations in order to blend into the urban landscape.

The Avenue Link Lite includes standard Ethernet interfaces and integrated antenna and can be configured and monitored remotely. In-band synchronization eliminates the need for an external synchronization source. The company claims the device's high-capacity and low-latency capabilities make it one of the first LTE-ready NLOS systems. The radio can be deployed using a tree topology, with macrocell traffic aggregation points on rooftops, or with tail, chain or small hub microsites at street level.

DragonWave is a partner of Nokia Siemens Networks, which supplies more than 10 percent of DragonWave's revenue. DragonWave bought most of its microwave transport business last year from NSN, the networking unit of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Siemens, and became NSN's preferred strategic supplier of packet microwave and related products. DragonWave also entered into a services agreement with NSN for outsourced R&D, product management, sales support and operations functions.

In a recent report, Ed Gubbins, Current Analysis' senior analyst for mobile access infrastructure, wrote that although NSN claims to offer a full range of solutions through DragonWave, NSN has not clarified how it will employ the various products in that portfolio.

Major infrastructure vendors have taken a toolkit approach to small cell backhaul that blends a variety of approaches--with wireless options including sub-6 GHz, 60 GHz V Band and 70/80 GHz E band--but their shifting strategies are perplexing their operator customers, according to Gubbins.

For more:
- see this DragonWave release

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