Millimeter-wave backhaul has made an appearance with a large network operator via E-Band Communications deal with Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR).
E-Band announced that its Gigabit-Ethernet millimeter-wave wireless backhaul solution is being deployed in a number of Clearwire's WiMAX markets, with initial deployments in Chicago and Philadelphia in the 70 GHz and 80 GHz frequency range. The point-to-point systems enable Clearwire to build wireless backhaul rings that carry multiple gigabits of traffic on the network.
Millimeter-wave technology will likely be a part of operators' backhaul solutions that include fiber and microwave. While these radios have more than 1 Gbps capacity, they can only be used over very short distances (about 2 miles) because of the high frequency. As such, the solution is more ideal for highly dense markets where more capacity is needed than what microwave can provide.
According to a recent report from EJL Wireless Research, the overall 60-70-80 GHz market increased 46 percent globally from 2008 to 2009 even as the overall point-to-point (PTP) microwave radio market declined almost 11 percent. In addition, registration data from the FCC for 70/80 GHz use shows growth by more than 400 percent from 2009.
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