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60GHz Wireless Ethernet Technology Overview

60GHz Wireless Technology Overview
License-free 60GHz Wireless Ethernet Radios have unique characteristics that make them significantly different from traditional 2.4GHz or 5GHz license-free radios and from licensed-band millimeter-wave radios. These characteristics give 60GHz radios operational advantages not found in other wireless systems.
License-Free Spectrum 

The FCC allocated an unprecedented 7GHz of un-channelized spectrum for license-free operation between 57-64GHz. This compares to less than 0.5GHz of spectrum allocated between 2-6GHz for WiFi and other license-free applications. For the first time, sufficient spectrum has been allocated to make possible multi-gigabit Radio Frequency (RF) links.  

Narrow Beam Antennas  
The very narrow beam associated with 60GHz radios enables multiple 60GHz radios to be installed on the same rooftop or mast, even if they are all operating at the same transmit and receive frequencies. Co-located radios operating in the same transmit and receive frequency ranges can easily be isolated from one another based on small lateral or angular separations and the use of cross-polarized antennas.  
Easy to Install and Align  
While the beam width is much narrower than for other license-free and licensed-band radios, it is still wide enough to be accurately aligned by a non-expert installer with the use of a simple visual alignment tool. Note that these beam widths are much wider than those of free space optic systems, and are not affected by building sway from wind nor tilt from sun heating.  
Oxygen Absorption and Security  
Oxygen attenuates 60GHz signals, a property that is unique to the 60GHz spectrum. While this limits the distances that 60GHz links can cover, it also offers interference and security advantages when compared to other wireless technologies. Small beam sizes coupled with oxygen absorption makes these links highly immune to interference from other 60GHz radios. Another link in the immediate vicinity will not interfere if its path is just slightly different from that of the first link, while oxygen absorption ensures that the signal does not extend far beyond the intended target, even with radios along the exact same trajectory.  

These same two factors make the signal highly secure. In order to intercept the signal, one would have to locate a receiver lined up on the exact same trajectory, and in the immediate locale of the targeted transmitter. The intercepting receiver would have to be tuned to the carrier signal of the transmitting radio and be in the main beam in order to ensure reception, and the presence of this radio would block/degrade the transmit path of the transmitting radio and jam its receive path. The net result is that the interceptor would be unlikely to actually obtain data from the link and would likely be detected by network administrators. It would typically be easier to dig into conduit and tap into a fiber-optic cable than to find a way to install a rogue receiver to intercept a 60GHz transmission without being detected.   

We provide all required mount and installation accessories with the link – all that must be added is the user site fiber and power cabling.

Key Features

  • 60GHz Radios: License-free 60GHz radios have unique characteristics that provide operational advantages over other solutions.
  • Narrow Beam Antennas: associated with 60GHz radios enable multiple radios to operate on the same rooftop or mast, and provide interference immunity from other 60GHz links.
  • Easy to Install and Align: our radios are easy to install and align by non-expert installers with the use of a simple visual alignment tool provided with the product.
  • High Data Transmission Security: Small beam sizes coupled with the oxygen absorption properties of 60GHz spectrum make the signal highly secure.

60GHz Link Availability

Link availability is typically expressed as “n-nines” where n is “five” for 99.999% availability (< 5.3 minutes of outage per year), “four” for 99.99% availability (< 53 minutes of outage per year), etc. Note that an “outage” may not actually mean that data is no longer delivered by the link, but rather indicates that the data bit error rate (BER) is elevated above a specified level (which varies by manufacturer). We quote link availability based on when the BER exceeds one error per trillion bits (10-12 BER). However, other manufacturers routinely specify link availability based on less stringent BER limits. The main factors in determining the availability of 60GHz links are heavy rainfall probabilities and distance. (more)

Rainfall and 60GHz Radios

Like all radio links that operate above 10GHz, intense rainfall significantly limits the distance over which 60GHz links can transmit data error-free. Rainfall statistics have been extensively studied throughout the United States to support millimeter-wave link deployments, primarily for cellular telephone network backhaul. These statistics allow us to determine how many minutes per year a 60GHz link of a given distance will be impaired due to short periods of intense rainfall. Note that intense rainfall occurs in relatively small, fast-moving rain cells, therefore these events are short-lived for any specific location. Based on the availability requirements of the application, the maximum link is determined based on the rainfall zone where the link is to be deployed. Our radios outperform other 60GHz radios due to the inclusion of a strong Forward Error Correction (FEC) code that is transmitted with the data. FEC provides another 6dB of link margin by correcting most of the errors due to heavy rainfall. This allows for up to 30% longer link distances.

Choice of 60GHz and E-Band Links

Both bands have unique advantages, and with us you chose the types of links that make the most sense for your business and your applications. Whatever your choice, you get the peace of mind of our experience, service and quality.

Best Performance
We offer uncompromising performance. Our links feature an “always full rate”, very low latency, GigE connection, making it a direct substitute for a GigE fiber connection. Beyond offering the best data performance in the industry, we add a strong Forward Error Correction code to the transmitted data, correcting most of the errors that occur as the link approaches threshold due to moments of heavy rainfall. This allows the customers to deploy gigabit wireless links links at distances 30% longer than competing products. Also, since the signal is fully digitally regenerated upon receipt, it is possible to daisy-chain multiple links without accumulating analog noise with each hop. This makes our wireless links the natural choice for building virtual fiber network operator distribution backbones.

Highest Availability
AdaptRate links are the only full-rate GigE links that can automatically compensate for heavy rain downpours by temporarily switching to 100Mbps data rates. This allows users to use GigE data rates at link distances that would otherwise only operate reliably at 100Mbps. At traditional GigE link distances, AdaptRate links provide ultra-critical applications link availability levels that far exceed what was previously achievable.

Simplest to Install
We realize that installation material and labor can be a significant portion of the customer’s total cost of ownership. We include power supplies, all installation materials (except for customer premise fiber cables and power wiring) for both mast and wall mounting with the standard product, and provides both a simple Visual Alignment Tool (VAT), that allows the installer to quickly align the radios on the main antenna beam, as well as Receive Signal Level and Signal Quality voltage test cable to ensure that the radios are optimally aligned. Installers can complete the installation quickly, with confidence that the link is correctly installed.

Most Reliable
Bridgewave employs state-of-the-art HALT and HASS test methodologies to eliminate design and workmanship defects that could result in reduced system lifetime or premature field failures. Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) is used during the design cycle to subject the product to ever increasing thermal and mechanical stress levels until the units fail. Design weaknesses are exposed and corrected before the product ever goes into production. Once the design has been validated through HALT, each production unit goes through a reduced version of this testing called Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS) that is designed to expose workmanship or component defects that may occur during the manufacturing process. HASS is designed to identify specific units that may experience premature field failures, to avoid field outages and re-installation/repair labor. HALT and HASS testing is costly, but we believe that the overall result is a reduction in the customer’s overall cost of ownership.

Bridgewave also employs a novel, highly-integrated radio architecture that eliminates many of the components and mechanical waveguide structures traditionally found in millimeter-wave radios and high-performance digital designs. This not only results in the lowest manufacturing cost, but also in one of the highest calculated MTBF levels (28 years) found in the industry, regardless of operating frequency and link capacity. These cost and “extended lifetime” savings are simply not possible with the highly modularized designs found in other gigabit speed links.

  • Reliable, Affordable Wireless Solution: Gigabit solution with the highest performance and best reliability with a purchase price of less than half of the prevailing gigabit wireless market price.
  • Fiber-Like Performance: Direct substitute for gigabit Ethernet fiber, with very low latency and GigE speeds.
  • Point-and-shoot radio alignment with easy-to-use network management system: integrated Ethernet switching allows operators to add/drop Ethernet services at each point of a distribution backbone, without the need for external network equipment.
  • Rigorous Reliability Testing: HALT and HASS test methodologies expose design weaknesses before the product ever goes into production.


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