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The proliferation of mobile networks around the world has created stiff competition. To gain the competitive advantage, operators now need as fast network deployment as possible. This is putting added pressure on microwave communication, which is a major solution of mobile backhaul. Deploying networks efficiently is therefore the key to commercial success.
A microwave product generally consists of an indoor unit (IDU), outdoor unit (ODU), and antenna. Due to various microwave frequencies that exist, hundreds of different ODUs have hit the market. However, acquisition of microwave frequencies is time-consuming. Therefore, ODU deployment is usually a major factor affecting the efficiency of microwave deployment.
With the evolution of radio frequency (RF) technology, an innovative Wideband ODU solution has recently been proposed. As tunable optical modules have done in the optical communication domain, this solution is going to transform microwave communication. With adjustable duplexer technology, the Wideband ODU solution enables a wider frequency coverage and supports frequency adjustment by using software. Operators can use Wideband ODUs to deploy microwave networks, shortening the deployment time. After the frequency band has been determined according to a preliminary network plan, Wideband ODUs can be deployed ahead of time. After specific frequencies have been determined, they can be configured remotely on the ODUs by using software, which avoids a secondary site visit, reduces manpower costs, and improves deployment efficiency.
For example, to cover all frequencies in a 15 GHz frequency band, only one pair of Wideband ODUs is required to substitute for nine pairs of traditional ODUs. This significantly reduces the number of ODU spare parts required. Wideband ODUs allow operators to set frequencies within a wider frequency range, fitting for redeployment scenarios and reducing investment.
Up to now, Wideband ODUs have been deployed on a global scale, from Russia to Africa. As the Wideband ODU solution is developed further, more and more operators will begin to appreciate its advantages of fast deployment and reduced investment. This solution is truly going to revolutionize the microwave communications industry, allowing for mobile broadband networks to be deployed efficiently all over the world.