In a time when the consumer expects nothing short of unlimited capacity and uninterrupted service, the telecommunications industry has scrambled to fulfill these expectations. In order to satisfy these high expectations however, the radio access network requires a backhaul system able to transport an ever-increasing stream of data. In order to provide this integral backhaul system, operators have turned to microwave radios as the method of choice. Strengthened by the release new microwave radios with large capacity capabilities and as microwave radios can be deployed faster and at a lower cost than other alternatives, microwave is becoming the backhaul method of choice for telecommunications providers. Until now however, the technology has been hindered by the perceived problem of aesthetics; a problem that is only shrinking by the day.
The problem is particularly relevant in urban areas where there is limited space for the increased number of antenna sites needed in order to improve the service expected from subscribers. In order to contend with this space issue it is of increasing importance that the antennas be as small as possible while maintaining the same abilities of a much larger microwave antenna. There are now currently antennas on the market which are half the size of the antennas of the past, while still providing the necessary Carrier to Noise ratio needed to achieve the target availability requirements of the link. While the smaller antenna work just as well as the larger antenna of the past, the smaller size of the current antenna diminish the aesthetic problem while saving more than $2,000 dollars a year in tower lease costs.
In addition to smaller microwave antennas, the use of millimeter wave backhaul in small cell environments is also being explored by regulators. Millimeter wave backhaul systems enable the use of large channel bandwidths such as 250 MHz, 500 MHz and even 1250 MHz; the link capacity of which can be significantly higher than lower microwave frequencies. Such products are already on the market and are being developed and released into even smaller diameters, which further negate the apparent aesthetic problem. With more and more of these bands needed at street level, the need for smaller and smaller antenna is only growing and antenna manufacturers are continuing to provide the technology necessary to provide the best possible coverage while diminishing the aesthetic costs of providing complete and uninterrupted service. Siecaltodoven .