Fibre is commonly perceived to be the dominant transport mechanism for transferring data from access points back to a central office, where it is aggregated onto the core network. However, high speed and long range wireless backhaul remains a cost-effective alternative to fibre networks. In some areas, wireless backhaul is dominant and becoming more and more attractive. However, commercially available wireless backhaul systems do not meet the requirements for both high speed and long range at the same time with sufficiently low latency for some applications. Traditional microwave systems can achieve long transmission range, but the data rates are then limited to a few hundred megabits per second. Multi-gigabit per second wireless communications can be achieved using millimetre-wave (mm-wave) frequency bands, especially in E-band, but the practical transmission range has then always been a major weakness.
In this article, available after login, the world’s first 5Gbps radio solution – and the fastest commercial backhaul product - developed by EM Solutions Pty Ltd with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) - is described. As well as achieving a state-of-the-art data rate, other key design features include maximal path length, minimal latency, and constant antenna pointing under wind and tower vibration.