Vodafone uses traditional IP microwave links for 5G backhaul

Vodafone and Huawei IP Microwave Backhaul for 5GTelecom operator Vodafone used traditional IP microwave links during lab tests for the purpose of 5G backhaul.

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Huawei said IP microwave in traditional bands have the capacity to support backhaul capacity, peak data rate and latency requirements that will be generated by 5G networks in future.

The trial, which tested both the capacity and latency using a traditional IP microwave link, delivered up to 2.7 Gigabits per second (Gbps) capacity from a single IP microwave link, aggregating 2×112 MHz channels in a single vertical or horizontal polarisation.

Engineers achieved over 2 Gbps in a single polarisation from a single radio frequency (RF) outdoor unit.

Huawei engineers made enhancements to the modem and RF unit supporting the testing team to achieve latency of as little as 50 microseconds.

Vodafone and Huawei plan to next test targeting to achieve 4 Gbps total capacity in one box with the support of dual polarisation. Engineers feel that a single RF outdoor unit with dual polarisation can respond to both horizontal and vertical radio waves simultaneously, increasing the traffic handling capacity of the system, reducing the power consumption and halving the amount of space needed to house units providing that capacity.

“The core features of Huawei 5G microwave bring a breakthrough in solving the bottleneck of large capacity and low latency, proving that IP microwave in traditional bands can support 5G networks when required,” Richard Jin, president of Huawei’s Transmission Network Product Line, said.

Vodafone and Huawei will continue to innovate in microwave technology with the target to improve the distance that Multi-Band and E-band links can transmit. These tests demonstrate the feasibility of utilising microwave technology, as well as fibre, for effective 5G backhaul.