Ericsson has successfully demonstrated that it is possible to connect LTE main and remote radio units with a microwave link, thereby offering operators greater flexibility. Until now, operators have been restricted to using optical fibre to connect main and remote radio units (RRUs) in their networks.
However, there are situations – such as in dense urban environments – when using fibre for this purpose can be difficult, costly and limiting.
In the tests, conducted at the Ericsson premises in China, the microwave connection between the main unit and the remote unit was provided by a MINI-LINK PT, working in the E-band (70–80GHz). The microwave link provided capacity of 2.5Gbps, which is sufficient for a wireless main-remote system in compliance with Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) standards. This is one example of new applications with high-capacity packet microwave products.
Ericsson said that since the MINI-LINK PT is compact and easy to install outdoors, this solution will allow for rapid connection of RRUs – including small RRUs that can be used to add small cells to existing networks, thereby transforming them into heterogeneous networks (hetnets) and boosting overall capacity.
Ericsson head of product line microwave and mobile backhaul Ola Gustavsson said: ‘In situations where optical fibre isn’t the best option due to cost or time to market, it is great that we now have an alternative – in the form of microwave – that will allow operators to connect the main and remote radio units in their networks. Making it easier for operators to do business is our primary business.’