36 years after the first installation, Ericsson has just delivered its 3 millionth MINI-LINK. The first MINI-LINK left the factory 1978 and while it took Ericsson some 30 years to install one million units, it took only 4 years to deliver the next million. Now 3 million MINI-LINKs have been delivered.
Microwave links enable quick deployments and cost-efficient backhaul, and were a key enabler to the success in quickly building GSM networks during the 1990s.
These attributes continue to play a key role in today’s networks, where the capacities in MINI-LINK keep up with the evolving needs of LTE networks and the Networked Society.
In the early days, microwave links were about a few Mbps, but over the last decade, the average capacities through a MINI-LINK have increased by a factor of 20.
Not only have the capacity requirements changed during this time, but also the transport technology. Almost all MINI-LINKs delivered from the beginning are capable of packet transport, supporting the needs of modern backhaul networks.
Karolina Wikander, Head of Product Line Microwave Ericsson, says: “We are committed to continuing to deliver microwave solutions for high performing networks while making the most of operator spectrum. Networks are constantly evolving and our MINI-LINK portfolio will continue to provide a future-proof solution for each part of the network.
Over the years, MINI-LINK has also enabled connectivity to distant villages, enabling increased quality of life and contributing to GDP growth. MINI-LINK is also an important tool in Ericsson Response to quickly enable communication in disaster areas.
Ericsson is the microwave market leader with a 25% market share and continues to build the future of this technology. Ericsson was first to implement Hybrid Transport and Radio Link Bonding, critical components for introducing mobile broadband. Ericsson was also first to demonstrate a microwave MIMO system, and crushed the myth for NLOS microwave deployments in the traditional frequency bands.