As with anything that sounds too good, there’s a catch with 4G. The towers and antennas that provide it require backhaul support, typically leased fiber that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to install. The good news is there is a much cheaper solution available.
Operators, carriers, and colleges use GigE (gigabit Ethernet) over 60GHz and 80GHz wireless bridges in place of expensive fiber optic cable runs to extend backhaul networks, explains Joe Schraml, vice president of marketing at BridgeWave Communications. Clear (formerly Clearwire) used BridgeWave’s solution to provide backhaul to its 4G WiMAX towers in New York City, according to Schraml.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, uses the BridgeWave solution to provide backhaul to buildings on campus to support VoIP, streaming video and other network-based applications, according to Praveen Panchal, CIO in the department of information technology. The solution, which the company based on license-free spectrum in the 60GHz range, cost $25,000 instead of the $350,000 to $400,000 that the fiber optic cable runs would have cost.
"The technology helps higher education to avoid trenching for fiber on campus or across town," says Schraml. The wireless solution provides a fiber-like performance for speed and latency with cost savings as well as savings on time to implement.