The Aviat WTM 6000 is the first all-IP trunking radio, capable of supporting up to 4 Gbit/s of aggregate data throughput. It is designed for exceptional compactness for N+1 protection configurations with up to 16 RF channels in a single sub-rack chassis. With the option to transport STM-1 in hybrid mixed-mode, the WTM 6000 is a network operator’s first choice for high trunking capacity for regional and national backbone links in place of fiber.
For the first time in a trunking platform, the WTM 6000 incorporates the latest packet transport features that have previously only been available in lower capacity microwave systems. These include built-in Ethernet switching, link aggregation, traffic prioritization, Quality of Service controls and Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) capabilities. Network operators that need ultra-dependable wireless connections will subscribe to the WTM 6000 as a fiber alternative for all-IP network backbone links.
With integrated switching and native Ethernet/IP support, the WTM 6000 also provides optional support for STM-1 traffic, enabling operators to maintain legacy TDM services without having to use inefficient circuit emulation.
The WTM 6000 is also the first trunking radio in its class to support 256QAM Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) to enable operators to achieve higher link capacities with smaller antennas.
In all its years, Aviat Networks has installed a great many microwave radios and in some very interesting places. On the sides of the largest dams. On top of the most famous bridges. Deep in the Aboriginal Outback. Way out to sea. In the frozen wastes of the Great White North.
Our latest triumph of man and mechanism over elements comes by way of Papua New Guinea, one of the last lands to be touched by the progress of high technology.
Deep in the heart of this primordial island nation, an imposing mountain stands: Mt. Otto, nearly 11,000 feet (3500m) of steep slopes and very little summit. Few people climb it. There are virtually no roads of which to speak. The only practical way to bring wireless telecom gear up is via helicopter.
However, Aviat Networks was equal to the challenge. Aviat’s services department is loaded with can-do problem-solvers keen to tackle projects like this. In this case, a critical issue for the Mt. Otto site revolved around power. Issue resolved with a big Eltek generator, part of an amazing energy solution that powers an Aviat WTM 6000 14+2 repeater with a 7+1 spur—all built to run at Mt. Otto’s high altitude without supervision for extended periods. If we look a bit closer at the site specs, we will see:2 x WTM 6000 15+0 Ethernet with 1+1 SDH (design capacity of 3Gbps; normal operation close to 4Gbps) 1 x WTM 6000 6+0 Ethernet with 1+1 SDH (design capacity of 1.5Gbps normal operation; close to 2Gbps) 12 foot antennas in a Space Diversity configuration across a 91km path 8- and 10-foot antennas to other spur sites
To keep the site online, an array of 96 solar panels powers the microwave radios with 24 kW of electricity. As backup, the 80KVA Eltek generator provides up of five days of continuous current in case of extended cloudy weather. It is capable of this as it runs on fuel that’s kept warm in a modular container. Otherwise the fuel would freeze solid in the thin mountain air. A large battery installation provides an extra five days of backup power. Those same solar panels top off the charge on these 57,000 pounds (25,704 kg) of batteries. It’s a closed system completely designed for 100 percent off-the-grid operation.
To complete the site, required dozens of sorties airlifting personnel and all the material necessary to build and install the site. Overall, the Mt. Otto site is an amazing accomplishment in a super remote and hard-to-get-to place.
Back in the day, trunking microwave radios were huge power-hungry beasts that consumed vast quantities of power and space at equal rates. They were complex “animals” that took days to install and hours to configure. Then they had to be looked after like well-loved but aged members of the family—with care, all due respect and consideration. Over time, components went out of adjustment and had to be brought back into line through various tuning routines, but overall they did their job as the super-reliable backbone of the POTS (i.e., Plain Old Telephone Service).
Jump forward a few decades and the latest trunking microwave solutions are elegant and graceful—almost svelte. With their current high levels of electronic integration, a complete repeater system can stand in a single rack space—unheard of until the most recent products. Furthermore, these new systems consume dramatically less power—a typical 3+1 system (i.e., four transceivers) consumes less than 400 watts. So now, backbone operators can save significantly on operating expenditure because of decreased space and power requirements at their microwave radio shelters.
Evolving microwave systems from analog to digital microwave systems carrying digital payloads was a rocky and dangerous path. The next migration from TDM payloads to IP payloads appears to be just as treacherous. How can a traditional TDM backbone radio, typically configured with N+1 radio protection switching, be reconfigured to transport a non-TDM payload that does not suit N+1 switching? IP transport is a completely different environment altogether! Luckily, trunking radio system designers have not ignored the Internet revolution and are perfectly aware of these challenges. In fact, well-appointed trunking microwave radio systems allow a graceful evolution from TDM to IP, with capability to transport both types of traffic simultaneously—and with their own ultra-reliable protection schemes!
Today, trunking microwave radios can support both TDM and IP seamlessly, offer robust radio performance and highly reliable switching and really do make it easy for operators to design mission-critical backbone networks. They offer mean time between failure (MTBF) reliability figures into the hundreds-of-years and highly integrated yet modular designs, which make expansion very straightforward. Before deciding on a trunking microwave radio, consider if the system:Allows easy migration from TDM to IP with a minimal amount of replacement materials Can expand to an expected maximum channel capacity (for example, six channels) without needing additional racks, etc. Enables repeater configurations within one rack Has a field-proven heritage of reliability and performance
Terry Ross Senior Product Manager Aviat NetworksRelated articles FCC Rule Changes Lower the Cost of Microwave Deployments (aviatnetworks.com) Innovative Microwave Radio Installation Helps Maintain Aboriginal Lands (aviatnetworks.com) All-Indoor Microwave: LTE’s Best Backhaul Solution for North American Operators (aviatnetworks.com) Microwave Backhaul to Grow at Near Double the Rate of Leased Line Spending (aviatnetworks.com)