Advantages and Disadvantages of Licensed Microwave

July 19th, 2018

Once you have determined that you need a broadband wireless network, you find you have a lot more decisions to make. There are different technologies, different manufacturers and even the option of using licensed or unlicensed spectrum.

To help you decide between licensed and unlicensed spectrum for your broadband wireless network, Andy Moss, our resident wireless guru, has compiled a list of the advantages and disadvantages of licensed microwave.

This is the first post in a three-part series on licensed microwave. Look for FAQs on the licensing process in the USA and Canada over the next few weeks.

Licensed Microwave Advantages:

  • No interference worries
  • Higher powered transceivers available
  • Co-locating multiple systems much easier
  • Lots of proven equipment to choose from
  • Plenty of expertise available
  • Wider bandwidth products available
  • Various interfaces available to match end-user equipment (fibre, copper, Ethernet, T-1, DS3, more)
  • Redundant systems available in all types (N+1, hot-standby, dual-pol)
  • Higher performance equipment allows access to higher tier markets
  • Licensed equipment only way to guaranty SLA (service level agreement) wirelessly
  • Latency times are typically sub 1 millisecond – even on long links
  • Not spread-spectrum so more efficient data transfers
  • Higher density modulation schemes like 128QAM available

Licensed Microwave Disadvantages:

  • Initial license application expenses
  • Initial license delay before going on-air
  • Recurring expense of license
  • Equipment often more expensive
  • Shorter effective link distances on 18 & 23 GHz links than typical license exempt frequencies
  • Re-location of existing links call for resubmission to licensing body

Well folks, there you have it. If you have any questions, please contact us. Alliance works with the industry-leading broadband wireless vendors so we can help you figure out which products are best for your project.