Microwave link capacity

Eric Flanery (eric) eric at flanery.us
Mon Apr 4 18:03:41 UTC 2016

There is no simple answer, as the characteristics of each link are unique,
thus the requirements for each potential upgrade are also unique.

Typically an engineering study will be done to determine what exactly is
required, and what the cost will be. It could be as simple and cheap as a
software license upgrade costing a few hundred dollars; to a complete
tear-down and re-build of the towers (to support much larger antennas, for
example), costing hundreds of thousands. It can even involve adding
additional sites as relays, potentially pushing the cost into the millions.


On Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 10:28 AM, Jean-Francois Mezei <
jfmezei_nanog at vaxination.ca> wrote:

> In a context of providing rural communities with modern broadband.
> Reading some tells me that Microwave links can be raised to 1gbps. How
> common is that ?
> I assume that cell phone towers have modern microwave links (when not
> directly on fibre). What sort of capacity would typically be provided ?
> And in the case of a remote village/town served by microwave originally
> designed to handle just phone calls, how difficult/expensive is it to
> upgrade to 1gbps or higher capacity ? Just a change of radio ? or radio
> and antenna, keeping only the tower ?
> (keeping spectrum acquisition out of discussion as that is a whole other
> ball game).

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