Harris Corp.’s TRuepoint 5000: next-gen wireless backhaul

Harris Corp.’s TRuepoint 5000: next-gen wireless backhaul

www.harris.com

With the emergence of new data services and consolidation of the wireless market, network quality will be critical to maintaining customer satisfaction. One little-exposed area for sustaining reliability is the effective back-hauling of traffic traversing its network.

For backhaul today, the irony is that despite an alleged fiber glut, most wireless carriers still rent copper-based T-1 circuits from their ILEC competitors. However, the advent of high-capacity microwave radios changes this for service providers that can finally break the ILEC T-1 stranglehold.

Enter Harris and its TRuepoint 5000 next-gen radio platform. Serving a wide range of frequencies (6 GHz to 38 GHz), it can deliver service speeds from 4 Mbps up to 180 Mbps. Leveraging a software-selectable architecture, TRuepoint 5000 enables seamless switching between PDH and SDH applications.

Whereas traditional microwave platforms would require a carrier to replace current systems for every growth spike, the TRuepoint 5000 allows providers to software-select the capacity, modulation level, RF frequency and output power required to meet any regulatory or spectrum requirement.

Because it’s a software-configurable radio, an operator can select in software multiple modulation formats (4, 16, 32, 63, 128 and 256 QAM), while flexible FEC schemes optimize bandwidth and system gain.

In addition, the product’s plug-and-play modules allow faster network activation, simple reconfiguration and on-the-fly capacity upgrades. It can operate in a traditional circuit-switched network, with a transition to IP when a carrier is ready.

TRuepoint’s RFU (radio frequency unit) is capacity-independent and weather proofed for outdoor installation but can also be mounted indoors on a radio relay rack. If used in the RFU-detachable configuration, the RFU can be attached directly to the antenna.

The signal processing unit, installed indoors, is frequency-independent and occupies a single rack mounting space for 1+0 configurations or two rack mounting spaces for 1+1 and 2+0 configurations.

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“TRuepoint is a software radio, which makes it very efficient and saves the operator a lot of money,” said Emmy Johnson, principal analyst at Skylight Research. “The case for software-defined radios is in their flexibility, meaning that an operator can place it in its network and the radio can scale as the network capacity increases. Previously, carriers had to replace the radio with a hardware forklift, but now the operator can increase the capacity on the radio through software modulation.”

To maintain constant uptime during both maintenance and upgrade events, the controller board can be removed without interrupting traffic. A removable multimedia card in the controller board stores software and configuration settings to enable auto-configuration.

With built in SNMP-based management capabilities, a service provider can manage TRuepoints remotely. Self-diagnostics that differentiate path alarms from equipment alarms and performance management capabilities are also available.

To provide operators with a single point of control to manage and maintain the product, TRuepoint is optimized to work with Harris’ NetBoss Network management platform, in addition to the more recently introduced NetBoss EM element management system.

This package enables a service provider to monitor the states of its overall network, regardless of vendor or protocol. Since faults can be pinpointed via a graphical display, the operator no longer needs a truck roll to locate or solve network problems.

Already, TRuepoint is gaining momentum. With a launch of its EVDO service and an ever-expanding voice network, Sprint PCS has signed a four-year deal to use TRuepoint as a backhaul alternative to renting T-1 facilities in several key markets. The operator says that with the deployment of this product it potentially could reduce its backhaul costs by millions of dollars a year. Sprint could also utilize the product to provide various services, including disaster recovery, emergency services and enterprise connectivity.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Horizon House Publications, Inc.

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