DragonWave Inc., a leading global supplier of packet microwave radio systems for mobile and access networks, announced it has concluded field tests and confirmed the functionality of higher modulation modes of up to 2048 QAM on its Horizon packet microwave products. The field tests were conducted in Odessa, Ukraine, the nation’s south Bay City. Deployments and analysis for the field test were done in coordination with DragonWave’s in-country partner UKRCOM and their customer, Intertelecom, one of the largest wireless service providers in the country.

Field testing the higher modulation of the Horizon products demonstrated the radios’ ability to transport up to 37 percent more data through existing microwave channels, which significantly improves spectral efficiency and, correspondingly, lowers the operator’s cost per bit. This testing was combined with dual channel operation and DragonWave’s unique Bandwidth Accelerator feature. The combination of these two features and the higher modulation, offered an increase in capacity of greater than three times to more than 1.3 Gbps in this test.

DragonWave is the first packet microwave supplier to offer 2048 QAM radios, providing mobile operators tested and proven radios with significantly more total link capacity compared to competitive products. As with other features, this new capability can be added to existing links through a simple software download. All Horizon packet microwave radios support Hitless Automatic Adaptive Modulation, bringing operators the benefits of increased capacity by using higher modes when link properties permit—even on existing links that have been designed for lower modulation modes.

To date, DragonWave has shipped over 800 Horizon links to Intertelecom through its local integration partner, UKRCOM.

“We explored other options for increasing link capacity such as XPIC, but we soon realized that DragonWave’s solution of coupling higher modulation modes with Hitless Automatic Adaptive Modulation allows us to meet the growing backhaul demands without needing to re-engineer existing links or purchase additional radios,” said Boris Akulov, CEO at Intertelecom.  “In effect, we have found a very cost efficient and streamlined means to triple our network capacity.”

With 2048 QAM, customers can achieve greater than 500 Mbps of transport in a Horizon Compact+ all-outdoor system and up to 1 Gbps when DragonWave’s Bandwidth Accelerator compression technology is included.  Horizon Quantum can deliver two carriers per radio, each capable of higher order modulation and compression, delivering up to 2 Gbps in a single radio.

“The successful field testing of 2048 QAM marks another milestone in DragonWave being first to market with technology and innovation that sets us apart from the competition,” said DragonWave CEO Peter Allen. “We congratulate our Ukrainian customers on their performance results and are encouraged to be expanding our market share in an important and growing region for microwave transport.”