Harris Stratex Networks Inc., a specialist in backhaul solutions for mobility and broadband networks, introduced an enhanced Eclipse™ Packet Node wireless backhaul solution to enable North American mobile operators to support next-generation mobile broadband services. The enhanced Eclipse Packet Node, which includes the new IRU600 all-indoor radio unit, helps service providers avoid the backhaul bottleneck and meet the growing demands for the evolution to high-speed IP backhaul.

With the emerging ‘capacity crunch,’ operators must invest in new high speed IP infrastructure to keep the pace with growing backhaul needs. Traditionally, operators have heavily relied on copper leased lines to connect base stations, but capacity-limited leased lines cannot support the backhaul demands for network evolution to 4G/LTE. Microwave backhaul will be a key technology for North American operators to lower network operational costs, while also increasing network capacity and efficiency.

The new Eclipse Packet Node solution builds on wireless backhaul technology introduced by Harris Stratex in February at Mobile World Congress, and provides the scalable capacity, IP network intelligence and key convergence features required for next-generation network deployments. Tailored to meet specific requirements of North American mobile operators, the IRU600 radio unit is an all-indoor design that enables simple access to the radio equipment for maintenance and upgrades, and occupies only a fraction of the rack space required for previous-generation equipment. The product also combines increased system performance for longer reach, with industry-leading low power consumption compared to other radios in its class, in a compact, highly-flexible architecture.

To support long-term network evolution to 4G networks, the IRU600 supports pure native Ethernet/IP traffic up to a maximum throughput of 400 Mbit/s in a single radio channel. The IRU600 also enables native mixed mode operation to provide continued support for TDM traffic, enabling gradual and controlled backhaul network migration to all-IP networks.

“The increasing availability of mobile devices with data-intensive applications is putting a strain on North American networks,” said Paul Kennard, Harris Stratex Chief Technology Officer. “Our Eclipse Packet Node platform, including the convergence-ready IRU600, enables our customers to transform their backhaul network to meet evolving demands of 4G, while also lowering OPEX and minimizing the migration risk compared with other competing backhaul solutions.”

Providing the highest speed wireless IP broadband access and transport offerings is critical to building successful stimulus-related solutions for rural, unserved and underserved geographies. Leveraging cost and speed-of-deployment advantages inherent in wireless backhaul, the IRU600 radio unit delivers the high-capacity, long-distance transport necessary to meet these broadband backhaul challenges.