Alcatel-Lucent has enhanced its microwave packet radio portfolio for the North American market with additional features and support for additional frequency bands to better address the needs of mobile service providers as they deal with the data increase caused by the rapid growth of high-bandwidth interactive consumer applications. The new release of the Alcatel-Lucent 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR), which is part of the company’s mobile backhaul portfolio, provides more flexibility in terms of radio frequency planning, support for longer range transmissions and increased efficiency to support service providers’ transformation to all-IP, and the introduction of LTE mobile data services.

The 9500 MPR provides a fully scalable platform addressing trunking, last mile and aggregation applications for both TDM and pure Ethernet base stations. With these enhancements the 9500 MPR extends the supported ANSI frequency bands to include 10.5 and 11 GHz. The addition of these bands provides an efficient alternative to 6 GHz by relieving frequency congestion, enhancing overall network availability and reducing tower lease costs.

Additionally, higher transmit power options are introduced into the 6 GHz band, allowing the use of smaller antennas or longer path distances, significantly improving the flexibility of network designs for mobile operators. These features, coupled with the all-indoor design allow operators to deploy microwave backhaul with zero tower climbs for operation and maintenance.

“The operators who have started the migration from existing connectivity to packet-based backhaul are discovering the limitations imposed by a hybrid microwave solution,” said François Allain, head of wireless transmission activity within Alcatel-Lucent Optics. “The 9500 MPR overcomes these limitations by providing the flexibility to handle multiple traffic types and mobility generations at the same cell site, on the same infrastructure, and to cost-effectively support new services for new revenue generation.”