On Monday, DISH Wireless announced a new vendor to its already impressive roster of companies, Aviat Networks. DISH Wireless plans on using microwave transport as their tech of choice for macro-site radio access (RAN) mobile backhaul because it offers a cost-effective and reliable operation that’s quick to install along with secure, reliable connections. DISH Wireless plans on using Aviat Networks as one of its key vendors for this initiative.
As part of the agreement, DISH Wireless will deploy Aviat’s hardware and software, specifically its WTM 4000 microwave, millimeter wave, and multi-band radio platform. DISH Wireless will also use the AviatCloud software to “to simplify all aspects of microwave, which includes software for design, support expert systems for network management, and eCommerce for faster procurement and next day shipping,” according to a spokesperson. DISH will also use Aviat’s single box multi-band microwave solution. Aviat notes that the multi-band utilizes a combo of E-band (70-80 GHz) with traditional microwave (6-24 GHz) on a single microwave link, that uses a single antenna on each end.
DISH noted Aviat’s value prop, “highest system gain radios for optimum capacity, and radios with integrated software defined networking (SDN) capabilities.” DISH Wireless also said that it would get all of Aviat’s products via their eCommerce platform. Aviat is also the exclusive dealer for NEC microwave gear, services, and customer support in North America per a channel partner agreement made in 2019. It’s unclear if DISH is going to use NEC products at this time.
Jeff McSchooler, DISH Wireless Executive Vice President of Wireless Network Operations, said in a statement, “Aviat will play a central role in helping us utilize microwave, which has become a highly sought-after component of the wireless transport mix,” he continued, “this microwave-based solution will help deliver the midhaul and backhaul connectivity we need while excelling in affordability, reliability, and resilience.”
In DISH’s announcement, Jimmy Yu, Dell’Oro Group VP said this about microwave technology, “The 5G wireless transport market is expected to grow exponentially to over $1B in 2023, and microwave will play a critical role in this growth. Despite common perception, it’s not just about fiber.”
Microwave technology is important because although fiber is poised to play a huge role in future proofing transport, it’s not always feasible because of the logistics and cost, and microwave transmission is still commonly used around the world. Sometimes, operators can use microwave as an interim technology until fiber becomes available because greenfield fiber can take a while to deploy. DISH Wireless has made no announcements regarding its own microwave deployments.
In late 2020, Dell’Oro forecasted the microwave market to grow by 4% in 2021 to $3.1 billion because of the 6% market growth YOY in the third quarter. According to Dell’Oro, there are six top microwave vendors, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Ceragon, NEC, and Aviat that all held revenue share up to 80% in the first nine months of 2020.
Ericsson, a leading technology company in the 5G space, released a microwave outlook PDF in October of 2020 noting the continued need for microwave technology. The company predicted that 38% of backhaul connections would be microwave-based by 2025 with the tech being used for last-mile access in metro areas and aggregation links in the suburbs and metro areas.
Aviat President and CEO, Pete Smith, said, “As 5G networks migrate to O-RAN, operators are able to choose the best-in-class backhaul vendor. As the leading specialist, the evolution to O-RAN creates exciting 5G opportunities for Aviat.” Smith believes that the vendor selection from DISH Wireless validates the work of the company’s position as a leader in wireless backhaul for 5G. Though backhaul is a major piece DISH is working with Aviat on, the company is also using Aviat for midhaul, a transport segment newer to the 5G world.
As part of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger deal, DISH Wireless committed to building out a 5G network that must cover 70% of the U.S. by 2025 or face a multi-billion fine from the FCC. DISH Wireless is expected to debut its first 5G market later in 2021, and with its impressive list of vendors, we’re excited to see what happens.
Article originally published on: FierceWireless