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Point-to-Point Radios
6 to 40 GHz

Point-to-point microwave radios operating in the high microwave through millimeter wave frequency bands (6 to 40 GHz) have been the telecommunication industry's mainstay. These radios are used for short haul applications including intra-campus links and to link cellular or PCS base station networks, and for long haul (more than 10 km) transmission when fiber is not available. In general the frequency ranges licensed for point-to-point radios have comparitively large amounts of bandwidth available, making them ideal for data transmission. Historically, point-to-point radios formed the backbone of private business information networks. More recently, licensed point-to-point networks are offering businesses subscription data services including high-speed internet access.

Point-to-point networks create information links, in contrast to point-to-multipoint networks, which broadcast information. This distinction is becomming blurred, however. WinStar Communications, for example, has used point-to-point links at 38 GHz to connect businesses to a central telephone switch, a connection traditionally thought of as "multipoint".

Cellular and PCS systems are increasingly using short haul point-to-point radios as the preferred method for interconnecting base stations with mobile switching centers, central offices, and other base stations. In this application, the point-to-point links provide system operators with the benefits of rapid installation (no right-of-way issues), network configuration flexibility, and lower operating costs. As cell installations become denser, the rapid signal attenuation versus distance encountered with higher frequency signals also becomes an attractive feature, reducing interference to neighboring installations and allowing greater frequency re-use. This has led to a migration to higher frequencies (above 18 GHz) for short hops. Other trends include the use of higher data rates, an increased concern with reliability, demands for easy installation, and a need for low cost solutions.

This market is seeing a technology substitution as Varactor-tuned solid state sources replace the older Gunn diode solutions. The newer systems offer the advantages of reduced phase noise, greater tuning bandwidth, higher integration and easier use.

Licensed Point-to-Point Microwave Frequencies
[ GHz ]
Channel BW
5.9-6.9 30 high density license needed for each link; minimum on traffic carrired
10.5-11.7 40 high density  
14.7-15.2     international
18.1-19.7 6 to 220 short haul; cellular/PCS interconnects license needed for each link
21.2-23.6 100 short haul; cellular/PCS interconnects license needed for each link
31.0-31.3   short haul low power only; co-ordinated w. LMDS
38.6-40.0 50   licensed by geographic area only

C Band:
refer to products for 5.8 GHz ISM

10-20 GHz:
HMMC-5021, HMMC-5022, HMMC-5025, HMMC-5026, HMMC-5027, HMMC-5618, HMMC-5620 amplifiers
HSCH-9xxx Schottky diodes, HSMS-8202 diodes (harmonic mixer)
HMMC-1002, HMMC-1015 attenuators
HMMC-2027 switch
ATF-36xxx PHEMTs (LNA)

20-32 GHz:
DRT1-23xx 21.2 - 23.6 GHz transmit modules
DRR1-23xx 21.2 - 23.6 GHz recieve modules
HMMC-5023, HMMC-5025, HMMC-5026, HMMC-5027, HMMC-5032, HMMC-5033, HMMC-5040 amplifiers
HSCH-9xxx Schottky diodes, HSMS-8202 diodes (harmonic mixer), HMMC-3040 IC mixer
HMMC-1002, HMMC-1015 attenuators
HMMC-2027 switch
ATF-36077 PHEMT (LNA, multiplier)

38-40 GHz:
DRT1-23xx 37 - 40 GHz transmit modules
DRR1-23xx 37 - 40 GHz recieve modules
HMMC-5025, HMMC-5034, HMMC-5038, HMMC-5040 amplifiers
HSCH-9xxx Schottky diodes, HMMC-3040 IC mixer
HMMC-1002, HMMC-1015 attenuators

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this page last updated: 1 October 1999