DragonWave has announced the availability of its 2048 QAM radios. What sets the radio apart in the industry is the higher modulation that allows the radios to transport up to 37 percent more data through existing microwave channels, which significantly improves spectral efficiency and lowers operators’ cost per bit. When the company’s bandwidth accelerator feature is enabled, spectral efficiency is further enhanced by 25 percent to 100 percent depending on traffic patterns.
No one else has a 2048 QAM radio available yet, Alan Solheim, vice president of corporate development at DragonWave, commented to Backhaul Bulletin. “Others have talked about delivering this capability but are not able to do so yet. Many vendors use ASIC-based modems that require them to wait for a new version of the ASIC for new features such as higher QAM. DragonWave uses FPGA-based modems that not only deliver new features faster, but can also upgrade the installed base to have those features via SW download without having to touch them or upgrade the hardware,” he said.
The spectral efficiency of the QAM radio is a solution to help meet backhaul capacity demands. Solheim told the Bulletin that the higher the QAM, the higher the spectral efficiency – 256 QAM delivers 8 bits per hertz (the highest QAM available from most vendors today) and 2048 QAM delivers 11 bits per hertz, or a 37 percent improvement.