Why high wind load is key for the future of urban backhaul
The current impact of climate change that is apparent for most people across the globe is the impact of increasingly extreme weather. From higher temperatures melting the ice caps, to rising temperatures causing forest fires it is an immediate and pressing concern. Another key aspect that we are feeling as a result of the changing climate is, that as part of this more extreme weather, more and more regions are seeing an increase in the severity of storms and windspeeds. We saw earlier this year storms across the UK and Europe cause damage to homes, transport, utility supplies. It is vital that with this harsher weather set to stay those essential services, including mobile connectivity are able to withstand and continue to function in stormy weather conditions.
Why operational windspeed matters?
Part of this will be to ensure that mobile infrastructure is capable of withstanding increased windspeeds without functionality being disrupted. Operational windspeed is the working limit of the antenna, in the event that windspeeds exceed the maximum windload of an antenna, the radio link can see severe degradation and/or stop working entirely. In addition, the wind can cause displacement of antenna mounting attachments meaning that storm repair work is more involved as an engineer needs to visit the site, increasing the impact that storms have on mobile service. It is a cost for the operator and a cost for the customer who experiences increased downtime.
Seeing the increase in adverse weather conditions, it therefore makes sense for operational windspeed to move higher up the list of procurement team priorities as it is becoming more of an issue across a greater number of regions.
Addressing this with E-Band
As a designer and manufacturer of antenna solutions, the question for RFS is what can we do to tackle this challenge for our MNO customers? RFS recently launched a new generation of 1-ft and 2-ft E-band microwave antennas, which are extremely robust, offering super-high-capacity and the highest operational windspeeds to increase backhaul capacity in urban areas, even in adverse weather conditions. Particularly in urban areas, it is essential that antennas which are specifically designed to deal with high capacity demands are able to perform regardless of conditions. Should an E-Band antenna which is providing backhaul for a large number of customers go down due to adverse weather, it has a huge impact for the operator.
When it comes to 1ft E-Band antennas, RFS offers the highest operational windspeed on the market – up to 250 km/h. Our radio engineers have optimized all radiating elements in order to get the best gain on the antenna, ensuring optimized performance in a range of weather conditions, helping mobile operators to keep their networks up and running, even in increasingly harsh environments.
As an antenna manufacturer and designer, RFS has two big responsibilities. Firstly, to operate as a greener and cleaner business, something we are tackling head on with the RFS climate ambition program. Secondly, we must develop equipment suits the needs of operators today. Part of that is to see that high wind capabilities are no longer something that needs to sit in only a proportion of the RFS portfolio. Instead, maximizing operational windspeed on a broader range of products needs to be a priority for us to ensure we are best serving our customers.