Aviat Networks Launches ‘Smallest & Lightest’ Microwave Radio


Aviat Networks has released the Aviat WTM 3300 radio, which the company claims is the smallest and lightest 70-80GHz radio on the market. The WTM 3300 is purpose-built for deployment in newly “densified” city environments where traditional microwave and typical 70-80GHz radios cannot be installed due to large, highly visible parabolic antennas. The radio offers up to 1 Gbps capacity. Aviat Networks has already reached agreements with and made initial shipments of radios to a global customer base and is working with state and local governments as well as network providers in the US.

The visual aesthetic impact on residents of neighborhoods where the radio is installed will be minimized due to the WTM 3300’s small form-factor. This makes the WTM 3300 suited for installation on lightpoles, sides of buildings and other locations that must adhere to strict city regulations and zoning ordinances.

“The radio will work on the e-band spectrum in the US, it’s spectrum that has been available for several years. The radio has a 1-2 mile range and can be used as a bridge between multiple nodes for network continuity,” explains Shaun McFall, Senior Vice President, Aviat Networks in an interview with CivSource.

With WTM 3300, operators no longer have to purchase separate antennas, lowering total cost of ownership (TCO) in comparison to other 70-80GHz radios. Small cell deployments in urban areas are growing and reflect a broader trend toward smaller, invisible networks generally. According to an Infonetics’ October 2013 research report, the market for 70-80GHz radios will experience a 61 percent compound annual growth (CAGR) rate from 2012 to 2017. The 330 can work for both small cell and macrocell wireless backhaul as well as enterprise broadband connectivity. “There are certain regulatory restrictions on the antenna and other form factors that we will run into trying to make the radio much smaller, but we are working with the FCC to show what is possible through new technologies and find allowances for that,” says McFall.

“The real answer to capacity problems is to make cell sizes smaller so fewer people are on the same node. This is where evolutions in microwave technology can help by stitching more nodes together.”

This is the second major product development for Aviat this year. McFall says there are other additions in the pipeline. Aviat acquired the microwave technology portfolio of Harris Corporation several years ago, rebranded it and has been building on new features and products since then. Aviat also works with the Fixed Wireless Coalition on its efforts with the FCC.