Mimosa Networks rolls out B11 for 'Backhaul to the Future'

Calling it "Backhaul to the Future," Mimosa Networks announced the B11 backhaul radio with massive multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) technology. It's designed to give wireless ISPs a high-precision licensed radio at a cost-effective price.

Marking its first foray into the licensed backhaul market, the B11 is unique in that it offers one radio to cover the entire licensed 10.7-11.7 GHz spectrum. "We're doing some very different things in this band that will, I think, make our radios extremely disruptive in the space, both from a cost perspective as well as a lot of techniques that we've created to modernize the radios and make it far, far easier to obtain coordination" during the FCC licensing process, said Jaime Fink, Mimosa's chief product officer.

Generally, Mimosa's customer base has been using a lot of unlicensed backhaul wherever they can, but as demand rises, it's getting noisier in the 5 GHz spectrum, and they're looking to move into the licensed space, where the costs often are significantly higher. Mimosa's radios will sell for $1,999 each.

Traditional full duplex microwave radios were developed in the voice era for symmetric upstream/downstream -- 50 percent up and 50 percent down -- but in the Netflix era, it's almost 90 percent traffic in the downstream direction. The needs for traffic have vastly changed versus what was deployed over the last 30 years in microwave backhaul, and what most people are interested in is getting more downstream bandwidth. In effect, the old radios haven't adapted well, he said.

Instead of using FDD, Mimosa is using auto-TDMA time-based technology for the flexibility it provides, instantaneously adapting to the traffic flows and keeping latency low, which is a major technological change.

Mimosa also is working to streamline the licensing process. Rather than having would-be licensees contact the FCC with the coordinates and having the staff manually look up what other links are in a given area, Mimosa has leveraged the FCC's database so that users can go to the Mimosa website to plan their link, see all the other links deployed in their area and which ones might be impacted by a new link. That will provide immediate insight so they can know whether their link will work or not. "This is something that will absolutely streamline that process and give you instantaneous feedback -- about 'would I be able to get a licensed link between Point A and Point B,'" and users can click on a link to complete the process at a significantly lower cost that has been done previously.

The new product, which will begin shipping in late 2015, also supports the 10 GHz band but Mimosa is still working with the FCC and other parties to get 10.0-10.5 GHz allocated for lightly licensed fixed wireless broadband use in the United States. Meanwhile, it will work in the 10 GHz band in other countries where that's allowed.