DoubleRadius Blog

Licensed Microwave Backhauls

Wireless Internet Service Providers, Telcos, Utilities, etc have been utilizing licensed microwave backhauls in their networks for many years. With costs coming down on these radios, we thought it was important to talk about the positives and negatives of licensed backhauls for our customers. We have installed hundreds of licensed microwave backhaul links for customers all over the country. Prior to considering a licensed microwave backhaul a wireless site survey and a proper wireless path calculation should be performed by experts. As with any point to point wireless backhaul system a certified expert should perform the wireless installation.


When an organization needs a carrier grade network connection where fiber is not an option or is too expensive, a point to point wireless licensed microwave link is a cost effective solution. If cost is a big issue for your company, you can talk to our sales team about financing the complete link as well as the licensing.   Installing a licensed backhaul is a long term solution that will support your bandwidth needs for a long time, so think of it as an investment in your business.

Positives of Licensed Microwave Backhauls

  • Network Capacity - You can scale your network with a software upgrade from 10Mbps up to 4 Gbps
  • Inexpensive when compared to Fiber
  • No Spectrum Congestion or Noise Interference
  • Frees up your unlicensed bands for your point-to-multipoint network
  • Low Latency for superior VoIP, Video, etc.
  • Carrier Grade performance reliability - 99.999% up-time
  • 10 Year license from FCC
  • No IP Packet Overhead
  • Full Duplex radios
  • Long Warranties on the Hardware
  • Long Term Solution
  • Great to use when Fiber Reach is limited
  • Can Co-Locate with other backhauls and your point-to-multi-point equipment
  • Long Distances
  • Much quicker turnaround then trying to lay down Fiber even after waiting for licensing from FCC

Negatives of Licensed Microwave Backhauls

  • Expensive when compared to unlicensed PTP links
  • 3-4 week FCC approval process to get license in most cases
  • License will have to be renewed every 10 years if you want to keep the frequencies
  • Can NOT do Non-Line-Of-Site (NLOS) deployments
  • Delays in getting license and then equipment compared to unlicensed links
  • Experts need to do path study, licensing and installation
  • There is a fee for the licensing coordination and the 10 year license
  • They require large dishes which can cost quite a bit more tower space and money
  • They are harder to install because they are bigger

Learn more about Point-to-Point Solutions

About Us

DoubleRadius, Inc. is your one-stop shop for networking and communications, providing you with the best equipment, turnkey technical solutions, financing programs and events.

Subscribe for Blog Updates

Recent Posts