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NEC Microwave Link I&C

Case Study:
Upgrading existing microwave links in London and beyond


Project Overview:
With the ever increasing demand for mobile data and new 4G services, particularly in London, mobile operator MBNL is increasing its backhaul transmission bandwidth by swapping out old microwave links for new link technology from NEC. NEC asked Principal Telecom to carry out the installation, migration and decommissioning services on site.


A Pre-Installation Visit (PIV) is carried out to determine the requirements of each end of the link. For example, what materials are to be ordered and if specialist access equipment will be needed.  The office team makes all of the necessary site access arrangements and raise the network outage permits.

As part of the swap-out process, the teams install new Indoor Radio Units (IDU) and microwave dish antennas at each end, panning them in to a achieve the specified Receive Signal Level (RSL). The equipment configurations are set and then live network traffic is migrated on to the link and then the sites are successfully brought back on air. The old legacy microwave equipment is decommissioned and removed from site.


From an initial batch of 50 links successfully completed in London, the project has been extended further to several hundred links - not only in London, but in the wider south of England also.

Key Facts:
Client: NEC
Services covered: Rigging, Installation & Commissioning
Summary of key works:


  • • Carry out Pre Installation Visit
  • • Arrange permits and access
  • • Install new microwave antenna and radio units
  • • Test, commission and migrate traffic
  • • Decommission legacy equipment
  • • Compile and submit handover documentation

Date: 2014 - 2016