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Networking Pros and Cons

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microwave

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microwave

It’s is the way of transmitting data or information by electromagnetic waves with the wavelengths in the microwave range of the spectrum.

Microwave transmission is a line of sight transmission. The transmit station must be in visible contact with the receive station. This sets a limit on the distance between stations depending on the local geography.

Typically the line of sight due to the Earth’s curvature is only 50km to the horizon repeater stations must be placed so the data signal can hop, skip and jump across the country.

Microwaves operate at high operating frequencies of 3 to 10 GHz. This allows them to carry large quantities of data due to their large bandwith.

Advantages of Microwave

  • They require no right of way acquisition between towers.
  • They can carry high quantities of information to their high operating frequencies.
  • Low-cost land purchase: each tower occupies only a small area.
  • High frequency/ short wavelength signals require small antennae.

Disadvantages of Microwave

  • Attenuation by solid objects: birds, rain, snow, and fog.
  • Reflected from flat surfaces like water and metal.
  • Diffracted (split) around solid objects.
  • Reflected by the atmosphere, thus causing the beam to be projected away from the receiver.


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