RACOM always carefully tests all its new products before they are launched. RAy for 80 GHz was no exception, on the contrary, it passed tougher tests than usual. The first RAy3-80 link for field testing was installed in May 2022, i.e. a year before the official launch.
To ensure that the product meets all the expectations, we subsequently invited several of our experienced customers to test the link in real operation in their networks. So we can be sure that we have done our best to test RAy3-80 before its launch, and even the very first customers are getting a product that has been proven in practice.
RACOM tested the RAy3-80 in the field in two phases. First, we verified the basic HW design on a 1.3 km link, modified casing for sufficient cooling, and in June 2022 we measured 10 Gb/s for the first time in the field.
In September 2022, we installed the link over a distance of 6.8 km with 60 cm antennas. During the entire testing period (9 months), the link did not disconnect even once. It operated at speeds above 4 Gb/s for >99.90% of the time (>99.95% above 1 Gb/s) and only dropped below 1 Gb/s for <0.05% of the time. We dare to say that our ACMB and ATPC are working perfectly.
ZNET Telekom is the biggest ISP in Hungary and uses dozens of RAy links in the 24 GHz band in its network.
RAy3-80 was tested over a distance of 3.4 km with 40 cm Jirous antennas placed 40 and 50 m above the ground. The link was in live operation for 4 weeks, during which several intense rain showers occurred. During these, the modulation was reduced from 128QAM to only 64QAM. All other fluctuations were resolved by ATPC and the link never disconnected.
ZNET compared the RAy3-80 with the SIAE links it has been using in its network to date. The comparison was clearly in favor of RAy3-80, especially in terms of higher RF power (+20 dBm) and ATPC and ACMB functionality.
PilsFree operates probably the largest community network in the Czech Republic. The community has over 38,000 members connected in Pilsen and the surrounding area. There are about 800 microwave links deployed in the network, of which more than 300 are in the 80 GHz band.
In PilsFree, RAy3-80 was tested from January to April 2023 on a shorter link of 0.5 km with 60 cm Jirous antennas. The aim was both to debug the firmware and to test the operation of the new link from the rooftop, where there are a total of eight TDD and FDD links in the 80 GHz band. There were no active or passive interference problems, but problems were found in the operation of ATPC and ACMB, which RACOM gradually fixed in subsequent firmware versions during the testing.
Subsequently, a longer link of 1.3 km was built, where a group of administrators and active members tried to compare RAy3-80 with similar devices from other manufacturers (Ericsson, Siklu, Ceragon) with 10 Gb/s capacity on the same link and the same antennas. The real values from the link were compared with the data given in the manufacturers’ documentation. Here no discrepancies were found between reality and the datasheets.
The tests in Pilsen also focused on comparing the sensitivity and RF power performance of the individual links. The declared worse sensitivity of RAy3-80 is sufficiently compensated by higher output power and in the overall comparison with most of the links of other manufacturers RAy3-80 does not lag behind and performs similarly — with the same size of antennas it is possible to build the same long route with the same availability.