Networking - Media - UnGuided - Microwave

Microwave transmission refers to the wireless communication method that uses high-frequency microwave signals to transmit data and information. It is widely used for various applications that require high-capacity and long-distance communication. Here's an explanation of microwave transmission, its types, applications, characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, electromagnetic interference, and attenuation:

Types of Microwave Transmission:

  • Terrestrial Microwave: Terrestrial microwave transmission involves point-to-point communication using microwave antennas placed on towers, rooftops, or other elevated structures. It is commonly used for long-distance communication links, such as backbone networks, telecommunications, and connecting remote locations.
  • Satellite Microwave: Satellite microwave transmission utilizes communication satellites in orbit around the Earth to relay microwave signals between ground stations. It is widely used for satellite TV broadcasting, satellite internet services, and long-distance communication in remote areas.

Applications where Microwave Transmission is Widely Used:

  • Telecommunications: Microwave transmission plays a crucial role in telecommunications networks, providing high-capacity and long-distance communication for voice, data, and video services.
  • Backhaul Networks: Microwave links are used for backhauling traffic from cellular base stations to the core network, enabling mobile communication services.
  • Television Broadcasting: Microwave transmission is used for transmitting television signals from production studios to broadcast stations, cable headends, and distribution centers.
  • Internet Service Providers: Microwave links are utilized by internet service providers (ISPs) to provide high-speed internet connectivity in areas where wired infrastructure is limited or costly to deploy.

Characteristics of Microwave Transmission:

  • High Frequency: Microwave signals have high frequencies ranging from 1 GHz to 300 GHz. This allows for high data transmission rates and large bandwidth capacity.
  • Line-of-Sight Communication: Microwave transmission requires an unobstructed line-of-sight path between transmitting and receiving antennas. It is affected by obstacles such as buildings, trees, and atmospheric conditions.
  • Narrow Beamwidth: Microwave antennas have narrow beamwidth, which allows for precise and focused transmission over long distances.
  • High Capacity: Microwave transmission can provide high-capacity communication links, supporting large amounts of data and high-speed communication.

Maximum Range:

The maximum range of microwave transmission depends on various factors, including frequency, transmitting power, antenna height, and atmospheric conditions. Typically, microwave links can span distances of several kilometers to tens of kilometers, making them suitable for long-distance communication.

Advantages of Microwave Transmission:

  • High Bandwidth: Microwave transmission offers high bandwidth capacity, making it suitable for applications that require fast and large data transmission.
  • Quick Deployment: Setting up microwave links is relatively fast compared to laying physical cables, making it an efficient solution for rapid network deployment.
  • Long-Distance Communication: Microwave transmission allows for long-distance communication without the need for intermediate repeaters, reducing infrastructure costs.
  • Reliability: Microwave links can provide reliable communication, even in challenging terrains or remote areas, making them useful for connecting geographically dispersed locations.

Disadvantages of Microwave Transmission:

  • Line-of-Sight Requirement: Microwave transmission requires an unobstructed line-of-sight path, which can be challenging in areas with tall buildings, mountains, or dense foliage.
  • Susceptibility to Weather Conditions: Microwave signals can be affected by atmospheric conditions, such as heavy rain, fog, or atmospheric disturbances, leading to signal degradation or temporary interruptions.
  • Limited Capacity Sharing: Microwave links have limited capacity for sharing among multiple users, making them less suitable for densely populated areas with high communication demands.
  • Higher Costs: Setting up microwave transmission infrastructure can be costly, including the installation of towers, antennas, and high-capacity equipment.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI):

Microwave transmission can experience electromagnetic interference (EMI) from other electronic devices or sources operating in the same frequency range. EMI can impact signal quality and cause signal degradation.


Attenuation in microwave transmission refers to the reduction in signal strength as it propagates through the atmosphere. Factors such as distance, atmospheric conditions, and obstacles can contribute to signal attenuation. Rain and atmospheric moisture are known to cause significant attenuation in microwave signals.