Upgrading hardware and software
Every aspect of your system is software dependent, so
it is important that you understand the implications of
upgrading (or not upgrading):
• interoperability with other organizations,
• compatibility with system components,
• costs of falling behind on upgrades (typically more
expensive than keeping up),
• impact of operating system obsolescence on your
• taking advantage of useful new features and
Before it is rolled out, test software on a dummy
system, to avoid having to roll back – this can have
huge implications for your system, and leave your
communications vulnerable. Nevertheless, it is wise to
have a rollback plan for worst-case scenarios.
Cost, 24/7 availability or warranty/liability will often
dictate whether you use your own technicians or a third
party. Whatever the decision, responsibility for day-to-day maintenance must be clearly defined. Schedule
thorough maintenance checks at least annually, and as
your system ages, schedule checks more frequently.
Test your microwave system regularly. Links can
be checked on site, so technician can measure and
record parameters such as signal strength and BER.
Alternatively, MiMo (multiple input and multiple
output) linking can save on maintenance, as its
alignment needn’t be so precise.
Base station maintenance should include thorough
examination of the receiver, transmitter and, above all,
Periodically simulate failure conditions to test
SCHEDULED SITE MAINTENANCE
switchover functions for backhaul networks designed
for automatic switchover. Electronic hardware is
becoming ever more reliable. Systems with appropriate
environmental (temperature and humidity) control can
manage with annual checks, but systems working at high
capacity or in difficult environments should be checked
Site inspections should be scheduled more often
in regions with challenging weather or geography.
Inspections should include:
• generators, including batteries, propane tank levels,
• security measures,
• on-site spares.
Spring and autumn equipment checks are particularly
important in mountain regions. Make sure crews have