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Microwave Radio Antenna Site Planning [SP6180]

This course has now been retired and is not available for booking.

Alternative courses can be found in our course catalog.

The objectives of this course are to help the student understand some of the aspects and criteria involved in Microwave radio theory, site planning, selection of tower type, through to how to create a reliable link. It looks at choices of radio and towers, selecting the right antenna, transmission of the signals and most importantly path design which includes investigating any potential problems including terrain, geographical and manmade features.

Estimated study time: 6h

Webcast duration: 3h 54m


The webcasts for this course are available in the following languages:

 Chinese Danish Dutch Finnish French German Hungarian Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish Swedish Turkish

plus additional languages available for asssessments.


This course is for anyone involved in microwave communications from those just starting out, those specifying and designing, through to the actual installation engineers. It has been designed to ensure that the student understands the components involved in creating a successful microwave link and the possible scenarios that need to be considered in this process. It aims to help identify possible areas of interference and where to obtain the informative and legal information required to make this process run as smoothly as possible.

Pre-requisite experience

No pre-requisite experience is required to take this course as the subjects covered will be of interest to anyone working in the microwave field although some of the lessons are quite technical and having some prior knowledge might be advantageous.


  • To help the student understand some of the aspects and criteria involved in microwave link planning
  • Look at microwave backhaul and the advantages over fiber or copper cabling
  • Discuss the regulatory bodies and available frequencies together with planning and documents required to be submitted to the local authorities
  • Show different methods of configuration of the radio equipment to provide optimum performance
  • Review modulation techniques required for differing scenarios and reliability requirements
  • Look at different tower options depending on location and environment
  • Help identify the correct transmission line types and understanding the performance differences between antennas
  • Investigate microwave paths and help understand losses as a result of reflection, absorption and diffraction
  • Discuss Fresnel zones, look at terrain and how obstacles can interfere with the quality of transmission
  • Look at site planning. Where do the towers need to be situated? Is this a feasible site? Looking at the topography and possible complications and sources of interference
  • Understanding line of site surveys and why they should be completed
  • Insuring the reliability of the path
  • Investigate interference calculations mathematically to insure the link is viable

Key Topics

  • Microwave backhaul - Microwave v Fiber - Electromagnetic spectrum - Frequencies and allocation.
  • Licensing - interference and environments - Atmospheric affects and modulation
  • Propagation - Radio equipment - Indoor or Outdoor units and differences
  • Transmission Theory – Bandwidth - Bit Error rates – Thresholds – Automatic Transmitter Power Control – Modulation Schemes – Adaptive Coding and Modulation - Mean Square Error
  • Towers guyed and self-supporting – Transmission Lines - Waveguide and Coax
  • Antennas – Antenna gain – Beamwidth – Discrimination – Radiation patterns
  • Network performance – Antenna compliance – Polarization - RF Leakage – Moisture Ingress
  • Corrosive and Climatic Environments - Wind Profiles – Geographic Locations
  • Class 4 Antennas – Performance – Coverage
  • Microwave paths – Diffraction – Dispersion – Reflection – Free Space Propagation
  • Atmospheric Absorption – Fresnel Zones – Obstructions – Terrain Effects – Influences including terrain, fog and rain
  • RF Propagation – K factor – Earth Profiles – Path Clearances
  • Site Selection and Planning – Terrain – Hazards – Planning – External Interference – Flooding – Proximity to airports – Mapping – iQ-link
  • Field Surveys – Line of Sight – Records and reports – Path co-ordinates Azimuths and Distances – Path tests
  • Path reliability – Fading – Fade Margin – Multipath Outage – Climate Factor – Space Diversity – Rain Rate
  • Interference Calculations & Objectives

How will I learn?

You will study this course online in a self-paced format. The course is made up of a number of webcast lessons and online multiple choice assessments giving immediate feedback. The course content is supplemented by some PDF support material. It is highly recommended that the student augment their learning with real world design and installation experience, preferably with the help experienced colleagues or mentors.

Successful completion will require:

Any level of pass in the accumulative overall assessment score.

Is this the right course for me?

If you have an interest in microwave planning and need to understand all the components involved to make a successful link, then this course is for you. The course does look at some advanced topics related to microwave path interference and reliability, so having a basic understanding of this medium might be helpful.

Upon successful completion you will:

Receive a course certificate that may be self-printed.

Example badge

This course is part of the Infrastructure Specialist Certification.

By completing this course you will achieve the CommScope Microwave Wireless Infrastructure Specialist (CMWIS) certification. If you are a member of a CommScope Partner you’ll be entered on the CommScope certification database and a badge is available to you via the Infrastructure Academy App.

Course information:

BICSI CECs: 3 Event ID: OV-COMMS-IL-0817-1

Certificate valid for 3 years

Estimated study time: 6h

Webcast duration: 3h 54m

Course Benefits

  • Learn at your own pace
  • Effective learning
  • Learn on the go and on-site
  • Cost effective
  • Consistent training globally
  • Available in many languages
  • Access latest material

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