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Microwave Planning and Design Masterclass

Key facts

TypesProfessional Development
Short Courses
DatesDates to be confirmed
Subject area(s)Electronic Engineering
FeesFrom £1295.00
Application statusDates to be confirmed - Not yet accepting applications
Course codeO15C746H6Y
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email electronics@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone +44(0)1865 28958.


This course covers the latest technology advancements in microwave equipment and standards as well as practical real-world examples of link design, fading issues, antenna systems, frequency planning and packet based equipment, with advice based on field experience.

This course will benefit anyone wanting a thorough introduction to this field, as well as experienced microwave design and maintenance engineers who want to get updated on the latest equipment and system design trends.


What people say about the course…

Very informative and insightful, valuable anecdotes and principles. This will be very relevant to my design role as an engineer
- Mark Chatterton, Senior Engineer, Thales Research & Technology

Good practical examples, well presented
- Brian Stothard, Principal Engineer, MBDA UK Ltd

A very good insight into microwave radio principles
- John Pitcairn, Senior Engineer, Arqiva


All delegates will receive a copy of the latest edition of the book by the course tutor, Trevor Manning, Microwave Radio Transmission Design Guide (Artech House).

Please send me details about future Microwave Planning and Design Masterclass courses.


Combining theory with practical, real-world examples, this course provides an updated and comprehensive overview of how to plan microwave radio systems and how to maintain current and next generation equipment.

The transition from traditional TDM to packet based Ethernet networks introduces many challenges, including synchronisation issues, and it is important to know how to exploit the significant economic benefits that the technological advances offer, while ensuring you achieve true carrier grade performance, for critical applications.

Radical cost savings can be achieved, as well as significant performance improvements to achieve true fibre-like quality, if you have a holistic understanding of the many factors that contribute to cost and quality.

Digital transmission can hide a myriad of underlying problems that only come to the fore under fading conditions. Coupled with that, the radio standards and software planning tools often have aspects relevant to the old analogue world embedded in them, which can distort the results if you do not understand the underlying principles. Many widely held industry myths and misconceptions have made it even harder to get an accurate view on how to really design cost effective and robust networks.

Programme details

Day 1

Introduction to Microwave

  • History of wireless telecoms and wireless standards.
  • Fundamentals of microwave.
  • The electromagnetic and RF spectrum.
  • RF transmission safety issues.
  • Transmission Options (cable, fibre, satellite, wireless (PP, PMP, unlicensed)).
  • Benefits of microwave especially for cellular backhaul .
Link Planning
  • Link design considerations from UHF to mm Wave.
  • Path planning and path profiles.
  • Active and Passive repeaters.
  • Issues around site acquisition and site planning.
  • Frequency bands and their effect on link plans.
  • Establishing line of sight in practise.
  • Site and path surveys.
Microwave propagation and fading effects
  • The affect of the atmosphere on radio transmission.
  • Huygens principle and Fresnel Zones.
  • Diffraction loss and clearance over obstacles.
  • Research data on refraction effects in a network and its impact on radio system design.
  • Radio refractivity and refractive index gradient.
  • Understanding what k-factor really means.
  • Understanding the effects of reflection and how to minimise their impact.
Fading Effects
  • Diffraction fading and setting antenna heights using new rules.
  • Multipath fading.
  • Flat and selective fading and their countermeasures.
  • Blackout fading and ducting.
  • Handling reflections especially over water.
  • Rain fading.

Day 2


  • Microwave Antennas and what a high performance antenna really is.
  • Antenna characteristics and types.
  • Defining the near field and its effect on antenna gain.
  • Practical advice for planning, installing and maintaining antennas.
  • Cabling and waveguides.
  • Grounding rules for protecting against lightning.
Frequency and Channel planning
  • Causes of interference.
  • Spectrum allocation and channel plans.
  • Standards bodies and frequency regulation.
  • Understanding nodal and overshoot interference.
  • High-low site planning.
  • How to improve your network performance through understanding frequency planning issues.
Equipment Characteristics
  • Transmitter and receiver characteristics.
  • System components of a radio transceiver.
  • Digital Modulation schemes and bandwidth efficiency.
  • Multiplexing standards including PDH, SDH and synchronisation issues.
  • How voice is carried on a digital radio link.
  • Important Ethernet considerations in a modern radio.
  • Radio characteristics to handle the backhaul bandwidth crunch.
  • Key radio features (adaptive modulation and equalisation, FEC, XPIC, ATPC).
  • Protection schemes such as hot standby, frequency and space diversity.
Link Design and reliability Standards
  • The latest reliability standards and radio system design implications.
  • Understanding the difference between availability and performance.
  • The impact of the standards on different frequency bands and link lengths.
  • Path, equipment and network reliability issues.

Day 3

Tutorial Workshop

  • Link Design addressing multipath and rain fading
  • Back to back antenna case study
  • Co channel and adjacent channel interference calculations
  • How to design an entire route on 1 frequency pair
  • Path clearance problems including handling trees and wind turbines
  • Applying new design rules to dramatically impact tower height requirements
  • Maintenance issues and how to diagnose quality problems
  • Design differences between long haul and short haul applications
  • Designing the radio system to achieve the required network availability (e.g. 99.999%?)



Trevor Manning

Role: Presenter

Technical Trainer and Author

Trevor Manning runs an international business (TMC Global) that specialises in training and...more


Sample Certificate

Participants who satisfy the course requirements will receive a Certificate of Attendance. The sample is an illustration only.

Level and demands

  • Anyone involved in Wireless networks in Cellular operators, utilities or service companies.
  • Transmission Link designers.
  • Planning engineers.
  • Installation and Commissioning engineers.
  • Maintenance personnel.
  • Radio department Managers.

If you're uncertain whether this course is suitable for your requirements, please email us with any questions you may have.


Rewley House Accommodation

Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms have been rated as 4-Star Campus accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.


Fees include course materials, tuition, refreshments and lunches. The price does not include accommodation.

All courses are VAT exempt

Fee options

Programme Fee
Standard course fee: £1295.00

Apply for this course

If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please contact:
Course Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)1865 286958
Email: electronics@conted.ox.ac.uk

Sorry, this course is not currently accepting applications. If you have any questions about this course, please use the course enquiry form.

Programmes including this module

This module can be studied as part of these programmes:

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