Case study

The Largest Microwave Network in World History – Record Time with Zero Defects

Nationwide Backhaul Design, surveys and FCC coordination for lowest cost and near zero defects


Project Specifics


  • Microwave Engineering services for the Nation's largest Markets
  • 18,000 site locations

Type of Work:

  • System Design & Capacity Planning
  • RF Measurements
  • Microwave Engineering
  • Path Survey / Path Calculations
  • FCC Regulatory

Dates: February 2005 – December 2010

Contract Value: $21,600,000.00

I gave the CIC microwave team all the hardest problems I had. It didn't matter what the challenge was, the biggest markets, or the shortest timeframes, they just kept delivering. I don't like to be so dependent on one vendor, but they just kept delivering and I had no choice but to keep giving them the bulk of our work. Their proprietary software, PathDesigner, was their secret weapon. The team that created that is some of the brightest minds in microwave.
Bob Hopkins ,
Director National Backhaul

In 2004 CIC was invited to help Clearwire develop a cost saving backhaul design for Clearwire in every major and minor market in the United States. Every site in the Clearwire network required high bandwidth backhaul to support the internet broadband services. Due to the high cost of broadband transport from fiber service providers Clearwire recognized the need for their own private microwave network which would save on transport costs over time. CIC worked with every site development company across the US to develop backhaul design, path surveying, path engineering, site surveys and capacity planning on an on-going basis as Clearwire moved to each new market. By the end of 2010, CIC performed the engineering and design for more than 18,000 sites across North America.

A small portion of the Microwave Network Design in Chicago
From Hawaii to Vermont and Florida to Alaska, CIC performed engineering for microwave transport for Clearwire. The scope included capacity planning, path engineering, frequency analysis, regulatory and in some cases, installation, testing and integration of the microwave systems. CIC personnel trained Clearwire staff and other vendors in installation and testing of their equipment.

CIC's custom developed software, PathDesigner, was created out of neccesity to automate the labor intensive tasks of microwave planning and implmentation. CIC continues to support wirelss operators today using PathDesigner's rich and powerful features developed on the largest microwave implmentation project in history.

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