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Case Study:
Line-of-Sight (LoS) surveys to establish viability of point-to-point microwave links


Project Overview:
The Japanese electronics giant, NEC, has a contract with Airwave (the emergency services network) to replace the lease lines that connect their sites together with a new microwave link based backhaul network. Microwave technology only works if there is clear, unobstructed visibility between the two ends of the link, called line-of-sight (LoS).


As part of the network design process, NEC called upon the vastly experienced Merlin Wireless & Fibre Services LoS Team to establish that line-of-sight was possible at the proposed site locations. In the event that there was an obstruction, they provided the location or route diversion for suitable alternatives.

Accessing remote sites using 4 x 4 vehicles, MEWPS for streetworks and safe climbing techniques for rooftops and towers, the team used state of the art high powered lamps and high resolution photographic equipment to confirm LoS across distances from tens of metres in city centres and up to 40km in rural areas.


The project involved over 2,200 LoS surveys and was part of a wider services provision to NEC on this project, including site acquisition and town planning, design, site build modifications and power supply installation and upgrades.

Key Facts:
Client: NEC
Services covered: Line of Sight Surveys
Summary of key works:

  • • Arrange access to site
  • • Book any required specialist access equipment (e.g. MEWPS)
  • • Prove visibility at preferred installation points
  • • Establish alternatives in the event of obstructions or LoS failure
  • • Compile and submit survey reports

Date: 2013 - 2018