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Ericsson and DT manage 100 Gbps over microwave

microwave oven

A trial of wireless backhaul over microwave jointly conducted by Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson has managed to top the 100 Gbps mark.

Current commercial microwave backhaul rigs only manage a mere 10 Gbps, we’re told, so this is a fairly substantial increase, albeit in a trial environment. This mega-fast data rate was transmitted over a distance of 1.5 kilometres, which isn’t a bad effort. It involved an 8×8 line-of-sight MIMO with cross polarization interference cancellation (of course), using a 2.5 GHz channel bandwidth in the E-band (70/80 GHz).

“This trial signifies the successful establishment of true fiber capacities over the air using microwave,” said Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson. “This means that microwave will be even more relevant for communications service providers in creating redundant networks as a back-up for fiber, or as a way of closing a fiber ring when fiber is not a viable solution. By carrying such high capacities, microwave further establishes itself as a key transport technology, capable of delivering the performance requirements of 5G.”

“Advanced backhaul solutions will be needed to support high data throughput and enhanced customer experience in the 5G era,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation at DT This milestone confirms the feasibility of microwave over millimeter wave spectrum as an important extension of our portfolio of high-capacity, high-performance transport options for the 5G era. In addition, it represents a game changing solution for future fronthauling capabilities.”

The reason microwave backhaul is suddenly a big deal again is that 5G is going to require a lot more base stations than previous generations, partly because it uses higher frequencies with poorer propagation characteristics. Backhauling all of those new sites with fibre will often be expensive and impractical, so if networks can fall back to a decent microwave link when that happens then everyone’s a winner.

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4 comments

  1. adil 11/05/2019 @ 5:09 pm

    Microwave and microwave oven are 2 different things

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 13/05/2019 @ 8:35 am

      I thought they put data into a microwave oven and then lob it from cell to cell. Isn’t that how it works?

      • arno 23/05/2019 @ 10:42 am

        The problem in doing it this way is that the data gets hot, and you have to open the door to let the data fly.
        Then you burn your fingers. Somebody has to find a better way. Ericsson might have, actually.

        • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 23/05/2019 @ 10:47 am

          At last. It can’t have just been me that found this way to be frustratingly inefficient.

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