DT, Ericsson claim fibre-like results with wireless backhaul in Athens trial

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Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson say they are first to demonstrate a millimetre wave (mmW) link running at 40Gbps.

The live trial was completed at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens over a hop distance of 1.4km in the mmW, E-band, which is the range of radio frequencies from 60GHz to 90GHz.

The 40Gbps data rate is four times that of commercial mmW solutions, and the companies said the trial is proves the commercial viability of the technology for backhaul, and that it is an important step towards the goal of 100Gpbs.

Latency levels

The test particularly took account of the rigorous latency demands of 5G network architecture for low and ultra-low latency use cases: the round-trip latency was less than 100ms, well within the necessary parameters.

“A high-performance transport connection will be key to support high-data throughput and enhanced customer experience in next-generation networks,” according to Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. He added, “While fibre is an important part of our portfolio…This offers an important extension of our portfolio of high-capacity, high-performance transport options for the 5G era.”

Proving the theory

In February 2018, ETSI published a white paper, Microwave and Millimetre wave for 5G Transport. It stated that microwave has been the primary solution for the rapid and cost-effective rollout of mobile backhaul infrastructure with over 50% of mobile sites worldwide connected via microwave or mmW radio links, which goes up to over 90% in some networks. However, it went on to say, “The evolution from 4G towards 5G presents significant challenges to all transport technologies and wireless ones make no exception”.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, commented, “Our joint innovation project shows that higher capacity microwave backhaul will be an important enabler of high-quality mobile broadband services when 5G becomes a commercial reality.”