Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson top 100Gbps over microwave link

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The companies claim a “landmark” data transmission rate by consistently topping 100Gbps in a trial microwave link over 1.5km.

Conducted at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens, the partners say the joint innovation project represents a “major technical breakthrough”, achieving throughput speeds over ten times greater than commercial solutions on similar 70/80 GHz millimetre wave spectrum.

During the mid-April trial, transmission rates were consistently above 100Gbps, with telecom-grade (higher than 99.995%) availability and peak rates reaching 140Gbps.

The trial follows an earlier test conducted by the two companies in late 2018 where they were able to successfully achieve 40 Gbps via a millimetre wave link over 1.4 km.

Importance for 5G

The companies note that as well as confirming the potential of microwave technology over millimetre-wave spectrum (70/80 GHz and above) as a fronthaul and backhaul solution for 5G and beyond, the trial showed the importance of applying spectral-efficient techniques, such as MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), on wireless backhaul technologies to address upcoming 5G radio access demands.

Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, said, “Advanced backhaul solutions will be needed to support high data throughput and enhanced customer experience in the 5G era.

“This milestone confirms the feasibility of microwave over millimetre 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,” he said.

Microwave

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, said that the trial highlights the growing importance of microwave for service providers.

He explained: ”This trial signifies the successful establishment of true fibre capacities over the air using microwave. This means that microwave will be even more relevant for communications service providers in creating redundant networks as a back-up for fibre, or as a way of closing a fibre ring when fibre 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.”