Nokia and Facebook tap 60GHz spectrum for fixed wireless solution

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Nokia and Facebook have teamed up to build a new fixed wireless access product allowing operators to offer gigabit speeds to customers.

The solution combines Nokia’s fibre access technology and wireless passive optical network (WPON) hardware with Facebook’s mesh backhaul system Terragraph.

The technology uses the 60GHz band, which does not require licences in several countries including the UK, Germany, Japan and the US.

Nokia and Facebook will begin trials of the technology this year.

The partners also committed to work together to accelerate adoption of IEEE’s 802.11ay standard, a version of WiGig that transmits in the 60GHz band.

Federico Guillén, President of Nokia Fixed Networks, said: "It is definitely exciting when two companies like Nokia and Facebook join their innovation strength to bring new technologies to market.

“Fixed wireless access is gaining ground and perfectly complements our multi-technology mix to bring gigabit broadband to more people, sooner."

Yael Maguire, VP of Connectivity, Facebook, said:  "Terragraph is designed to help providers deploy fast and reliable connectivity for people in urban areas. Our partnership with Nokia will help advance Terragraph by building a robust, open ecosystem of interoperable commercial solutions based on 60GHz technologies."

Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Ovum's Next-gen Infrastructure Practice, said: "Nokia and Facebook's collaboration is a perfect example of combining two strong solutions to bring gigabit broadband to more people faster.

“While fibre is being pushed deeper and deeper, the physical connection to the home or apartment requires additional resources.”

Nokia launched its WPON solution in October as part of an upgrade to its Intelligent Access portfolio, which allows operators to extend their networks more quickly using a combination of fixed and wireless technologies.