EU funds future mobile broadband research; aims for 1Gbps

In an effort to boost the speed and coverage of mobile broadband, the EU has pulled together a group of European operators, technology vendors and research organisations to investigate how it would increase the capacity of mobile broadband to provide 1Gbps per square kilometre.

The project, funded with €4.7 million of EU money and labelled with the clumsy title of Beyond Next-Generation Mobile Broadband (BuNGee), will be lead by the WiMAX developer Alvarion and will run until June 2012.

Some of the areas BuNGee will target include: backhaul design, below-rooftop backbone solutions, next-generation networked and distributed MIMO, interference techniques and autonomous architectures focusing on very aggressive spatial and spectral reuse. It also includes protocols that help with autonomous ultra-high capacity deployment.

Towards the end of the project, BuNGee plans to conduct a live test in Barcelona to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology. The deployment strategy, said the group, would be based on the below-rooftop use of base stations using the existing structures such as utility poles in coordination with the ‘self backhauling' of these base stations by wireless links.

The group believes that this approach will drastically lower Capex and Opex relative to traditional mobile deployment methods, and significantly drcrease the bit per second per square kilometre cost of the access network.

Other organisations involved include Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (Spain), Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas (UK), University of York (UK), Thales Communications S.A. (France), Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (Poland), Siklu Communication Ltd (Israel) and Arttic (BE).

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