Germany-based operator Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Ericsson have conducted a “landmark” data transmission trial, achieving over 100 Gbps consistently through a microwave link over 1.5 km, the companies announced on DT's website.
The test represents a “major technical breakthrough,” the two companies said. The trial was able to achieve throughput speeds that are more than 10 times greater than current commercial solutions on similar 70/80 GHz millimeter wave spectrum.
“This trial signifies the successful establishment of true fiber capacities over-the-air using microwave,” Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson, said in the statement. “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.”
The trial, which was conducted at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens, Greece, demonstrated the potential of applying spectral efficient techniques like MIMO on wireless backhaul technologies, which can be used to address 5G radio access demands.
The two companies said the trial confirms the feasibility of using microwave over millimeter wave spectrum as a fronthaul and backhaul solution for 5G and other advanced cellular technologies.
“By carrying such high capacities, microwave further establishes itself as a key transport technology, capable of delivering the performance requirements of 5G,” Narvinger said.
The trial follows an earlier test conducted by the two companies in late 2018. In that test, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom were able to successfully achieve 40 Gbps over a millimeter wave link over a 1.4 km hop.