Europe's BuNGee project achieves 1 Gbps throughput

The BuNGee gigabit mobile network project, conceived to achieve a tenfold increase in mobile broadband infrastructure capacity and an economically viable business case, was successfully wrapped up following a final review meeting with the European Commission.

The $6 million (€4.7 million) Beyond Next Generation (BuNGee) project was funded primarily by the European Commission as part of the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7). Participants were charged with developing ways to economically improve wireless network capacity in urban areas where the number of users per square kilometer and the mobile data usage factor is dramatically growing.

"The developed technologies will be proposed as new standards for high-capacity radio access networks, mainly to ETSI BRAN and IEEE 802.16 and/or LTE-Advanced, to maximize the exploitation benefits in Europe and globally," according to the EC.

Consortium members working on the initiative included lead partner Alvarion, based in Israel, along with Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas (UK); Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (Spain); University of York (UK); Thales Communications SA (France); Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium); Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (Poland); Siklu Communication Ltd (Israel); and ARTTIC (Belgium).

According to Alvarion, the consortium held a successful demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel during April 2012 to show the project's main goals, including higher throughput, innovative deployment strategies and an economically viable business case. "At the live demonstration, Alvarion and the consortium partners successfully demonstrated the project-developed high-capacity radio cell prototype in a real urban mobile environment," said the company, which coordinated the project with a leading role in designing the innovative system architecture.

"The current next-generation technologies LTE and WiMAX support a mere 100 Mbps per square kilometer in a regular cellular deployment. In dense urban areas, where the market demand for wireless broadband access is the highest, the BuNGee project demonstrated a higher throughput of 1 Gbps per square kilometer. This demonstration was imperative in confirming a commercially viable solution for wide-scale uptake of next-generation technologies," said Alvarion.

The BuNGee initiative was announced in January 2010. Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas--one of the consortium's members--said in April 2010 that the project's success would hinge upon achieving the correct antenna beam characteristics to support high-density communications networks. The project required switched-beam hub base station antennas that were dual-polarized and capable of achieving high isolation with other beams within the sector, said the company. The hub base station antennas were deployed above rooftop level and communicated with below-rooftop-level access base station antennas that achieved links with mobile subscribers.

In addition to demonstrating the ultra-dense below-rooftop radio network deployment, which exploited the concept of small cells and natural urban radio isolations, Alvarion said the project also highlighted the joint design of access and backhaul networks using heterogeneous radio elements in licensed and license-exempt spectrum. These included aggregation of in-band backhauling and broadband millimeter-wave technology to address small cell backhaul issues and co-operative technologies at a base station, cognitive radio, autonomous radio resource assignment and network technologies for reduced management and operational complexity.

"Viewing the live demonstration at Alvarion's office in April was the necessary proof-point for the successful close to this project," said Oleg Marinchenco, BuNGee project coordinator from Alvarion. "With BuNGee, we have taken great steps in the implementation of next generation networks for the entire communications market."

For more:
- see this Alvarion release

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Alvarion sours on WiMAX
Is WiMAX 2 ITU nod too little, too late?
ITU sets IMT-Advanced standards, including LTE Advanced and WiMAX 2

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