‘Record’ 6Gbps Wireless Transmission Could Boost Rural Broadband And 4G

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Researchers in Germany achieve 6Gbps across 37km distance, claiming it could improve satellite broadband, mobile backhaul and emergency communications

Researchers in Germany have achieved a world record data transfer of 6Gbps over a 36.7km distance in a development that could improve rural broadband and emergency communications in the future.

The ACCESS (Advanced E Band Satellite Link Studies) project, a collaboration between the University of Stuttgart and Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, achieved the speeds using 71-76 GHz ‘E band’ frequencies used for terrestrial and satellite broadcasting.

A signal was successfully sent between Cologne and the town of Wachtberg, with the researchers stating the transmission rate was only achieved because of the bandwidth available in the E-band and through the use of efficient transmitters, receivers and powerful amplifiers.

Wireless data record

ESA satellite 2Both the transmitter and receivers were fully monolithically integrated millimetre wave cir­cuits (MMICs) based on transistor technologies developed by the Fraunhofer Institute. In the transmitter, signals were boosted to comparatively high powers of up to 1 W using power amplifiers, while built into the receiver were low-noise amplifiers capable of detecting weak signals at high distance.

The researchers claim the experiment could boost satellite broadband services and replace terrestrial communications disrupted by a natural disaster, or even high speed mobile backhaul.

Satellite broadband is seen as the most efficient way of connecting remote areas to superfast broadband, while it also powers in-flight Wi-Fi services for airlines. One of the biggest barriers to more comprehensive mobile coverage has been the availability of high speed backhaul, something wireless could help break down.

As demand for data, fuelled by cloud services, online video and the Internet of Things (IoT), increases, a number of research projects have sought to improve the efficiency and capacity of fibre and wireless transmissions. In February, researchers at University College London (UCL) have achieved a record transmission rate of 1.125Tbps on fibre.

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