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21 April 2017
| James Pearce
Facebook has continued to break records with its millimetre-wave (MMW) technology, hitting speeds of 80Gbps in its latest round of tests.
Last year, the social media giant claimed to have smashed
records when it set up channels with data rates of up to 20Gbps
over a distance of around eight miles, but Facebook claimed to
have quadrupled this in tests carried out this year.
The tests used Facebook’s own optical
cross-link technology, which was developed as part of
Facebook’s Internet.org campaign to provide
internet to everyone across the globe.
It was one of three connectivity milestones announcements
made during Facebook’s recent F8 developer
conference. Facebook also revealed a 13km point-to-point
connected hitting 3Gbps using MMW technology.
Another record the social media firm claims to have hit was
achieving a 16Gbps MMW connection from a location on the ground
to a Cessna aircraft, which was circling over 7Km away.
Facebook also revealed that its Terragraph system, which is
currently under testing in San Jose, has became the first
city-scale mess MMW system capable of deliver fibre-like
multi-gigabits of performance and reliability.
Terragraph is a terrestrial connectivity system which uses
60GHZ multi-node wireless technology to provide high-speed
connectivity in dense urban areas. The V-band spectrum nodes
are placed across a city at 200-250 metre intervals, creating a
mesh controlled by an SDN-like cloud component.
Facebook’s continued push into developing
connectivity solutions mirrors that of rival Google, which
launched its own Fiber project in the US, before putting a stop
to it last year.
According to Techcrunch, Facebook has no interest in
commercialising these products, instead planning to use it to
contribute to communities such as its own Telecom
Infrastructure Project (TIP), which includes the likes of
Orange, Tata Communications, Vodafone, Telefonica and
"There is technology development and then
there’s the community — how we engage
with the world," Facebook’s director of its
connectivity programs Yael Maguire told Techcrunch. "As
technology gets developed, the plan is to contribute it to
community organizations, TIP— modelled after the Open
Compute project — and then figure out how we get
like-minded companies and individuals excited about thinking
about how technology gets deployed at scale."