Deutsche Telekom, Cosmote and Ericsson test W-band backhaul

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Trials conducted by Deutsche Telekom, Cosmote and Ericsson have used W-band frequency for wireless backhaul for the first time.

The three set out to test bands beyond 100GHz, such as W-band, for multi-gigabit wireless backhaul capacities for 5G and 6G. In trials conducted at Deutsche Telekom’s Mobile Backhaul Service Center, located at the Cosmote HQ in Athens, they demonstrated for the first time a W-band wireless hop over a 1.5km range is possible.

Wireless backhaul currently uses frequency bands from 4GHz to 80GHz to support 5G transport requirements. However, W-band (92GHz -114GHz) can perform on the same level as the E-band (70/80GHz), which is currently the only frequency band supporting 10Gbps wireless backhaul capacities for 4G and 5G. The W-band is expected to add more untapped spectrum needed for high-capacity wireless transport.

Dr. Konstantinos Chalkiotis, VP 5G Solutions, access and home networks, Deutsche Telekom, said: “The evolution towards future-proof, cost-efficient and high-capacity wireless backhaul networks will play an important role to accommodate growing traffic demand, increased site location (including small and pico cells) and extend 5G services in the future.

"The results of our innovation trial with Ericsson confirm the feasibility of using higher frequency bands with wider channels as another solution in our portfolio to deliver high capacity and high performance backhaul for our customers in the 5G era. We hope soon to see those solutions brought into real production in a cost-efficient manner.”

Jonas Hansryd, research manager, microwave systems, Ericsson, added: “Ericsson has a proud history of innovation with Deutsche Telekom. Two years ago, we showed for the first time the possibility to transport more than 100Gbps over a kilometre distance using millimetre wave bands. In our latest joint project, we continue on that path showing the ability to evolve today’s wireless transport by supporting additional, high-capacity backhaul spectrum for 5G and future 6G.”