Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson achieve 100Gbps over microwave link

14 May 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson have achieved data transmission rates of 100Gbps in a trial microwave link over a distance of 1.5km.

The trials were carried out at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens, and represents an industry milestone, achieving more than 10 times faster throughout speeds than the current commercial solutions available on similar 70/80GHz millimetre wave spectrum.

“Advanced backhaul solutions will be needed to support high data throughput and enhanced customer experience in the 5G era,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP strategy & technology innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “This milestone confirms the feasibility of microwave over millimetre wave spectrum as an important extension of our portfolio of high capacity, high-performance transport options for the 5G era. In addition, it represents a game changing solution for future front hauling capabilities.”

In addition to demonstrating the potential of microwave technology as a 5G backhaul and fronthaul solution, the results of the trial also showcased the importance of applying spectral efficient techniques such as multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) on wireless backhaul technologies to address upcoming 5G radio access demands.

”This trial signifies the successful establishment of true fibre capacities over the air using microwave, added Per Narvinger, head of product area networks, Ericsson. “This means that microwave will be even more relevant for communications service providers in creating redundant networks as a back-up for fibre, or as a way of closing a fibre ring when fibre is not a viable solution. By carrying such high capacities, microwave further establishes itself as a key transport technology, capable of delivering the performance requirements of 5G.”

During the mid-April trial, transmission rates measured were consistently above 100Gbps, with availability higher than 99.995%, with peak rates reaching 140Gbps.

At the start of the year, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom successfully demonstrated a millimetre wave link with transmission speeds of 40Gbps. The technology was again developed as a joint project between the two at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens.