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UK Based TWEETHER Project Promises 10Gbps mmW Wireless Broadband

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 (7:08 am) - Score 2,065
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A team of international scientists working out of Lancaster University in England have officially kicked off a new consortium called TWEETHER, which aims to harness the millimetre wave (mmW) radio spectrum (specifically 92-95GHz) in order to develop a new wireless network that could offer economical broadband connectivity with a capacity up to 10Gbps (Gigabits per second).

The EU Horizon 2020 funded project, which is costing close to £3 million, claims it would be able to distribute its top capacity out to “tens of terminals” and each of those could then receive broadband speeds measured in the hundreds of Mbps (Megabits per second) range (Point to Multipoint); at this early stage specifics are naturally hard to come by.

Apparently TWEETHER (Travelling Wave Tube based w-Band Wireless Networks with High Data Rate Distribution, Spectrum & Energy Efficiency) officially began its work at the start of this month and is supported by some big names, such as EE, Thales, bluwan, Deutsche Telekom and fibernova etc.

Andy Sutton, EE’s Principal Network Architect, said:

The role of W-band millimetre wave radio systems in next generation mobile networks backhaul – Traffic on mobile networks is growing at an incredible pace, forecasts suggest a 12 times increase by 2018 and a 22 times increase by 2030, supporting this volume of traffic will require new and innovative radio access and backhaul solutions.

In parallel with supporting greater traffic volumes mobile operators will implement new network architectures while delivering every greater network availability and reliability, mesh based backhaul will play a key role in these future ultra-reliable networks. This talk will explore the drivers for change, review evolving network architectures and discuss future millimetre wave backhaul solutions.”

Professor Claudio Paoloni, Project Co-Ordinator, said:

The enormous flux of data transferred via wireless networks, increasing at a super-high pace, makes today’s state-of-the-art networks quickly outdated.”

The breakthrough of TWEETHER project is a novel wireless PmP (Point to multipoint) system that integrates a novel, compact, low cost and high yield Traveling Wave Tube (TWT) power amplifier at the transmission hub, to power an affordable high performance transceiver.”

The technology sounds very similar to some of the future solutions being proposed for the next generation of 5G based Mobile Broadband connectivity and indeed it’s being envisaged for development within a similar 3 year timeframe, so we should expect to see something by around 2018. But this will probably do more to support 5G than become it.

Apparently the researchers will need to develop various different components, such as a W-band traveling wave tube, multi-GHz band MMIC (Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit) chipsets and a synthesiser. The final step will naturally be a “small scale field trial” before potential commercialisation.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar John C. Provost

    How reliable can these wavelengths be for terrestrial links that are subject to obstruction by moisture, foul weather?

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