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Connexin Becomes First in the UK to Trial 10Gbps Elva-1 PPC Radio Link

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 (1:03 am) - Score 1,488
connexin trial elva-1 ppc-10g

Fixed wireless broadband ISP Connexin, which operates networks in Hull (East Yorkshire) and Lincolnshire, today claims to have become the “first company in the UK” to trial an Elva-1 PPC-10G with RF Com. This is a 5G style 10Gbps wireless link that could give their network a big boost.

The new Elva-1 PPC-10G kit is one of the first in the world to be able to deliver data speeds of 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) using wireless millimetre wave (mmW) technology over a Full-Duplex point-to-point link, although strictly speaking it’s already been demonstrated by RF Com in London (last June 2016), but that’s not quite the same as a live trial.

The maximum operating distance of the new Microwave link is up to 20 km (12 miles) for connections equipped with 2 ft. antennas, which makes it useful for carrying backhaul capacity in order to fuel local broadband networks (wireless, mobile or fixed lines etc.). The system tends to harness either licensed 40.5-43.5GHz (Q-band) or lightly licensed 70/80 GHz (E-band) frequencies.

Technical Details for the Elva-1 PPC-10G

The PPC-10G 10-Gig millimeter wave platform is based on state-of-the-art MMIC chips, which support QAM 256 (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) in digital data radio communications. QAM 256 modulation uses 8 bits per symbol. Drawing upon its lengthy experience in the design of precision low noise mm-wave scientific instruments, ELVA-1 has pioneered the implementation of QAM 256 technology for E-band to achieve the best spectrum efficiency in the industry. Using QAM 256, PPC-10G requires only 2 GHz of bandwidth for its 10 Gpbs data rate.

One of the key features of PPC-10G is Adaptive Code and Modulation (ACM) support. In rainy conditions, the PPC-10G’s built-in ACM retains connectivity by decreasing link throughput. It adapts the modulation scheme to obtain the highest data rate for the given conditions. By reverting to lower-order modulation schemes of 128 QAM, 64 QAM, 32 QAM, 16 QAM or 8 QAM, the link can support a reliable connection, even in heavy rainfall. As the weather clears, throughput automatically increases to maximum.

One advantage of millimeter wave technology is that up to four PPC-10G parallel links may be installed at the same point-to-point locations, and aggregated into one 40 Gbps channel with no mutual interference.

Officially Connexin hasn’t yet published a press release and so we don’t have any details on the trial itself, but we’ll update again once this information has been released. In the meantime it’s worth pointing out that the technology above is sometimes described as being “5G ready” due to its use of mmW technology and other features. However there’s currently no final 5G standard or hardware, so take any such claims with a pinch of salt.

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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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13 Responses
  1. Avatar Chris P

    Impressive, would like to know the latencies they achieve.

    The guys at cable free have an impressive history of deploying wireless tech including 10gig etc too.

    http://www.cablefree.net/millimeter-wave/cablefree-10gbps-mmw-links-installed-middle-east-safe-city-applications/

    • Avatar Chris P

      @CarlT

      The speed of light changes depending on the medium it travels through. Fastest in a vacuum, slower in air, slower still through glass, even slower through water.

      In a straight line rf will be quicker than light through fibre, it’s the ability of the bits at either end that will dictate latency.

      https://www.ft.com/content/2bf37898-b775-11e2-841e-00144feabdc0

    • Avatar Aaron Williams

      @Chris P

      Whilst wireless is theoreitcally capable or lower minimum latency than fibre I would guess that fibre will have a better average latency and lower packet loss due to being much more reliable than wireless. Wireless suffers from problems due to weather and intefernce unlike fibre.

      As the article you linked states: “Until then fibre optics were preferred because of their greater bandwidth and immunity to bad weather, which can disturb microwave transmissions.”

      In the real world I would guess that you’re for the foreseeable future going to better off with a fibre (ftth) than wireless (despite wireless continuing to improve) with respect to latency and packet loss performance of a home broadband connection. This is all an assumption though on my use of a wireless home broadband for years which has improved in time but still poor by comparison having also tested the latency/loss briefly of gigaclears ftth service. I don’t see wireless taking over fibre soon in this performance regard unless it improves significantly.

  2. Avatar John Miles

    Well the latency will be certainly be better than fibre – radio waves in free air travel 50% faster than light down fibre, and also go in a straight line !

    • Sometimes it’s difficult to detect sarcasm from text but this one was good!

    • Avatar CarlT

      Difficult indeed. The post above is spot on so not sure about sarcasm. Perhaps me not getting it.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Well, nearly spot on, the latency is lower because the radio waves travel in a basically straight line, while light in a fibre doesn’t. Both travel at light speed, obviously.

    • Avatar Chris P

      @CarlT

      The speed of light changes depending on the medium it travels through. Fastest in a vacuum, slower in air, slower still through glass, even slower through water.

      In a straight line rf will be quicker than light through fibre, it’s the ability of the bits at either end that will dictate latency.

      https://www.ft.com/content/2bf37898-b775-11e2-841e-00144feabdc0

      As the facts has rightly pointed out.

    • Avatar CarlT

      I stand corrected. I was thinking of hollow fibre but that’s not a big thing just yet.

      As far as the kit either side goes the fastest option for latency is to use digital transmission, nothing to demodulate, so this stuff using higher order modulations will add a tiny delay. That’ll induce more of a delay than the kit after the modems either side unless they are pretty woefully underspecified.

  3. Avatar Rich

    But light speed is different in different mediums. In glass light travels 200,000km/s, in air it travels about 300,000km/s.

    And, fibre is generally laid following roads etc, so may well take a much longer path than a microwave link, which is point to point in a straight line.

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