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Sckipio Mix Gfast and mmWave Wireless for 800Mbps Broadband

Tuesday, Aug 21st, 2018 (5:43 pm) - Score 2,058

Israel-based chipset maker Sckipio has teamed up with Siklu to deploy a unique twist on hybrid fibre G.fast broadband technology, which is now able to get capacity from a millimeter Wave (mmWave) wireless link instead of a fibre optic cable. This is being used to deliver speeds of up to 800Mbps (aggregate) to flats.

At present Openreach’s G.fast solution in the UK works in a similar way to VDSL2 based Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology. In this setup a fibre optic cable is run to your local PCP Street Cabinet, which is then fitted with an extension “pod” to house the G.fast line cards. After that the service reaches your home via an existing copper cable.

The other way of doing G.fast is by installing the fibre fed technology inside smaller nodes, which sit on top of local telegraph poles, inside buildings or under manhole covers (i.e. Fibre-to-the-distribution-point). Now Sckipio has deployed a third way of delivering G.fast, which effectively replaces the fibre supply with a fixed mmW wireless link and is aimed more at serving large apartment blocks (Multi-Dwelling Units).

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In this setup the wireless side is handled by Siklu’s high capacity mmW technology (EtherHaul), which tend to operate in the 60GHz – 70GHz and 80GHz frequency bands (something future 5G mobile will also be able to tackle). Radio links like this can distribute data capacities of up to 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) over several kilometres, which reduces the need for more extensive and costly civil engineering (e.g. street works to deploy fibre).

Apparently the first commercial roll-out of this combined solution was just used to connect up a low-income, MDU in Cleveland (USA) with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (note: existing copper wires were still used inside the building itself to serve each unit). Some initial speedtests conducted on individual connections are said to have produced a download speed of up to 650Mbps and uploads of 160Mbps.

David Baum, CEO of Sckipio, said:

“Our Gfast technology was built to deliver ultra-high-speed broadband to the masses. This installation proves that Gfast is helping to solve the urban digital divide by bringing the Internet to those who had no access or very slow speeds.

Partnering with DigitalC and Siklu has enabled CMHA residents to access ultrafast, affordable internet that will allow them to connect to their families, search for jobs, improve their education and health, and participate in the global digital economy.”

Strictly speaking the idea of using a wireless fed DSL style network is nothing new and indeed Openreach has already deployed a number of Wireless-to-the-Cabinet (WTTC) solutions, although these adopted a more traditional combination of Microwave radio to feed a VDSL2 (FTTC) street cabinet (example).

The mmW approach is certainly interesting but it seems unlikely to gain much traction over this side of the pond, where Openreach has just decided to scale-back their G.fast plans in favour of a greater focus on full fibre FTTP deployments (here).

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
5 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Franklin says:

    Oh shut up about G.Fast.

    We don’t want it.

    We want FTTP.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Yes that’s lovely but this site covers all technologies from across different parts of the market, not only the ones you want. If you don’t like it, fine, but don’t troll in the comments.

  2. Avatar photo Asrab says:

    Of course companies like Sckipio have a lot to loose or win with GFAST technology, so they along with others will demonstrate new capabilities for the technology,

    but makes you wonder where this type of technology will serve once 5G is fully underway,

    Personally i am looking forward to Gigabit mobile internet and FTTP, wonder which ISP will be the first to offer seamless “Gigabit” mobile and fixed internet connection in one package,

    1. Avatar photo Joe says:

      5G and wireless do have some overlap but their usages are not the same so they can coexist

  3. Avatar photo craski says:

    Using G.Fast to provide high speed networking in an MDU which already has “telephone” cabling in place seems like a perfect use for the technology. Sure you could run ethernet cable or fibre but if you can achieve these speeds over the existing twin wire cable already in place, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?

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