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New technology speeds up hybrid fiber-wireless networks

New technology speeds

You might be thinking that the only way to speed up hybrid fiber-wireless networks is to expand the capacity of the wireless link. It turns out that’s just one option. A consortium of innovative thinkers from academia, equipment and service providers has joined to eliminate another speed throttling part of the network, the termination unit or mux/demux.

In January 2017, the IPHOBAC-NG consortium delivered optical 2.5 Gbit/s GPON over millimeter wave wireless without using any termination or mux/demux units between the fiber and wireless networks. They did this by developing photonic to mm-wave converter, which speeds up the network, simplifies networking and lowers costs by eliminating the termination units.

The IPHOBAC-NG consortium’s mission is to enable wireless access at fiber-like speeds. We at Siklu  are part of the consortium, along with partners UDE, UCL, DTU, Orange Poland, Finisar, 3-5-Labs and Axenic. We’ve been collaborating on the development of photonic and millimeter-wave technologies for direct microwave-optical fiber-to-radio HFW solutions. The first test was in a 500-meter real GPON deployment in Garwolin, Poland.

When you switch to a direct fiber-wireless connection in your hybrid fiber-wireless network you gain a number of advantages. For one, the photonic conversion completely eliminates the need for termination and conversion units at the fiber drops. This significantly reduces the costs of deploying a hybrid fiber-wireless network.

In addition, the photonic conversion is also protocol agnostic, which simplifies networking and provides zero delay, a big advantage in time sensitive applications.

Siklu is an active participant in the consortium and the wireless portion of the link was based on its 71-76GHz E-band radios.

We’ve been long time proponents of the hybrid-fiber wireless concept and are excited to participate in developing new technologies that can make this model more profitable for service providers and more useful for end customers.

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