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 (mmWave) wireless without using any termination or mux/demux units between the fiber and wireless networks. They did this by developing photonic to mmWave 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.