Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom achieve 100 Gbps in a trial microwave link

Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom have achieved a data transmission rate of 100 Gbps in a trial microwave link over 1.5 km — at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens.
The joint innovation project represents a major technical breakthrough, achieving more than 10 times greater throughput speeds than current commercial solutions on similar 70/80 GHz millimeter wave spectrum.

The trial confirms the potential of microwave technology over millimeter-wave spectrum (70/80 GHz and above) as a 5G-and-beyond fronthaul and backhaul solution.

The trial also showed the importance of applying spectral efficient techniques, such as MIMO on wireless backhaul technologies to address upcoming 5G radio access demands.

“Advanced backhaul solutions will be needed to support high data throughput and enhanced customer experience in the 5G era. This milestone confirms the feasibility of microwave over millimeter wave spectrum,” Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, said.

“This trial signifies the successful establishment of true fiber capacities over the air using microwave. This means that microwave will be even more relevant for communications service providers in creating redundant networks as a back-up for fiber, or as a way of closing a fiber ring when fiber is not a viable solution,” Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, said.

Key technological advances included an 8×8 line-of-sight MIMO with cross polarization interference cancellation setup using commercial MINI-LINK 6352 radios and a 2.5 GHz channel bandwidth in the E-band (70/80 GHz) able to transmit eight independent data streams over the radio path. This corresponds to a breakthrough spectrum efficiency of 55.2 bps/Hz at peak.

In 2018, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom broke the 40Gbps barrier  using Ericsson’s MINI-LINK 6352 solution, which currently provides 10Gbps capacity over a 2000MHz channel. This trial used a 2500MHz channel and pre-commercial baseband and MIMO processing equipment in addition to MINI-LINK 6352 radios to raise throughput by more than 10 times.