Facebook achieves high speed 20 Gbps millimetre wave wireless data transmission
In an announcement made by Facebook this week, researchers and engineers from Facebook’s Connectivity Lab managed to achieve speeds up to 20 Gbps over millimeter-wave (MMW) technology at a distance of more than eight miles (over 13 kms) while testing millimeter wireless broadband technology. This is a part of an effort made by Facebook to expand broadband’s reach (and by proxy, ads) to less connected parts of the world.
The RF team recently hit the 20 Gbps mark over 2 GHz of bandwidth using “custom-built components” that consumed 105 watts of total direct current (DC) power at the transmitter and receiver, according to Abhishek Tiwari of Facebook Connectivity Labs.
“To put this in perspective, our demonstrated capacity is enough data to stream almost 1,000 ultra-high-definition videos at the same time,” Tiwari wrote in a Facebook Engineering Blog entry posted Thursday.
The tests have been taking place in Southern California using the E-band, a group of millimeter wave frequencies between 60 and 90GHz.
Ultimately, Facebook intends to use MMW links to connect a fleet of solar-powered drones designed to provide broadband coverage over a “60-mile-wide area on the ground,” at data rates up more than 30 Gbps.
“The next generation air-to-ground communication system capable of supporting 40 Gbps each on uplink and downlink between an aircraft and a ground station will be flight-tested in early 2017,” the company says of the advancements. “We will continue to push the limits of wireless capacity over long ranges while staying within the tough size, weight and power constraints of Aquila communication payloads.”