In a statement, Deutsche Telekom claimed the project, conducted at its Service Centre in Athens, represented a major technical breakthrough, achieving more than 10 times the throughput speeds compared to existing commercial solutions on similar 70/80 GHz millimetre wave spectrum.
The main technological advances included an 8x8 line-of-sight MIMO (LOS) with cross polarisation interference cancellation set-up 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. During the trial, carried out in mid-April, transmission rates measures were consistently above 100 Gbps, with telecom grade availability (higher than 99.995%), with peak rates reaching 140 Gbps.
"This milestone confirms the feasibility of microwave over millimetre wave spectrum as an important extension of our portfolio of high-capacity, high-performance transport options for the 5G era. In addition, it represents a game changing solution for future fronthauling capabilities.”
Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, said: ”This trial signifies the successful establishment of true fibre 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 fibre, or as a way of closing a fibre ring when fibre is not a viable solution.
"By carrying such high capacities, microwave further establishes itself as a key transport technology, capable of delivering the performance requirements of 5G.”
Deutsche Telekom said, apart from confirming the potential of microwave technology over millimetre-wave spectrum (70/80 GHz and above) as a 5G-and-beyond fronthaul and backhaul solution, the trial showed the importance of applying spectral efficient techniques, such as MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) on wireless backhaul technologies to address upcoming 5G radio access demands.