Terragraph uses 60 GHz band for high-speed wireless

As it continues to develop wireless network solutions via the Telecom Infra Project, Facebook is building momentum around its Terragraph solution. At the TIP Summit in London this week, it appears Terragraph is gaining momentum as operators and vendors help push the unlicensed 60 GHz ecosystem forward.

Facebook bills Terragraph as addressing a dynamic wherein copper can’t keep up with capacity demands in urban area, fiber is cost prohibitive and licensed cellular frequencies further limit barrier to entry. By using the unlicensed 60 GHz band, service providers can quickly and affordably offer multi-gigabit-per-second wireless speeds.

Facebook has trialled Terragraph in partnership with Deutsche Telekom and subsidiary Magyar Telekom in Hungary, with YTL Communications in Malaysia, and with XL Axiata in Indonesia. According to the company, speeds in Hungary were almost 1 Gbps and 99.5% network availability. In Indonesia, Terragraph supported Wi-Fi backhaul for more than 1,000 users during the Asian Games.

Facebook’s Aaron Bernstein, in a company post, wrote, “Through these trials, we’ve also documented best practices for fixed wireless deployments based on our experiences and have committed to contributing what we learned to the TIP community…Our learning points to Terragraph’s viability as a commercial fixed wireless access and Wi-Fi backhaul solution, with fast deployment speeds and a total cost of ownership that is a fraction of that of an equivalent fiber build. These trial experiences also highlight opportunities to further accelerate deployments using automated networking planning tools.”

The next set of field trials will be conducted with Claro and Vivo in Brazil.

In term of vendor support, Qualcomm today announced it was commercially shipping chipsets for both mobile and infrastructure applications that support 60 GHz transmissions using the IEEE 802.11ay Wi-Fi standard. Radwin, Intel and Nokia are also working on Terragraph equipment.

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