40Gbps speed record broken for wireless broadband

40Gbps speed record broken for wireless broadband

Summary: High-frequency radios may offer a solution to rural fibre shortcomings.

TOPICS: Wi-Fi, Broadband, EU

German researchers on the hunt for wireless alternatives to fibre claim to have achieved 40Gbps wireless transmission speeds over a distance of 1km.

The speed is a new world record, according to researchers at the the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. The pair has built transmitters and receivers that operate at a 240GHz frequency — much higher than the the IEEE 802.11n standard, which operates on 2.4GHz with top speeds of under 1Gbps.

The 240GHz frequency supports speeds of up to 40Gbps, and the researchers managed to achieve a transmission between two skyscrapers one kilometre apart using 'long range demonstrators' that house radios using new high frequency chips.

"We have managed to develop a radio link based on active electronic circuits, which enables similarly high data rates as in fibre optic systems, therefore allowing seamless integration of the radio link," Professor Ingmar Kallfass, who coordinated the project at Fraunhofer IAF, said in a statement.

The wireless technology trial is part of Germany's €2m Millilink project, which is looking for ways to integrate wireless and radio links with optical networks to boost rural broadband access.

Germany's fibre broadband coverage is lagging behind that of other European nations, according to FTTH Council Europe statistics, and the researchers claim broadband radio links may be a cheaper method of delivering higher speeds compared with laying cable.

Besides higher speeds, the chips for transmitters and receivers that operate in between 200 and 280GHz can offer compact technical assembly. The chips developed at Fraunhofer IAF were 4mm by 1.5mm in size.

Topics: Wi-Fi, Broadband, EU

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • 40Gbps?

    Can't even afford a 10Mbps broadband connection.
    Irrelevant for consumers.
    • You got it backwards

      The improvement in tech is to boost what you can afford. It is not yet relevant to customers as it is in demonstration stage.

      Technology progresses, things get faster and cheaper.

      Last year I couldn't afford 20Mbps - now I have 100Mbps at a lower price.
    • irreverent for customers?

      So because your too broke to afford toilet paper, this is irrelevant to all customers? Lol, try educating yourself so you have a chance to move out of that Walmart job and into something that might pay your bills.
    • It would

      The idea would be to use a 40Gbps channel to service many people at the same time.
    • High Prices

      Prices are high and band width speeds are low because US consumers put up with it. Our bandwidth speeds ranked 25th in the world. In Japan you can get 40Gbps for $22 a month. It isn't wireless but compare that speed and price with our cable access in the US. We get substandard internet because we willingly pay for it and don't compalin.
      Currently the best I can get in my rural location is 5Gbps which costs me in excess of $70 a month. There are other alternatives in my area that are cheaper but also slower. Verizon offers wireless 4g at greater speeds but their prices start at $57 a month for 10gb usage and escalate to $300 if you exceed 40gb per month usage. I would love to have 40Gbps wireless or connected and would pay $100 a month for it but I doubt I will live long enough to see it.
      • you mean mbps

        Not gbps. If you got 5gbps for 70 dollars, you wouldn't be here complaining.
  • what is effect on human health with that rise of frequency?

    what is effect on human health with that rise of frequency by making 100 times stronger and gaining only 1 km?
    • Strength?

      Frequency is not strength.

      The rise in frequency is to get higher bandwidth, not to get longer distance. With that higher frequency and higher bandwidth the distance gets more difficult.
    • Wikipedia for the win

      You might want to read some Wikipedia on what frequency is before you ask funny questions in public.
  • Health Effects

    I have to agree with santoshoo47, I wonder/ am worried, about what effect all of these broadband signals, that are being sent out all of the time, will have on long term health of humans and other life on the planet.

    Does any one know about any good studies on this?
    • Short answer

      None unless you are stupid enough to climb the tower and stand in front of the antenna. By the time the signal gets to your phone it will be in the micro-watt range and that isn't enough to do anything.
  • What about rain or snow?

    Rain and snow severely attenuate such extreme high-frequency signals. Even a dense fog can affect the signal strength.
  • Who the heck needs more than ......

    a 1200 baud modem?

    Come to think of it, someone famous said something similar a while back, and he is now the richest man on earth.

    I can hardly wait .......
    • Carlos Slim Helu, Said That?

      Maybe you meant 2nd richest, Bill Gates.
      I doubt Gates said that.
      Helu made his money in telecom, did he say it?
  • Interference, bandwidth sharing?

    What about interference and bandwidth sharing?

    I assume that 40 GBps is what the provider will get for total bandwidth - it's not going to be what the customer will get at the endpoint.

    Also 1 km seems very small - how are they gonna get good coverage with such a small range?

    And 240 GHz that's . . . . .

    Almost microwave. Possibly highly directional, may require direct line of sight. Highly probable that any object between the transmitter and receiver will interfere with or block the signal.
    • You are mostly right

      It will certainly be line of sight but then so is 800 MHz and 2.4 GHz or anything above about 50 MHz. So the way to do it is to have repeaters all over the place that cover all nooks and crannies of the space to be covered. I would worry about building penetration at 240 GHz though. We all know how hard it is sometimes to get the dual band and tri band signals we now have into and out of some buildings. Increasing the frequency by 10 isn't going to make that any better.