Innovative millimetre wave communications to be demonstrated at London exhibition
10 June 2014
Wireless data connections that exploit millimetre wave radio spectrum (30GHz to 300GHz) are expected to be used in worldwide 5G networks from 2020. The University of Bristol’s Communication Systems and Networks research group has partnered with Bristol start-up Blu Wireless Technology (BWT) to develop this technology and they will demonstrate their innovative work at the Small Cells World Summit in London this week [10-12 June].
Millimetre wave radios use much higher carrier frequencies than those in current systems, such as 4G and Wi-Fi. The University and BWT radios transmit data approximately 50 times faster than the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi standard. At 60GHz there is significantly more unallocated spectrum, and this opens up the possibility of multi-Gigabit data rates to future mobile terminals.
The challenge at 60GHz is how to overcome the additional signal losses. If transmit powers and antenna gains were equal, at 60GHz the received signal would be 1000x weaker than a Wi-Fi signal. To address this challenge, millimetre wave systems need electronically steered high gain antennas to track users as they move within the network.
A demonstration of results from the first phase of work, supported through the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership Regional Growth Fund , will be showcased for the first time at the summit to be held at ExCel London.
Using a newly developed virtual network simulator the team will show how antenna beam steering supports robust point-to-point connections up to 400 metres. For 5G mobile access, the team will demonstrate multi-gigabit beamforming and mobile tracking up to 100 metres from the base station. In both cases beam forming is shown to overcome the harmful effects of blocking trees and buses.
A video has been produced to demonstrate the joint research on mmWave Gigabit