Fixed wireless broadband ISP Connexin, which operates networks in Hull (East Yorkshire) and Lincolnshire, today claims to have become the “first company in the UK” to trial an Elva-1 PPC-10G with RF Com.

This is a 5G style 10Gbps wireless link that could give their network a big boost.

The new Elva-1 PPC-10G kit is one of the first in the world to be able to deliver data speeds of 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) using wireless millimetre wave (mmW) technology over a Full-Duplex point-to-point link, although strictly speaking it’s already been demonstrated by RF Com in London (last June 2016), but that’s not quite the same as a live trial.

The maximum operating distance of the new Microwave link is up to 20 km (12 miles) for connections equipped with 2 ft. antennas, which makes it useful for carrying backhaul capacity in order to fuel local broadband networks (wireless, mobile or fixed lines etc.).

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The system tends to harness either licensed 40.5-43.5GHz (Q-band) or lightly licensed 70/80 GHz (E-band) frequencies.

Technical Details for the Elva-1 PPC-10G

The PPC-10G 10-Gig millimeter wave platform is based on state-of-the-art MMIC chips, which support QAM 256 (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) in digital data radio communications. QAM 256 modulation uses 8 bits per symbol. Drawing upon its lengthy experience in the design of precision low noise mm-wave scientific instruments, ELVA-1 has pioneered the implementation of QAM 256 technology for E-band to achieve the best spectrum efficiency in the industry. Using QAM 256, PPC-10G requires only 2 GHz of bandwidth for its 10 Gpbs data rate.

One of the key features of PPC-10G is Adaptive Code and Modulation (ACM) support. In rainy conditions, the PPC-10G’s built-in ACM retains connectivity by decreasing link throughput. It adapts the modulation scheme to obtain the highest data rate for the given conditions. By reverting to lower-order modulation schemes of 128 QAM, 64 QAM, 32 QAM, 16 QAM or 8 QAM, the link can support a reliable connection, even in heavy rainfall. As the weather clears, throughput automatically increases to maximum.

One advantage of millimeter wave technology is that up to four PPC-10G parallel links may be installed at the same point-to-point locations, and aggregated into one 40 Gbps channel with no mutual interference.

Officially Connexin hasn’t yet published a press release and so we don’t have any details on the trial itself, but we’ll update again once this information has been released.

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In the meantime it’s worth pointing out that the technology above is sometimes described as being “5G ready” due to its use of mmW technology and other features.

However there’s currently no final 5G standard or hardware, so take any such claims with a pinch of salt.

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