Qualcomm and Facebook to bring high-speed internet connectivity over 60GHz to urban areas

Qualcomm and Facebook to bring high-speed internet connectivity over 60GHz to urban areas
Zuckerberg also spoke about Facebook's plans to deliver Internet access to remote parts of the world as it recently announced the first test flight of the solar-powered drone Aquila. (Getty Images)
Published: 22 May 2018 - 5:31 a.m.
By: Georgina Enzer

Qualcomm Incorporated through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and Facebook are working together to deliver high-speed internet connectivity with Facebook’s Terragraph technology through the development of a multi-node wireless system based on 60GHz technology from Qualcomm Technologies.

“Our collaboration with Facebook will bring advanced 11ad and pre-11ay technologies to market increasing broadband penetration and enabling operators to reduce their capex for last mile access” said Irvind Ghai, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Terragraph cloud controller and TDMA architecture coupled with Qualcomm Technologies solution’s 10 Gbps link rate, low power consumption and early interference mitigation techniques will help make gigabit connectivity a reality.”

Working with leading operators and manufacturers, this terrestrial connectivity system aims to improve the speed, efficiency and quality of internet connectivity around the world at only a fraction of the cost of fibre deployments. Qualcomm Technologies will integrate its QCA6438 and QCA6428 family of pre-802.11ay chipsets with Facebook's Terragraph technology. This effort will help enable manufacturers to build 60GHz mmWave solutions using the unlicensed 60GHz spectrum and provide Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to offer consumers in urban areas access to high-speed broadband connections. The companies expect to begin trials of the integrated solution mid-2019.

Facebook’s Terragraph technology is designed to support broadband connectivity through a network based on millimetre-wave wireless backhaul. It is based on the pre-802.11ay standard with enhancements provided by the Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset and the integrated software between Facebook and Qualcomm Technologies to support efficient outdoor operation and avoid interference in dense environments. Specifically, Qualcomm Technologies has optimised its solution for outdoor backhaul by introducing a number of enhancements such as TDMA-based protocol, time synchronised nodes, channel bonding and massive antenna array among others, to overcome large obstacles in dense urban environments, deliver high-capacity coverage, and the potential to reduce costs and time to market.

“We’re excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies to advance the adoption of pre-802.11ay and 802.11ad 60GHz technologies and build a robust ecosystem of interoperable solutions based on Terragraph,” said Yael Maguire, vice president of connectivity, Facebook. “With Terragraph, our goal is to enable people living in urban areas to access high-quality connectivity that can help create new opportunities and strengthen communities.”


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