Facebook and Qualcomm team up to bring high-speed 60GHz wireless internet to cities
Facebook and Qualcomm today announced a new partnership to bring high-speed internet connectivity over 60GHz to the cities. The two tech giants announced Monday that at the foundation will be based on Facebook’s Terragraph technology; a millimeter-wave, multi-node wireless backhaul system. “Qualcomm through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and Facebook announced they 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,” the statement said.
The problem today is that major cities do not necessarily offer better Internet access than less populated areas. As user numbers increase, so does the use of available spectrum, and if networks cannot cope with demand this can result in bottlenecks, congestion, and slow speeds. Terragraph is better at addressing these challenges than the existing technologies. Terragraph comes in to bridge the gap by utilizing unlicensed 60GHz spectrum to reduce congestion and improve Internet connection services. Terragraph also provides a lot of benefits: Terragraph leverages V-band spectrum at 60 GHz that enables multi-Gbps fiber-like speed, wirelessly. When combined with metro-fiber, Terragraph also offers a lower-cost solution for Fixed Wireless Access. Terragraph is faster to deploy than any wireline service because it does not require securing costly Right of Way permissions. Terragraph also leverages the cloud for intensive data processing and self organizing.
The company went on to say: “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 fiber 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 supports broadband connectivity through a network based on millimeter-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 optimized its solution for outdoor backhaul by introducing a number of enhancements such as TDMA-based protocol, time synchronized 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.
“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.”
“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.”