Telecom Infra Project focuses on millimeter wave for dense networks

Millimeter Wave Networks Project Group eyes 60 GHz band

SAN FRANCISCO–The Facebook-led Telecom Infra Project this week created a new working group dedicated to creating broad industry support for solutions that target high-frequency millimeter wave spectrum in the 60 GHz band. The Millimeter Wave Networks Project Group is co-chaired by Facebook and Deutsche Telekom.

The partners want to tap the high-capacity frequency in support of use cases including virtual and augmented reality, 4K video streaming and providing support for a massive number of connected sensors in a smart city application. Based on a blog post co-authored by group co-chair Andreas Gladisch of Deutsche Telekom and Salli Sawhney of Facebook, the general goal is to combine radio transmitters and receivers into a node that could be installed on utility poles, lighting infrastructure, on buildings and other locations.

In a blog post authored by the project co-chairs, they describe the nodes as working “together in a mesh configuration, with traffic hopping from node to node to reach the reception point, which could be a Wi-Fi access point, small cell or a building. This network architecture requires only a handful of nodes to be connected to fiber in order to provide city-wide coverage, which will help minimize capital expenditures. In addition, the hardware will use a commercial off-the-shelf WiGig chipset components to contain costs.”

The initial focus of the working group is four-fold, according to the blog post: defining operator businesses cases; testing and simulating the technology; creating network planning tools to model 60 GHz networking; and establishing a “set of guidelines and recommendations [to]help municipalities foster 60 GHz deployments. These will include details on obtaining spectrum covering permits and rules for attaching nodes to utility poles, street lights, trafifc signal poles and other street furniture.”

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a consortium led by Facebook centered on rethinking how telecom network infrastructure is designed and deployed. Modeled after the Open Compute Project (OCP), TIP is  an open source project consisting of operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other ecosystem stakeholders.

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