European telecommunications company BT announced Tuesday it has successfully completed a test using G.fast technology to deliver Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) cellular network service over copper.
According to BT, the experiment is believed to be the first of its kind.
BT said researchers at its Adastral Park Labs in Ipswich, England, collaborated with U.S. semiconductor company Cavium to demonstrate the ability to use G.fast technology to transport cellular data over copper lines at speeds of 150-200 mbps.
Unlike a traditional approach to C-RAN, which requires a dedicated fiber link to connect transmitters at the top of a cell tower to signal-processing equipment deeper in the network, the new technology allows for a more economic “fronthaul” connection the base station and the mobile operators’ core network and eliminates the need for costly investments in backhaul links, BT said.
BT said the new technology will provide carriers with another tool to combat the pending data crunch and move the marker forward toward 5G.
“Using G.fast to deliver a cellular network is an exciting breakthrough for C-RAN and yet another world first for our team of researchers at Adastral Park,” said BT’s Managing Director for Research and Innovation Tim Whitley. “These technologies will play a key role in 4G networks and will be fundamental to 5G architectures. The trials are another step towards a fixed and mobile network which will support customers’ increasing demands for data.”
Filed Under: Infrastructure