Ericsson and Telefonica Deutschland, which provides services under the O2 brand, have successfully demonstrated 5G wireless backhaul for rural and suburban coverage. This demo showed that the companies can deliver speeds of up to 10Gbps over a distance of more than 10km and demonstrate fibre-like microwave connectivity.

’We deliver fast mobile 5G connections to millions of customers across Germany. Bringing digitalisation to suburban and rural areas through mobile connectivity and fast 5G network rollout has therefore priority for us,’ said Aysenur Senyer, Director of Transport Networks at Telefonica Deutschland, adding: ‘Together with our partner Ericsson, we are pioneering new powerful microwave solutions using Carrier Aggregation (CA) and MIMO technology to backhaul 5G traffic over long distances in rural areas, when fibre is not an option. This type of technology enables us to deliver fibre-like connectivity via microwave and further accelerate our 5G deployment.’ Microwave backhaul is commonly seen as a more cost and time-efficient option compared to fibre deployment and Ericsson says that the demo has shown that high availability and high capacity can also be achieved with wireless transport. The backhaul link utilised the 18GHz frequency band, dual antennas in a MIMO configuration, and commercial MINI-LINK radios together with a pre-commercial baseband algorithm that allowed the use of MIMO in 2×112MHz channels.

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