Georgia Tech is conducting research that promises wireless speeds up to 2.5 Gbps using frequencies in the 40 to 60 GHz band. The millimeter band radios would be built into the ceilings of rooms and interconnected using fiber and the modulation used on the optical fiber would be chosen to minimize the complexity of the millimeter band devices. The cost of the components will need to be reduced for it to become cost-competitive for the home or small office/home office market, but it could be commercially available within five to seven years.
In the laboratory, Dr. Gee-Kung Chang, professor at School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his colleagues Jianjun Yu, Zhensheng Jia, Yong-Kee Yeo and Benny Bing have already demonstrated transmission of 32 wavefronts, each with 2.5 Gbps wireless service.
Chang described the benefits of his system, saying, "You could have one network shared by many providers because bandwidth is not a limitation once you combine the advantages of optical and wireless access systems. If you look into the future, the broadest bandwidth possible would come through combining and integrating optical and wireless services in a single network."
Chang is collaborating with fellow Georgia Tech professors Manos Tentzeris and John Papapolymerou to develop antenna designs for delivering high-speed wireless services to specific areas in a building without interfering with service in adjoining spaces. Chang is working with Faramarz Fekri at Georgia Tech to develop efficient coding methods to deal with the difficult propagation environment 40 to 60 GHz signals face inside a building.
For more information on this technology, see Optical-Wireless Convergence: New Network Architecture Delivers Super-Broadband Wired and Wireless Service Simultaneously.
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