Home Telecoms & NBN NBN rockets to new speed high in gigabit wireless trial

NBN rockets to new speed high in gigabit wireless trial

The operator of the National Broadband Network, NBN Co, is cock-a-hoop over a speed trial in which the network hit speeds of 1.1Gbps downstream and 165mbps upstream in a  recent fixed wireless demonstration in Ballarat.

The speed trial, which NBN Co describes as “groundbreaking”, was achieved by using Carrier Aggregation technology that fused seven carriers in the 3.4GHz spectrum band and four carriers in the 2.3GHz spectrum band.

The 1.1Gbps speed was achieved by bonding together three next generation Wireless Network Termination Devices (WNTDs) — the antennae located on the roof of a nearby school — while the other speeds were all achieved via a single WNTD.

As part of the demonstration for media, including iTWire, the network also delivered trial peak speeds of 400Mbps/55Mbps, 250Mbps/50Mbps and 100/40Mbps, all using carriers in the two spectrum bands.

The high speed trials were conducted with NBN Co’s fixed wireless technology partner Ericsson along with NetComm Wireless and Qualcomm, while the speed tests were conducted with technology from Mill Software.

To conduct the trial, NBN Co used a spare operating sector on an established NBN fixed wireless tower and installed additional radio equipment.

NBN Co has said it is already committed to launching a new NBN 100 Fixed Wireless product aimed at regional businesses in 2018 and claims the success of its “ultra-fast” fixed wireless demonstration underlines the company's ability to launch even faster services on the NBN fixed wireless network.

“Our ability to deliver gigabit speeds on Fixed Wireless demonstrates our continued focus on identifying and implementing tech advancements as and when they are needed, across all technologies,” said NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow.

"It's particularly exciting to be able to reaffirm our commitment to delivering a great experience to the 600,000 premises in regional Australia that will be served by the fixed wireless network.

“Our Fixed Wireless network has already been recognised as a world leader and we are determined to maintain that position by making sure regional Australians get access to the same high speed broadband available in our cities.

“This also underlines the importance of NBN’s spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands in allowing high speed services to Australians.”

“Plenty of Australians would love the chance to move away from the big cities and have an improved quality of life in regional Australia. However, one of the main impediments to doing this is being able to stay connected to your workplace unless you have access to good quality broadband,” said Jack .Archer, chief executive of the Regional Australia Institute.

“That’s why it is great to see NBN trialling higher speed services on its fixed wireless network – this will help make the regional dream possible in the future for a lot more Australians in a lot more places.”

Index photo: courtesy NBN Co

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).