Millimeter wave (mmWave) fixed wireless access (FWA) technology is an up-and-coming broadband access flavor. It holds the promise of providing residential and business users with fiber-like network speeds, without having to dig up sidewalks, driveways, or people’s front yards.
On the downside, FWA deployments might suffer from signal quality degradations caused by unfavorable weather conditions, the surrounding vegetation, or objects and buildings blocking the wireless signal’s path. Clearly, the impact of such factors on the end user’s experience must be kept to a minimum. Building reflections, on the other hand, could also be used to propagate the signals, and thus merit additional attention.
“These are the challenges imec researchers tackled during the imec.icon ‘MM-WAVES’ project,” says David Plets, MM-WAVES’ research lead. “Researchers from WAVES (an imec research group at Ghent University) focused on assessing signal quality through thorough characterization of the wireless FWA propagation environment. These insights were combined with custom-built routing and link management protocols from IDLab (an imec research group at Ghent University and UAntwerp).”
“Thanks to imec’s expertise, MM-WAVES’ industrial partners now have access to an optimal mmWave FWA network topology and layout. This will allow them to translate their initial, small-scale field trial into larger commercial deployments,” he concludes.
“mmWave fixed wireless access (FWA) technology is an up-and-coming broadband access flavor. Our expertise in assessing signal quality and optimizing a network’s layout has been instrumental to the success of the imec.icon MM-WAVES project. It paves the way for large, commercial deployments.” – David Plets, MM-WAVES’ research lead.
The MM-WAVES consortium consisted of: Pharrowtech, Telenet Group NV and UnitronGroup – complemented by IDLab (an imec research group at UAntwerp and Ghent University), and WAVES (an imec research group at Ghent University).
The imec.icon MM-WAVES project was co-funded by imec, and received project support from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). It ran from October 1st, 2020 till December 31st, 2022.
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23 February 2023