Steerable antenna allows millimetre wave backhaul link in urban networks

Paul Boughton

MIMOtech has developed a fully-integrated millimetre-wave radio link that uses a steerable antenna to overcome the problems of short-range small-cell backhaul in urban networks.

The StarLink 60G operates in the 57–66GHz frequency band (V-band), providing cost-effective high-capacity wireless point-to-point Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for network operators and service providers.

StarLink 60G features a patented automatic antenna alignment technique that makes deployment fast, simple and cost-effective. Channel bandwidth is scalable from 56MHz up to 250MHz with flexible modulation from QPSK to 64QAM and hitless Adaptive Modulation (HAACM). This allows for management of spectral bandwidth versus capacity requirements—and in some cases annual spectrum costs—depending on local 60GHz regulations. The small aperture size of 0.2m and low mass make the StarLink 60G suitable for pole mounting in urban environments, minimizing site leasing costs.

“StarLink 60G has been designed to meet the stringent requirements of mobile network operators and service providers, offering an easily-installed carrier-grade backhaul solution that provides high capacity combined with low total cost of ownership,” said Buks Fouche, managing director of MIMOtech. “Its unique electronically-stabilized lens antenna system is designed to overcome pole sway, twist and tilt, and it has a near-zero footprint, making it ideal for street-level installations.”

The underlying millimetre-wave technology is an advanced silicon germanium (SiGe) chipset with a highly integrated transceiver design, allowing both time-division (TDD) and frequency-division duplexing (FDD) operation. This millimeter-wave technology has several advantages—most importantly the use of standard manufacturing techniques and the capability to cover higher millimeter-wave frequencies, including the 70/80GHz ultra high capacity backhaul band.

MIMOtech plans to release a 70/80GHz product later this year to complement the StarLink 60G, expanding its product offering to address higher capacity, longer range backhaul requirements in the 70/80GHz band in addition to the short-range 60GHz requirements for small cell backhaul that are covered by the StarLink 60G.

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