November 15, 2016 — Facebook’s Connectivity Lab’s terrestrial point-to-point link in Southern California test has achieved a data rate of nearly 20 Gbps over 8 miles using a set of custom-built components.
“We are actively working to develop a variety of terrestrial and airborne technologies to help connect the world,” wrote Abhishek Tiwari of Facebook. “One of our goals is to provide connectivity in areas without traditional infrastructure and reliable power sources, so these technologies should be low-cost, energy efficient, and able to support a capacity of tens of gigabits per second over long ranges.”
The link used only 105 watts of total direct current power consumption at the transmitter and receiver. The transmission used a bandwidth of 2 GHz, resulting in an overall spectral efficiency of 9.8 bits per second per Hertz.”
The immediate goal is to use millimeter-wave technology to transmit bandwidth from the ground to solar-powered drones, which will be used to beam the internet to those on the ground.
“The technology we tested is applicable to a number of Connectivity Lab’s solutions. For example, it could be used as a terrestrial backhaul network to support access solutions like OpenCellular, or as a reliable backup to free space optical solutions such as the laser communications gimbal and optical detector in case of fog and clouds,” Tiwari wrote.
Facebook’s ultimate goal is drone-to-ground links to support capacities in excess of 30 Gbps over 18-31 miles.
For more information, go to http://tinyurl.com/hkyvwly