Today's mobile networks need to be fast. Speed is not only necessary between the radio towers and the users' smartphones, tablets or laptops… the radio towers must also have a fast connection to the internet and the network's backbone (backhaul link), otherwise they become a bottleneck and cannot receive and re-transmit the videos or music the users wish to watch or listen to. Ideally, the thousands of radio towers/rooftop antennas would be connected via fibre optic cables. Since that is not always possible, the E3Network-project is working on higher speeds even for those towers that cannot be connected by fibre.

Wireless millimetre wave links are widely used instead of fibre for the backhaul link due to their low deployment cost. Current millimetre wave technologies cannot support the required bandwidth for future network backhaul infrastructures. In the past, when the networks carried mainly telephone calls, this was not an issue.

The EU-funded E3Network project is designing a wireless millimetre transceiver that will enable the transmission of information with a data rate above 10 Gigabytes per second in future network backhaul infrastructures. It will operate in the E-Band (71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz). This band offers adequate propagation features for the short backhaul links (~1 km) that will be required in the future networks. Designing circuits for such high frequencies is challenging and normally expensive fabrication processes are required for the transceiver circuits. The E3Network project employs advanced silicon based integration technologies to achieve a reduced cost integrated system.

Thus, the E3Network project will provide a key element to enable high speed broadband internet connections in the future network in a less expensive but more efficient way. Prototypes of the circuits have already been fabricated and are being tested by partners of the consortium. European citizens will soon be able to benefit from this new technology.

E3Network will be part of the exhibition at ICT 2015 from 20 – 22 October 2015 in Lisbon and can be found in the Transform-area.

E3Network in the ICT 2015 catalogue

Project website

ICT 2015 - Lisbon - 20-22 October 2015