Gigabit Wireless

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A site with multiple Gigabit Wireless radios

Gigabit Wireless is the name given to wireless communication systems whose data transfer speeds exceed reach or exceed one gigabit (one billion bits) per second. Such speeds are achieved with complex modulations of the signal, such as quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) or signals spanning many frequencies. When a signal spans many frequencies, physicists refer that a wide bandwidth signal. In the communication industry, many Wireless Internet service providers and cell phone companies deploy wireless radio frequency antennas to backhaul core networks, connect businesses, and even individual residential homes.[1][2]

Common frequencies and bands for Gigabit Wireless[edit]

For more detail on indoor protocols and information, see the see Wireless Gigabit Alliance page. In general, indoor protocols follow a cross-vendor standard and communicate in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and (soon) 60 GHz bands.

The outdoor carrier link protocols vary widely and are not compatible across vendors (and often models from the same vendor).

Examples of frequency and bandwidths at and approaching Gigabit Wireless
Category Frequency Band size (MHz) Modulations Full Duplex capacity (Mbit/s) Distance References
Indoor Consumer Grade AC 5 GHz 80 IEEE 802.11ac ~200 Same room [3]
Outdoor PtP AC 5 GHz 80 IEEE 802.11ac 290 20 km [4]
Unlicensed carrier grade 24 GHz 100 256 QAM 1000 15 km [5]
Licensed modern carrier grade 11 GHz 100 256 QAM 750 100 km [6]
Carrier grade V-Band 60 GHz 125-500 64 QAM 500 - 1000 1 km - 2.4 km [7][8][9]
Carrier grade E-Band 80 GHz 125-1250 32 QAM 1000 - 10,000 10 km [10][11]

Note: the higher bandwidth devices require a less complex modulation to achieve high speeds.

Capable of a Symmetric Gigabit Link
Brand Description In business
Mimosa licensed 11 GHz antennas, and unlicensed 5 GHz Yes
Siklu licensed 70/80 GHz, and unlicensed 60 GHz, Yes
Ubiquiti Unlicensed 5 and 24 GHz Yes
Bridgewave V and E Band Yes
Vubiq V Band Yes[8]
Athena V Band No
IgniteNet [12] Unlicensed 60GHz + 5GHz Failover Yes

Wireless broadband[edit]

Internet service providers (ISP's) are looking for ways to expand gigabit per second (Gbit/s) high-speed services to their customers. These can be achieved through fiber to the premises broadband network architecture, or a more affordable alternative using fixed wireless in the last mile in combination with the fiber networks in the middle mile in order to reduce the costs of trenching fiber optic cables to the users. In the United States, 60 GHz V band is unlicensed. This makes the V band an appealing choice to be used as fixed wireless access for Gbit/s services to connect to homes and businesses. Similarly, 70/80 GHz E band is lightly licensed which can be more accessible to more providers to provide such services.[13]

There had been some early adopters of the hybrid fiber-wireless approach to provide Gbit/s services to customers. One of those ISP's was Webpass, a company founded in 2003 in San Francisco as a wireless ISP focusing on buildings in big cities. Since then, Webpass had been increasing the speeds along with improved wireless technologies. By 2015, Webpass offered 1 Gbit/s connections to commercial customers, however, the residential customers were limited to speeds of up to 500 Mbit/s to share the 1 Gbit/s wireless link among many residents in the same building. The company utilized a combination of various licensed and unlicensed bands.[14]

In January 2016, a startup company Starry from Boston introduced Starry Point with the goal to provide Gbit/s speed internet wirelessly to homes. The device is a fixed wireless unit attached to a window as an access point to connect to Starry core networks using a millimetre wave band communication. The company did not reveal the details of the band, but claimed to be "the world’s first millimeter wave band active phased array technology for consumer internet communications".[15] However, in January 2018, at the time that the company announced the expansion of its beta service to cover 3 cities: Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, the speeds were still limited to up to 200 Mbit/s.[16]

In June 2016, Google Fiber acquired Webpass to boost its effort in its experiments with wireless technologies.[17] As a result, Google Fiber put its effort on fiber to the premises on hold to explore more on the cheaper wireless alternative.[18] By early 2017, the Webpass division of Google Fiber expanded 1 Gbit/s wireless service to customers in many cities in the United States.[19]

In November 2016, Atlas Networks, an ISP that serves Seattle, deployed its V-band Gbit/s service to customers within the 750-metre (0.47 mi) to its fiber networks. The maximum throughput for each connection was 1 gigabit per second.[20]

In October 2017, Cloudwifi, a startup ISP based in Kitchener, Ontario started using 60 GHz band fixed wireless to provide Gbit/s connectivity to customers within the 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) range of its fiber connection points.[21]

In October 2017, Newark Fiber enabled its first customer in Newark, New Jersey with 10 Gbit/s fixed wireless service.[22] Newark Fiber used V-band 10 Gbit/s transmitters with the distance of up to 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi).[23]


  1. ^ "High Capacity Wireless Backhaul Solutions", Gigabit Wireless Networks. Retrieved 04 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Gigabit To The Home", Siklu. Retrieved 04 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Gigabit Wireless? Five 802.11ac Routers, Benchmarked", Toms Hardware. Retrieved 05 March 2016
  4. ^ "AirMax AC-Lite Results", Retrieved 05 March 2016
  5. ^ "AirFiber HD", Retrieved 05 March 2016
  6. ^ "Mimosa B11", Retrieved 05 March 2016
  7. ^ "EtherHaul-600 V-Band Radio", Retrieved 05 March 2016
  8. ^ a b "VuBiq v60 data sheet", Retrieved 05 March 2016
  9. ^ Triad Wireless + IgniteNet MetroLinq PtP, Retrieved 03 March 2017
  10. ^ "EtherHaul-1200FX E-Band Radio", Retrieved 05 March 2016
  11. ^ "80GHz High-capacity Wireless Carrier Backhaul Links", Retrieved 05 March 2016
  12. ^ IgniteNet MetroLinq PtP and PtMP Systems, Retrieved 07 February 2018
  13. ^ Alleven, Monica (25 October 2017). "60 GHz band particularly appealing for fixed wireless: report". Fierce Wireless. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  14. ^ Brodkin, Jon (19 June 2015). "500Mbps broadband for $55 a month offered by wireless ISP". ARS Technica. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  15. ^ Kovach, Steve (27 January 2016). "This startup wants to bring super-fast, wireless internet to your home". Business Insider. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  16. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (4 January 2018). "Boston startup Starry expands its wireless broadband beta service to LA and DC 10". The Verge. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  17. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (23 June 2016). "Google Fiber buys Webpass to boost its high-speed internet business". CNBC. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  18. ^ Bookman, Samantha (9 August 2016). "Google Fiber's Webpass acquisition may be behind San Jose, other cities' rollout delay". FierceTelecom. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  19. ^ Brodkin, Jon (22 February 2017). "Google Fiber makes expansion plans for $60 wireless gigabit service". ARS Technica. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  20. ^ Hamilton, Laura (14 November 2016). "Atlas Networks Delivers Wireless Gigabit Internet in Seattle". CED Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  21. ^ Hetting, Claus (23 October 2017). "Cloudwifi cuts Internet costs in half – with fibre & IgniteNet 60 GHz radio". WiFi Now. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  22. ^ Quaintance, Zack (26 October 2017). "What's New in Civic Tech: Cybersecurity Expert Calls for Creation of 'Cyber Peace Corps'". Government Technology. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  23. ^ "Vubiq HaulPass V10g Deployed in Newark's 2 Gateway Building, First in City to Offer 10 Gigabit Fixed Wireless Connectivity". Vubiq. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2018.