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Australia Networking Wireless Networking Technology

CSIRO Develops 10 Gbps Microwave Backhaul 121

theweatherelectric writes "James Hutchinson of iTnews writes, 'CSIRO has begun talks with global manufacturers to commercialise microwave technology it says can provide at least 10 Gbps symmetric backhaul services to mobile towers. The project, funded out of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund and a year in planning, could provide a ten-fold increase in the speed of point-to-point microwave transmission systems within two years, according to project manager, Dr Jay Guo. Microwave transmission is used to link mobile towers back to a carrier's network where it is physically difficult or economically unviable to run fibre to the tower. Where current technology has an upper limit of a gigabit per second to multiple towers over backhaul, the government organisation said it could provide the 10 Gbps symmetric speeds over ranges of up to 50 kilometres.'"
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CSIRO Develops 10 Gbps Microwave Backhaul

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  • by kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:34AM (#39611079) Homepage
    These guys need hire some scientists instead of lawyers.. It's called innovation guys!
  • You sure it was CSIRO's innovation and not recycling of ideas that are otherwise trivial and done by someone else?

  • by ignavus ( 213578 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:50AM (#39611111)

    See? The CSIRO engages in actual research, and patents its own work, and licences its own patented work to others.

    It doesn't go around buying up patents from other companies with the aim of litigation.

    The result of non-Australians paying for the use of CSIRO patents will be further research by CSIRO that could improve technology for the rest of the world - not just for Australians. If patents are to exist at all, this is how it should work.

    • by mrmeval ( 662166 )

      Maybe they'll get it wedged into an industry standard and have the fund rolling in from suckers who think standards mean "free to use".

    • No. CSIRO are trolls.

      I've been meeting them for quite some years now and the CSIRO guys I've met are about protectionism. Since they lost their .edu status, they are about turning a buck. They will lie, cheat and steal their way through any bit of technology and pawn it off as their own. They may once have had skill but those days have gone.

      The CSIRO are pretending to be elite. They plant themselves into the University system and pinch any idea that has the smallest amount of creativity. They will tak

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I wouldn't mind so much except they never deliver on more than 90% of projects.

        That's why it's called science and research you retard. If you have a way of knowing which scientific study or development project based on new studies will be successful beforehand, please enlighten us, because we would like to bypass all that theorizing stuff and just plug numbers in formulae.

        • Thanks for that, CSIRO troll. There is a difference between research grants and projects you retard.

          I'm talking about the product development projects; The ones where other companies had existing contracts and the CSIRO came in and said 'No we can do better. We are the CSIRO.' Years later on delivery date and no product. Just a little document that stated how hard it was and there were all sorts of difficulties. "But if you give us another couple of million, we'll deliver it. We promise."

          The governme

          • The ones where other companies had existing contracts and the CSIRO came in and said 'No we can do better. We are the CSIRO.' Years later on delivery date and no product.

            So that makes them patent trolls does it? Nice to know that you think because you hate an organization, you'll put any label on them even if it doesn't actually mean what you intend.
            If the CSIRO are incompetent, then the correct label is "incompetent". "Patent troll" does not mean incompetent. "Patent troll" does not just mean "a company that has patents and have sued".
            Again, you miss the important point that the CSIRO works on projects, whether scientific studies or product development where the scienc

            • I said troll. Not patent troll. You're reading comprehension skills are something to be desired mate.

              • s/you're/your/g

              • You said troll, but the post you were replying to specifically targeted opinions that labelled CSIRO as a PATENT TROLL. It is reasonable for me thus assume you were also talking about patent trolls. Now that you admit you weren't talking about patent trolls, but your parent post was, YOU are the one with a reading comprehension, arsehole.
    • Lots of people believe they are trolls.The appellation is generally applied to non-practicing holders who sue infringers, especially if they try to get a permanent injunction to cease practicing the invention, or if the patent covers an implementation standard.

      In this case CSIRO is suing people who implement IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g and go after permanent injunctions. This is poor behavior. [] []

  • Cost? (Score:4, Informative)

    by aquarajustin ( 1070708 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:51AM (#39611113)
    Ubiquiti just announced their AirFiber product ( which can get 1.4 Gbps symmetric at 13km. It'll be interesting to see the price point of this 10 Gbps system, as Ubiquiti's runs only $3k per endpoint. I was considering getting a pair of the Ubiquitis to connect a branch office to HQ.

    10 Gbps would be nice, but I'm guessing the cost of this system would be at least a magnitude greater than the AirFibers.
    • Just note that two links side by side could be slower than one link, due to co-location interference.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Two links will be fine on the same tower. The beamwidth is very narrow at 24GHz and the radios are GPS synched.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Probably aiming at slightly different markets

      airfiber range, 13km, fta band
      csiro range, 50km, not specified but probably aimed for licensed bands

      • Agreed. Thought it was interesting nonetheless. Don't even know how this new system's spectral characteristics would play out in the U.S., as I have absolutely no idea how similar/dissimilar the band licensing is to AU.

        Looks like the Ubiquitis could be installed by a highly trained monkey with the software they've included.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's actually 700 Mbps symmetric, and that is achievable at about 1.5 miles (Direct from the engineers mouthes at the release conference). 24gHz is also prone to "rain fade". This will be a great product but make sure you read through all the marketing BS. As a note Ubiquity is in the market to have "Disruptive Pricing". Most other vendors are selling PtP links at the same speed for closer to $13K - $25K.

  • by shione ( 666388 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @04:01AM (#39611137) Journal

    Now they can implement this into the NBN and allow those that can only have wireless access and not cable have this.Actually at this speed it could exceed the cable part of the NBN.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by duk242 ( 1412949 )
      Nope, the Fibre is capable of speeds greater than 10gbit, just the tech on either end isn't at that spec for the runs to the houses (as it's currently unnecessary).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I believe you'll find this tech is expensive, having to install large microwave equipment aside rather tall towers. I doubt the government is going to pay to erect a huge ass tower and gigantic microwave dish and the same on a tower 50km away pointing directly at you. I'm sure it's the least of costs, but it probably uses much more power than your microwave too.

    • No. Point to point microwave technology is not helpful to get connectivity out to lots of people. The dishes need to be perfectly aligned to each other since the signal is deliberately kept within a very narrow beam. Microwave doesn't bounce off things like the lower frequencies used for wifi.

      • No. Point to point microwave technology is not helpful to get connectivity out to lots of people. The dishes need to be perfectly aligned to each other since the signal is deliberately kept within a very narrow beam. Microwave doesn't bounce off things like the lower frequencies used for wifi.

        Alignment of dishes is also needed to preserve a good signal / noise ratio needed by high efficiency modulation. The alternative would be to increase the transmitter power a lot with the downside of leaking interference all around.

        I assume special antenna construction is part of this high-speed technology too.

        • My workplace was on a microwave link for a while.

          It royally sucked. Every time it rained, snowed or was windy or foggy the link degraded severely. Unless this technology improves link quality in bad weather I'd say it was a waste of time to develop it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @04:23AM (#39611183)

    A vital point not explicitly highlighted in the summary - the Science and Industry Endowment Fund providing some of the funding for this work was the main beneficiary of last year's settlement around CSIRO's wireless patent.

    That is, the settlement money is being directly reinvested in new research to further develop wireless technologies, as well as public good research in other fields.

    • CSIRO develop technologies, patent them, then license them at fair terms. They then use that licensing revenue to develop new technologies, patent them, and license them at fair terms. And repeat.

      It's not like CSIRO are patent trolls. The WLAN thing only got dragged out in course because greedy companies were not interested in fair licensing terms.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @04:29AM (#39611191)
    ... the usage caps will not increase.
    • I pay less for 500GB/month at 100mbit today than I did for 80GB/month at 20mbit five years ago.

      However, I do wish that locally mirrored content wasn't counted towards quotas. Then maybe we could somewhat reduce (not eliminate) our relative reliance on our international links

  • Make patents non-tradable. If a company is sold or goes under, the patents go to the public domain. Same thing if a person holds the patent. Person dies, patents evaporate. Even better? Extend the law to also include copyright.

    • by Barny ( 103770 )

      All the people who would need to vote on such a thing are the same people being paid by the 'rights holders' not to allow such things to happen.

      It is a nice dream though :3

    • by Anonymous Coward

      To do that, you need to make patents non-licensable, or you could just sign a contract that says "I allow you to use this patent in full, for the lifetime of the patent, and promise that I won't use it myself.". Has exactly the same effect as trading it.

      And if you do that, then you lose a lot of the benefit of patents. If some dude comes up with a better seat belt design in his garage, he's not going to produce a line of cars by himself: he's going to license the design to auto manufacturers. If he can't

    • And then companies will pay Guide $5,000 to have the inventors assassinated so that their valuable patents have now expired.

      No license fees? Pure profit!
  • Precipitation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jamesl ( 106902 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:30AM (#39611591)

    Microwave transmission is/can be blocked/degraded by precipitation which is not a good thing. If this is a problem with this technology it will likely be implemented in only the most extreme locations -- where laying cable is very very expensive and utilization will be light.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh no, CSIRO are inventing wireless tech again, quick someone tell Joe Mullins so he can claim someone else did it!

  • Am I the only person who had to look up what a 'backhaul' was? In >15 years of working with IT I have never heard this term.

    As I am reading about it, it looks like this applies to phone networks almost exclusively. It seems to be the same thing as a 'backbone' when discussing a network.

    I suppose as we get closer and closer to phones=internet=telecommunications=data becoming true it becomes hard to distinguish.

    • yeh....your the only person who looked it up, pretty common term. lol dont feel bad, probably plenty of terms you know that others dont.
    • Yup, you are. I've heard it time and time again from broadband network engineers here.

    • by Fjandr ( 66656 )

      'Backbone' refers to core network links, while 'backhaul' usually refers to secondary links which connect edge networks or endpoint aggregators to the backbone.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun