Facebook and Nokia Partners to Expand Ecosystem for Fixed Wireless Access Over 60 GHz


Nokia and Facebook are working together to accelerate the adoption of 60 GHz fixed wireless access technologies to deliver gigabit services and connect people faster in rural, urban and suburban areas. The 60 GHz band allows high-speed broadband connectivity in these areas, complementing the existing fiber.

Nokia will combine its worldwide delivery capabilities and wireless passive optical network (WPON) with Facebook’s Terragraph technology. It will launch its global gigabit broadband trials in 2018 with at two locations serving customer traffic.

Facebook hopes to get parts of its Terragraph wireless comms platform standardised by the IEEE, and has recruited Nokia to help. Yael Maguire, VP of Connectivity, Facebook, said:

Terragraph is designed to help providers deploy fast and reliable connectivity for people in urban areas. Our partnership with Nokia will help advance Terragraph by building a robust, open ecosystem of inter-operable commercial solutions based on 60GHz technologies.

How Would this Work?
Facebook's Terragraph Project
Facebook’s Terragraph Project

Terragraph is a big part of Facebook’s plan to connect 3.8 billion people who are not yet online and improve the experiences of those already connected to Facebook using the 60 GHz band multi node wireless system which delivers high speed wireless access at a low cost.

Now this partnership gives Facebook access to Nokia’s WPON (Wireless Passive Optical Network), which provides a wireless gigabit drop to the home for broadband access networks. Nokia’s WPON will use Terragraph for the wireless part of the network while Terragraph adds mesh routing, multi-hop support, and high reliability to the air interface which meets with the growing demand for ultra-broadband access.

Nokia's WPON
Nokia’s WPON

Launched last year, Nokia’s Wireless PON is based on 802 .11 ad WiGig technology and provides a wireless drop for fiber-to-the-home networks which makes it economical. Access points can be easily mounted on street poles and walls of buildings and will deliver connections at gigabit speeds up to 300m from the access point to a self-installable WPON home unit.

Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Ovum’s Next-gen Infrastructure Practice said:

Nokia and Facebook’s collaboration is a perfect example of combining two strong solutions to bring gigabit broadband to more people faster. While fiber is being pushed deeper and deeper, the physical connection to the home or apartment requires additional resources. Combining Nokia’s WPON solution with Facebook’s Terragraph 60 GHz technology, ensures the future-proofing of bandwidth while meeting competitive time-to-market and cost points.

By using the WPON solution rather than bringing fiber into every home, Facebook’s goal to create a strong platform and ecosystem for introducing 60GHz Terragraph-certified solutions to the marketplace. Delivering gigabit services to more people would be a reality very soon.


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