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RF and Optical Integration

Wed 20 Oct


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The auction of 100 MHz of C band spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for $80 billion dollars in the US earlier this year has helped to drive global investment in a new wave of high capacity terrestrial cellular networks. In the 5G community we think of these as radio systems but in practice these networks are dependent on the efficient integration of RF and optical transport at optical C band (191 THz to 195 THz).

In parallel for $8 billion dollars a satellite operator can have a LEO constellation with several thousand satellites covering all latitudes and longitudes with multiple payloads including GNSS, multi spectral sub metre imaging and global Wi-Fi. Increasingly these networks are deploying inter satellite and inter constellation optical switching and optical uplinks and downlinks to provide cost effective power efficient bandwidth and added value to terrestrial networks.

These are not new technologies. The industry has been deploying terrestrial fibre now for fifty years and RF over fibre for thirty years and today’s high count LEO constellations are a second iteration of Ku and Ka band networks planned thirty years ago ( Skybridge and Teledesic).

Over the past fifty years, losses per kilometre in terrestrial fibre have reduced from 20 dB per kilometre to 0.2 dB per kilometre. In space, 60,000 kilometre inter GSO links are being deployed at low power and low cost transforming the delivery economics of long distance broadband backhaul. Ever higher levels of coherent modulation make these links ever more efficient.

At this webinar, we track the fifty year history of technology evolution in terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks and study how RF and optical technologies are together creating new service offers and profit opportunities.

We are delighted to have presentations from Richard Jacklin of ViaLite on RF over Fibre, Richard Johanson of Archangel on the evolution of free space optics for LEO and HAPS based networks and Andy Sutton from BT on the integration of RF and fibre transport in terrestrial 5G networks with a follow on panel discussion of how these evolving technologies can be more closely coupled across terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks.

Event Details

  • Event: RF and Optical Integration
  • Date: Wed 20 Oct
  • Time: 2PM
  • Location: Online

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