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Virgin Media trials wireless radio signals to help supply 1Gps broadband

Virgin Media has set up consumers in a UK village with gigabit internet connections, providing up to 1Gps download and 150Mbps upload speeds.

And, it managed to do so without having to lay down extra fibre cables across the English countryside.

That’s because the connections in Greenham, a small village outside Newbury, are part supplied using trialled wireless radio signals. By using specialist Ericsson radio technology, Virgin Media is successfully transmitting a 10Gbps signal over a range of 3-kilometres.

That means it can send a full superspeed data connection between two “trunk” points without having to dig up parts of the countryside, thereby serving some remote areas with 1-gig fast broadband.

Some cabling is required, with each of the trialled homes having fibre to their door. Residents have also had the Hub 3.0 router and Virgin TV V6 box installed.

While the trial currently supplies 12 homes, the system is able to serve up to 500 with stable connections. Virgin Media is also confident that the radio link can be reconfigured to support a 20Gbps connection, which would expand the possible service area to 2,000 homes.

The 3km range was determined to be the optimum distance to guarantee reliability in all weather conditions. However, the technology can be chained to expand the range by using separate trunk points.

Further trials of the technology will take place in the UK later this year.

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