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December 19, 2014

World’s ‘fastest wireless network’ to arrive in Lancaster

Scientists are paving the way for the fastest performing Internet at affordable costs.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The first millimetre wave (W-band) wireless network system, said to be the ‘world’s fastest’, is being tested at Lancaster University, paving the way for high-speed Internet at affordable costs.

Scientists are set to expand the boundaries of millimetre wave communication, which uses "extremely high frequencies" to transmit data, as part of a £2.8m project.

Millimetre waves, found in the spectrum between microwaves and infrared waves, are considered the most promising and cheapest solution for future communication networks to secure high-speed wireless mobile and fixed point Internet.

The university will also examine recent advances in the field of vacuum electronics and solid state electronics using millimetre wave frequencies.

The TWEETHER project, funded by the EU’s Horizon’s 2020 research framework, comes following increased demand for mobile data, which has placed unprecedented strain on networks. This has been seen especially in residential and rural areas where optical fibre, often slow and expensive, is not available.

Lancaster University’s Professor of Electronics Claudio Paoloni said: "The enormous flux of data transferred via wireless networks, increasing at a super-high pace, makes today’s state-of-the-art networks quickly outdated."

"The huge spread of portable smart phone, tablets and the increasing demand of services hungry for data, such as high definition TV, videoconferencing and online games, are posing formidable challenges with the congestion of the available spectrum and the limits of present technology."

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A t the end of the three-year project, the scientists are hoping to build a "powerful and compact transmission hub with "unprecedented performance".

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