Ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi for subways

Tuesday, 13 February, 2018

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A mobile hot-spot network featuring an extremely fast 1.25 Gbps data transmission has been developed for public transportation systems by ETRI in South Korea. A pilot project featuring the new technology in Seoul’s subway lines will begin later this year.

The network is able to provide ultra-fast internet service in high-speed trains by combining two technologies.

First, the network transmits data using millimeter waves with a frequency greater than 20 GHz, which enable data transmission 100 times faster than existing WiBro backhaul networks.

The second key part is a fast handover technology that seamlessly transfers data transmission from one base station to another.

“The mobile hot-spot network (MHN) technology can provide high-speed Wi-Fi services even in a fast running subway train, just like home Wi-Fi,” said Hyun Kyu Chung, the president of ETRI’s 5G Giga Service Research Laboratory.

“Our technology will provide the world’s first commercial service using millimetre waves as a moving wireless backhaul for subways.”

ETRI successfully demonstrated data service up to 500 Mbps in 2016 and then up to 1.25 Gbps in 2017. The technology could enable a maximum of 550 users to watch a video simultaneously through Wi-Fi in a running subway train.

ETRI is currently collaborating with other institutes to develop an enhanced mobile hot-spot network (MHN-E) to provide service up to a whopping 10 Gbps.

Conceptual Graphic of MHN technology, courtesy ETRI.

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