Scientists Smash Wireless Speed Record With 6GB-per-Second Radio Transmission

European researchers sent the contents of a DVD nearly 23 miles in just a few seconds.

by Kastalia Medrano
Jorg Eiesenbeis, KIT

A collaborative effort by European scientists just broke the world record for fastest wireless data transmission. Researchers from the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF sent what they referred to as the “contents of a conventional DVD” a nearly 23 miles — Cologne to Wachtberg — in less than 10 seconds (a rate of six gigabit per second). An IAF press release published today detailed the combination of powerful transmission and efficient amplifiers necessary to carry the signal so quickly – more than 10 times faster than the previously reigning time – over such a distance.

The collaboration is called ACCESS (Advanced E Band Satellite Link Studies), and this recent success could have big implications for terrestrial radio transmission, like downloading satellite data or providing faster wifi to rural areas. IAF also noted that advances in E Band can provide us with cheaper and more viable alternatives to optic fiber.

The transmission was sent to the Fraunhofer FHR in Wachtberg (visible as a dome on the horizon on the right below the cross).

Jörg Eisenbeis / KIT

“The unabatedly increasing demand for ever-higher data rates in fiber-based and wireless communication networks can only be mastered by technological innovations in the network infrastructure,” wrote IAF in the announcement. “What’s more, modern developments such as the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are only in their early stages. They will demand unprecedented aggregated data quantities. Their processing and transmission in cloud-based services is already today taking the communication infrastructure to its limits. In satellite communication as well, the progress in earth observation and space research as well as plans for a planet-scale satellite network are leading to yet unsolved challenges for the communication infrastructure.”

ACCESS wrapped up about a month ago, according to IAF, and now transitions into a follow-up E Band project called ELIPSE (E Band Link Platform and Test for Satellite Communication), which will focus on providing faster satellite communication.