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Very High Speed : the hertzian technologies as a solution for rural isolated territories ?

Source : 01Net le 27/06/2018

At least 2.2 million homes and businesses are expected to be eligible for THD Radio by 2022. This 4G-based technology promises to deliver up to 30 Mbit / s Internet acces quickly and possibly 1 gigabit at by 2024  thanks to the 5G technologie currently being developped.

If France reaches its optimistic goal of 30.8 million optic fiber lines eligible by 2022, there will still be 6 million homes and businesses left aside in the meantime. Among all the palliative solutions evoked by the government, one of them stands out: THD Radio. The Eutelsat satellite offering very high speed is not expected before 2021 and the upscaling of copper seems hypothetical. There are 4G boxes, but they are reserved for territories already equipped with a very good mobile network. THD Radio is therefore the easiest solution to implement in remote rural areas.

Between 2,2 and 11 millions concerned

"We expect 2.2 million eligible users for THD Radio by 2022," says Philippe Le Grand, Nomotech vice-president, an operator specializing hertzian solutions networks. "But at this time copper upgrades (via ADSL) are not achieved, we forecast an increase up to 5.9 million if the copper upgrade is stopped, and the figure could increase to 11 million in the case of a delay in optic fiber deployements ".

THD Radio uses 4G TD LTE technology to provide fixed access to the Internet and requires antennas to be deployed at high points, as well as a smaller antenna on the roof or facade of the building to be connected. The user is then free to connect his devices as he wants from a router: wired or Wi-Fi, and drawing on the commercial offers of FAI as Nordnet (subsidiary of Orange) or Ozone (subsidiary of Nomotech).

up to 1 Gbit/s speed ?

The Arcep (telecom regulator in France) has freed a dedicated frequency to THD Radio last December (between 3,410 and 3,460 GHz) until 2026. High frequencies with a good spectrum, up to 30 Mbit / s of debt. They are awarded without auction but only if used for of a public project. The first authorization was issued May 25 in Seine-et-Marne, a department that was already experimenting this solution since 2016. 142 municipalities and 300,000 potential users are concerned. "Some of our residents are 8km away from the ADSL NRA. At this distance, they can only hope to reach 2 Mbps speed. With this bit, you can't access tripleplay services. And unfortunately it also encourages companies to leave the territory, "explains Dominique Leroy, Seine-et-Marne Numérique General Director. 33 stations have been activated and 700 subscribers have switched to this solution since march. Two-thirds of whom already benefited from WiMAX and migrated to THD Radio, the rest being new subscribers attracted by the service.

Network operators also believe they can improve the speed furthermore with the upcoming arrival of the 5G technology. "We could reach the gigabit of speed by adopting 5G technologies by 2024," says Philippe Le Grand of Nomotech, referring in particular to the massive MIMO which consists of multiplying antennas in transmission and reception. But it will still be necessary to convince the Arcep to perpetuate the frequencies beyond 2026.

Read article (french)

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