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Sprinkle magic on the broadband market

In 2005, European research project Gandalf – building on the work of Obanet – delivered a breakthrough technique to radically boost fixed-line and wireless data rates in the goal of providing ‘broadband for all’ in Europe. Now, a new spin-off company, called DAS Photonics, has been created to sprinkle a bit of that magic on the market.

Gandalf – the research project, not the fabled wizard – has developed groundbreaking technology to boost existing dsl data rates a thousand-fold and wifi by up to a hundredfold. The technique allows data to flow seamlessly over both wireless and fixed-line communications, a world first when initially reported by ICT Results in 2005.

The culmination of nearly five years of EU-funded research – first with Obanet, then Gandalf – the new technique uses an optical feeder (“photonic beamformer”) to shoot data over both cable and wireless networks.

By simplifying the electronics involved at both the transmitter and receiving ends, this dual format is good news for operators because it is relatively cheap to deploy. In principle, cost savings could then be passed on to bandwidth-hungry end-users, whether in homes or offices.

Counting on the savings
“We estimate that it would not cost more than, say, €50,000 or €60,000 to implement it across an entire network, which is peanuts for operators,” Javier Martí of the Technical University of Valencia in Spain earlier told ICT Results.

Most significantly perhaps, Gandalf’s then coordinator went on to suggest, the system would give operators access to more clients without having to undergo costly public works to lay new fibre optic cable. Existing cable could be used to relay data to the closest access node to clients’ homes before being converted into a wireless signal.

Following a period of successful testing, the Gandalf project concluded at the end of 2005. But ICT Results has received reports that a spin-off company, DAS Photonics, has been created to exploit the results and techniques developed in Obanet and Gandalf.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
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