Facebook is partnering with Qualcomm for high-speed wireless internet

Facebook has enlisted Qualcomm to provide tech for their gigabit Wi-Fi project, aiming to send data through routers more efficiently and with higher speeds. The project, entitled the Terragraph Project, was announced two years ago at their annual developer conference, saying the project was “a multi-node wireless system focused on bringing high-speed internet connectivity to dense urban areas”.

Qualcomm will integrate new chipsets with the Terragraph technology, so that manufacturers can upgrade routers to send data at 60GHz frequency, making broadband connections reach higher speeds.

On top of this, Qualcomm is working on a 5G small cell chipset for phones, which was announced today, working with “early access” partners to provide this as soon as possible. There is no official statement of whose carries will be part of this early access, but given previous partnerships, predictions could be made that Nokia and Samsung will be one of the special companies to be granted this chipset.

Facebook and Qualcomm’s tech is based on the 802.11ay WLAN standard, a standard that offers transmission rates up to 20-40 Gbps over 300-500 metre distances. The current project involves tweaking the standard with enhancements like bigger antennas, channel bonding and time synchronised nodes.

This innovative Wi-Fi project is aiming to get past urban obstacles like buses, trams, long cars (classically known as limousines), high intensity sky scrapers, parks, banks and shopping trolleys. Doing so should serve more users while reducing the upfront costs, according to Facebook.

There was no mention of where the companies collaborating were planning on running the trials, through Facebook had previously stated that Terragraph Project tests would be executed in San Jose. Facebook and Qualcomm are trying to provide internet in areas where the regulation or restriction of laying fibre makes connections very expensive for people.