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In this paper, a 3-bit optical beamforming architecture based in 2×2 optical switches and dispersive media is proposed and demonstrated. The performance of this photonic beamformer is experimentally demonstrated at 42.7 GHz in both transmission and reception modes. The progress achieved for realizing these architectures with integrated optics is also reported. Due to its advanced features (i.e., potential fast-switching, huge bandwidth, and immunity to electromagnetic interference), the architecture is a very promising alternative to traditional beamforming technologies for implementing beamformed base-station antennas in fixed and mobile broad-band wireless access networks operating in the millimeter-wave band. The study presented here has been carried out in the frame of the IST 2000-25390 OBANET project.