X

Connect (X)

Tag Archives: AT&T Antenna Services Group

Shentel, AT&T Trials Feature Massive MIMO

February 16, 2017 – Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) and AT&T have complete completed multiple commercial trials featuring a Massive MIMO in licensed Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) LTE spectrum using technology from Blue Danube Systems.

The trials were conducted using Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 active antenna product for advanced 3D beamforming, which is capable of delivering 160 watts of transmit power for a Massive MIMO system. Based on its underlying High Definition Active Antenna System (HDAAS) technology, the 96-element BeamCraft 500 can intelligently and seamlessly focus signal energy where it is needed, allowing wireless carriers to better serve high demand areas and minimize interference zones.

“The demand for Massive MIMO solutions continues to increase as industry gears towards delivering 4G advancements and 5G. Mobile carriers are looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to improve network capacity and Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 is the first product designed to provide operators a low friction upgrade at existing sites targeting lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) for high-capacity,” said Earl Lum, president at EJL Wireless Research.

The trials supported more than 10 terabits of data during a three-month period through a simple retrofit of the existing antenna with Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 unit. At the trial sites, users experienced an improvement of 2X to 5X in throughput in high traffic demand areas using the same transmit power as the legacy installation. Additionally, users received up to 20X improvement in instantaneous video throughput and experienced smooth 1080p HD videos in locations where existing systems were stalling and previously only capable of 144p.

“Massive MIMO opens up a new way to boost capacity in mobile telecom, by using the spatial dimension and multiple antennas to create multiple paths that re-use spectrum more effectively.   Instead of waiting for 5G, mobile operators are upgrading thousands of TD-LTE base stations with Massive MIMO this year,” said Joe Madden, founder and principal analyst at Mobile Experts. “It’s an exciting development which, as it gains momentum, may be able to leap into the FDD market as well.”

A second phase of trials is now ongoing to test additional operational modes and traffic scenarios.

 

 

Small Cells a Huge Opportunity for Wireless Industry, Panelists say

Panelists described small cells as being at the base of the growth hockey stick, during Small Cells, Big Deal at the AGL Conference, March 20, held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. Panelists from three major carriers — AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint — and an equipment manufacturer, SpiderCloud, discussed how the deployment of metrocells, microcells, picocells will provide ample opportunities for the industry as a majority of that work will be outsourced.

“AT&T is working with partners to design and deploy small cells,” Melissa Ashurst, area business development manager, AT&T Antenna Services Group, said. “It is not something just anyone can do.”

Sprint will leverage the implementation expertise in the wireless industry, as well, according Seth Jones, Sprint senior manager, network engineering. “In a world where the rounding error for small cell deployment being in the tens of thousands, there is no way we can do it alone,” he said. “There will be a lot of outsourced activity in this space.

Jones added that tower companies already have the expertise to have a play in outdoor small cell deployment. “Outdoor small cells look very similar to a cellular panel antenna on the side of a building,” he said. “They require an understanding of mounting, climber safety, getting power to the antenna and how to backhaul the signal.”

While a small cell can be described as “anything and everything that is smaller than a macro-site,” further definition is needed as well as a greater understanding of the deployment complexities, panelists said.

“The challenge is defining exactly what is a small cell and how do you put it into a box so everybody understands it,” Jones said. “It is not quite baked yet. We are looking for further guidance from PCIA concerning the definition. It has an impact on zoning laws and how regulators look at what you are trying to deploy.”

Panelists discussed how small cells are integral to carriers’ strategies as they constantly work to avoid exhausting their spectrum.

“We have to innovate very aggressively to make sure we have the tools to keep up the capacity offload systems, which demand multi-band, multi-protocol small cells,” Jones said.

Small cells have evolved from consumer to IT-grade enterprise technology, similar to the evolution of Wi-Fi 15 years ago, according to Russell Agle, director of business development, SpiderCloud.

“Femtocells are akin to the consumer Wi-Fi market, good for residential use, but when you get to the dense, indoor deployments, particularly for enterprises, a separate [small cell] architecture is needed,” Agle said.

Jones said that increasing spectral efficiency through macrocell splitting is simply not enough to keep up with the pace of today’s data traffic.

“As carriers begin to talk almost casually about terabytes and petabytes of information, we cannot rely only on macrocells to provide all of our users with a great level of service,” Jones said. “We have to find another ways. We have to keep distributing the network and get smaller and smaller and smaller [coverage footprints per site].”

Small Cells Key to Future Carrier Networks, Nashville Panelists Say

Panelists described small cells as anything and everything that is smaller than a macrosite, and agreed that further definition was needed as well as a greater understanding of the deployment complexities, during “Small Cells…Big Deal,” a panel at the AGL Conference, March 20, in Nashville.

“The challenge is defining exactly what is a small cell and how do you put it into a box so everybody understands it,” Seth Jones, Sprint senior manager, network engineering, said. “It is not quite baked yet. We are looking for further guidance from PCIA concerning the definition. It has an impact on zoning laws and how regulators look at what you are trying to deploy.”

Seth-Jones-Sprint-022014 (3)

Jones

At the Gaylord Opryland Resort, panelists from three major carriers — AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint — and an equipment manufacturer, SpiderCloud, discussed how multi-band, multi-protocol small cells are a necessity for carriers, because they are constantly worried about exhausting their spectrum.

“We have to innovate very aggressively to make sure we have the tools to keep up the capacity offload systems, which demand multi-band, multi-protocol small cells,” Jones said.

Small cells have evolved from consumer to IT-grade enterprise technology, similar to the evolution of Wi-Fi 15 years ago, according to Russell Agle, director of business development, SpiderCloud Wireless.

“Femtocells are akin to the consumer Wi-Fi market, good for residential use, but when you get to the dense, indoor deployments, particularly for enterprises, a separate architecture is needed,” Agle said.

Jones said that increasing spectral efficiency through macrocell splitting is simply not enough to keep up with the pace of today’s data traffic.

“As carriers begin to talk almost casually about terabytes and petabytes of information, we cannot rely only on macrocells to provide all of our users with a great level of service,” Jones said. “We have to find another ways. We have to keep distributing the network and get smaller and smaller and smaller.”

Another challenge that the wireless industry faces is getting people to realize that small cells are not lick-it and stick-it technology.

“The early intoxicating idea was that all it took to deploy a small cell was to stick it on a wall and plug it in, and it would be fully integrated and self-discovered,” Jones said. “These technologies take a lot of integration work, a lot of network optimization.”

Panelists described smalls as being at the base of the “growth hockey stick.” In the next three years, carriers will deploy a huge number of metrocells, microcells, picocells, which will provide ample opportunities for the industry as a majority of that work will be outsourced, according to Melissa Ashurst, area business development manager, AT&T Antenna Services Group.

“AT&T is working with partners to design and deploy small cells,” Ashurst said. “It is not something just anyone can do.”