CommScope is entering the fixed wireless access market with the introduction of an integrated antenna solution based on xRAN open interface specifications. The open interface allows wireless operators to mix and match radio access network (RAN) hardware from multiple vendors to varying requirements.
The company will highlight the technologies at Mobile World Congress 2018, February 26-March 1, in Barcelona, Spain. The integrated 5G radio/antenna solution will be available for trials in mid-2018.
“Our integrated antenna will enable the full capabilities of 5G millimeter-wave spectrum bands while offering maximum flexibility in an evolving air-interface environment,” said Farid Firouzbakht, senior vice president, RF Products, CommScope. “As a contributing member to the xRAN organization, we endorse the benefits of an open baseband interface for enabling more innovation in the wireless marketplace.”
CommScope’s 5G radio/antenna solution supports millimeter-wave spectrum and works on a completely virtualized baseband with an open interface. This solution integrates a beamforming active antenna array operating at 28 GHz and will be available for trial with a third-party baseband platform to create a 5G access network.
Fixed wireless access is a method for delivering broadband internet access, voice and video services to homes or businesses without a wired connection and is one of the first 5G use cases. With CommScope’s new solution, wireless operators can use commercial off-the-shelf servers to trial virtualized network functions for fixed wireless access applications.
The CommScope solution includes:
A base station antenna with full 120-degree beam-steering of four independent MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) ports, using a 256-element antenna array. An integrated remote radio unit with an effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) in a compact enclosure of less than 10 liters volume, passively cooled and optimized to fit within concealment solutions.
CommScope has filed a patent infringement suit against Cobham in the District Court of Berlin related to digital distributed antenna system (DAS) technology.
This action follows a Court-ordered inspection of Cobham’s Intelligent Digital DAS (idDAS™) installed along Berlin’s famous Fan Mile. Based on the information discovered during the inspection proceeding, a Court-appointed independent expert concluded that Cobham’s idDAS system does in fact infringe the German national parts of two CommScope patents, EP1269776B1 and EP2094058B1.
“CommScope is pleased with the determination of the independent expert,” said Matt Melester, senior vice president and segment leader, distributed coverage and capacity solutions, CommScope. “CommScope invests heavily in innovations to satisfy market demands for cellular communications, and we will continue to protect our investments by enforcing intellectual property rights.”
In 2016, CommScope filed suit against Dali Wireless for patent infringement related to digital RF transport intellectual property. Earlier this year, CommScope signed an agreement with Kathrein AG to license CommScope’s complete DAS patent portfolio.
CommScope has resolved a dispute with Advanced Lightning Technology relating to CommScope’s stackable hanger patents that are used in CommScope’s SnapStak cable hangers.
CommScope had alleged that Advanced Lightning Technology was selling stackable hangers that infringe CommScope’s patents, specifically U.S. Patent numbers 6,354,543 and 6,899,305. As part of the resolution, Advanced Lightning Technology has agreed to immediately discontinue sales of its infringing products.
CommScope designs, manufactures and sells telecommunications solutions around the world. The company invests considerable resources designing and patenting its innovative products with improved features to provide superior value to customers. The resolution of this dispute reinforces CommScope’s commitment to protecting its investments and maintaining its differentiating product features.
CommScope has asserted the same patents in a patent infringement lawsuit previously. The parties reached a settlement, where the infringing party acknowledged its infringement of both patents and paid an undisclosed sum to the company. The settlement also required that the party cease any further production of the infringing products.
SnapStak is a registered trademark of CommScope, Inc.
CommScope is gearing up to support enterprise customers as the in-building wireless industry moves to an enterprise-owned model with IT managers and building operators taking the lead on cellular projects.
CommScope is now offering an In-building Wireless Sales Specialist authorization to current North American structured cabling installer partners in its PartnerPRO Network. In-building Wireless Sales Specialists are authorized to offer CommScope’s digital DAS solutions to customers, provide solution pricing, and design and install the supporting in-building wireless infrastructure.
“The new partner authorization is all about enabling our enterprise ecosystem— which includes hundreds of cabling installer companies—to better serve their customers by knowledgably consulting about wireless solutions,” said Koen ter Linde, vice president, Global Partners, CommScope. “CommScope has developed in-building wireless solutions specifically for the enterprise, and we expect our partner network to serve as a significant sales channel for them.”
To earn In-building Wireless Sales Specialist authorization, North American installer partners of CommScope SYSTIMAX or UNIPRISE cabling solutions must complete a training program. After being authorized, In-building Wireless Sales Specialists can identify opportunities, advise customers, and collaborate with CommScope and its in-building wireless installer partners for project scoping, network design, and system commissioning.
The most recent movements in the mergers and acquisition market don’t have anything to do with tower purchases but with fiber optics.
Yesterday, we learned that ExteNet Systems plans to acquire MetroFiber d/b/a Axiom Fiber Networks, which is a telecommunications infrastructure services provider operating in the greater New York City metropolitan region. Before the acquisition, the company had 250 route miles in New York. It will be closing in on 2,000 small cell nodes in the area by the end of the year.
Crown Castle International, which has 50,000 small cells on the air or under development, intends to acquire LighTower (LTS Group Holdings) from Berkshire Partners, Pamlico Capital, for, which owns or has rights to approximately 32,000 route miles of fiber located primarily in top metro markets in the Northeast. The company will cost Crown $7.1 billion in cash, which it will finance, in part, by selling $1.73 billion in senior notes.
“With a fiber footprint after the transaction that will cover 23 of the top 25 most populous U.S. markets, Crown Castle is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for mobile connectivity as network architecture continues to evolve and bandwidth demands continue to increase,” according to Crown Castle.
The transaction will double Crown Castle’s metro fiber footprint, resulting in it owning or having rights to 60,000 route miles of fiber, making it one of the largest owners of metro fiber in the United States.
The purchase of LighTower “significantly increases opportunities for small cell network deployments in top metro markets in the Northeast including Boston, New York, and Philadelphia,” according to Crown Castle.
CommScope to Acquire Cable Exchange
An example of the OEM market gearing up for the fiber-optic future in general and data centers in particular, CommScope plans to acquire Cable Exchange, a privately held quick-turn supplier of fiber optic and copper assemblies for data, voice and video communications.
Cable Exchange, headquartered in Santa Ana, California, manufactures a variety of fiber optic and copper cables, trunks and related products used in high-capacity data centers and other business enterprise applications.
“This highly complementary acquisition will deepen CommScope’s capabilities in supporting the growing market for high-capacity, multi-tenant data centers and hyperscale data centers operated by the world’s largest technology and retail companies,” CommScope said. “As more user-driven information and commerce flows through networks, operators are quickly deploying larger and more complex data centers to support growth in traffic and transactions.”
Remember, during the second-quarter of this year, Verizon announced fiber purchases from Corning and Prysmian Group in order to deliver new fiber services, including 5G, and supporting small-cell deployment.