At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month, CommScope will be introducing a full line of 4x4MIMO (4T4R multiple input/multiple output) antenna models that combine multiple data streams with additional spectrum bands, such as 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 1400 MHz (Europe), to assist operators with the gig speeds needed for 4G as well as path to increased data speeds expected for 5G.
CommScope is also bringing 4x4MIMO to its small cell antenna line high gain, small cell antenna line in the 1.7–2.7 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands, plus 2x2MIMO support in the 5 GHz band. With this antenna, operators can use carrier aggregation for License Assisted Access (LAA) to combine unlicensed bands with licensed bands to reach gigabit speeds at small cell sites. This antenna will also help operators be ready for Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).
CommScope introduced its first 4x4MIMO, ultra-wideband antenna for the 1400 MHz–2700 MHz range in late 2017 and has released an extensive antenna portfolio for FirstNet operating in the 700 MHz band. The company continues to add antennas to its portfolio that support different frequency band combinations in 4-, 8- and 12-port configurations, with 4x4MIMO support on both low and high bands.
The industry, which has evolved from 2X2MIMO to 4X2MIMO, has now fully embraced 4X4MIMO antennas, which support advanced modulation and carrier aggregation of unlicensed frequency bands.
To support the different frequency band frequency of the carriers, a comprehensive line of antennas is needed. At the current time, CommScope has 20 4XMIMO antennas and it will continue to grow.
“The reason we have such as large portfolio is depending on which operator you are talking to, they use different frequency bands,” said Farid Firouzbakht, senior vice president, RF Products, CommScope. “We talk with the operators about their frequency use to find out which of the frequency bands are suitable to put under one radome for an off the shelf product. In other cases, such as FirstNet, we will do a customized design based on a particular need.”
In the future, as spectrum moves up to the higher bands for 5G, antennas will evolve to support 8xMIMO data streams and Massive MIMO configurations of 64 or more antenna array elements.
Huawei to Launch Massive MIMO AAUs at MWC
Huawei will also take the opportunity of the Mobile World Congress to launch a full series of Massive MIMO active antenna units (AAU). The 4G network products are designed to be 5G ready to be used for the next 10 years.
The AAU is a 3D-MIMO product with ultra-large capacity, which provides 200 MHz bandwidth capability. This AAU can achieve a peak rate of 10 Gbps per cell, meeting the large-capacity service demands in the future.
In 2016, Huawei worked with SoftBank to test TDD Massive MIMO and multi-carrier aggregation using the 40 MHz bandwidth on the 3.5 GHz band, achieving a downlink throughput of more than 1 Gbps.
Lab Demo Achieves 2 Gbps Speeds with 4X4 MIMO
4X4MIMO will also figure prominently in a demonstration, involving Telstra, Ericsson, NETGEAR and Qualcomm Technologies, at the Mobile World Congress. The technology recently hit 4G speeds of 2 Gbps in lab demonstration, which used Ericsson’s Baseband 6630, Radio 4415 and Gigabit LTE network software.
Five 20 MHz LTE carriers were aggregated across three different frequency bands with each carrier using 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM technologies. Bands 1, 3 and 7 were aggregated using a NETGEAR Nighthawk mobile router equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, a Category 20 LTE modem.
Ericsson, Telstra, Qualcomm Technologies and NETGEAR demonstrated 1 Gbps speeds in November 2015 and the first commercial Gigabit LTE network launch in January 2017.
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.