December 3, 2015 — When Axell Wireless (now Cobham Wireless) announced the development of intelligent digital DAS (idDAS) in February 2014, the target market was the distributed antenna system market. As idDAS continues to develop, an additional application has emerged for the technology: Cloud RAN, Matt Thompson, Cobham Wireless vice president of sales for the Americas, told AGL Link in a phone interview.
idDAS can route multi-operator cellular resources located in the cloud to the particular multi-operator remote radio units in a C-RAN architecture. It provides very flexible routing capability for the fronthaul from the BTS baseband units, used for centralized processing and capacity management, to the remote radio heads.
“You can take a component of our digital DAS system and deploy it as a separate infrastructure piece for C-RAN. It has been an interesting branch from what we originally set to develop. You can do some cool things with it. Carriers are very interested in that,” Thompson said.
The first deployment of Cobham Wireless’ idDAS is due to go live in Europe in the first week of December. Additionally, the idDAS platform is out in the field being beta tested around the world. Production-ready gear will be available in the United States by the end of the year.
“The headend for the first deployment will be 23 kilometers away from the remotes. It will truly be a C-RAN application,” Thompson said.
Cobham Wireless is meeting with a casino in the USA that wants to shift the capacity of its wireless system from the gaming tables to other areas, such as the convention hall and the hotel facilities to follow the flow of people.
“We provide an IP pipe,” he said. “We can backhaul anything you want: Wi-Fi, DAS and security cameras — whatever you want to plug in. We can share the same fiber strand and can save deployment costs.”
Cobham Wireless uses a patented CPRI router to move data packets around the system. A star architecture is employed sending the signal to any remote or multiple remotes from the central hub.
“Having a CPRI router is key to centralized RAN. There will be a role for our company in the C-RAN world,” Thompson said.