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LTE is the fastest-growing mobile network technology worldwide, 2013 will be the peak year for deployments, TDD LTE is on the rise and Huawei and Ericson dominate infrastructure contract awards, according to several recent industry reports.
More than 184 LTE networks were in service as of the end of July, with another 159 planned or in deployment. Successful LTE deployments have been achieved by various by operators including Verizon Wireless, SK Telecom, NTT DoCoMo, Everything Everywhere and Vodafone D2 (Germany), according to a report from Informa Telecoms & Media.
Huawei and Ericsson are dominating the market in terms of the allocation of infrastructure contracts. According to Informa’s calculations and data provided and validated by vendors, Huawei accounts for 40 percent of network contract awards, Ericsson has 34 percent and NSN follows with 17 percent. The other 9 percent is divided among Alcatel-Lucent, ZTE, Samsung and NEC.
“The top three vendors have illustrated significant technological expertise and support to mobile operators, with Huawei and Ericsson having attracted the largest share of contracts,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, co-author of the Informa report.
Unlike in the U.S. market, network sharing is popular in foreign countries to reduce opex and consolidate infrastructure platforms.
The Global Mobile Suppliers Association counts 200 LTE networks, a slightly higher number of commercially launched systems than Informa, including 182 networks deployed in FDD mode, nine TDD networks and nine FDD/TDD networks. In the longer term, several operators have expressed interest in converging TDD and FDD to increase network capacity, especially when existing unpaired spectrum holdings are available.
More than 50 mobile carriers worldwide have committed to TDD LTE technology, according to a report by Research and Markets, and more than 30 OEMs have commercially launched TD-LTE-compatible devices, the majority of which support both FDD and TDD.
“In October 2012, the TD-LTE ecosystem received a major boost when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that the entire 190 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5/2.6 GHz band will be allocated for TD-LTE deployments in China, which harmonizes its TDD spectrum with Japan and the U.S., two major LTE markets,” according to Research and Markets. “These developments could allow the TD-LTE ecosystem to reach significant economies of scale, boosting further infrastructure and device investments in TD-LTE technology.”
Although the market is going to move toward LTE-A, which includes several different updates on the existing LTE standard, most operators are just at the LTE stage, according to Darryl Schoolar, principal analyst, wireless infrastructure, Ovum.
“Some of these LTE-A announcements could be considered premature as they only are using one LTE-A feature, mainly carrier aggregation,” he said.
On Aug. 20, Ericsson announced that it has supported South Korea’s SK Telecom in expanding LTE-Advanced commercial service network to the downtown areas of 84 cities nationwide, including the entire Seoul metropolitan area and six other major cities.
On June 26, SK Telecom launched LTE-Advanced service with up to 150 Mbps speeds in the Seoul area, the downtowns of 42 cities and 103 campus towns, with a plan to deploy 32,000 LTE-Advanced base stations by the end of the year, including 300 college campuses.
Regional Mobile Backhaul Leader Reaches Another FTTT Milestone
SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 —
CHARLOTTE, NC — (Marketwired) — 09/23/13 — DukeNet Communications, a leading regional fiber provider of high-bandwidth connectivity solutions for enterprise, data center and carrier businesses in the Southeast, proudly announces today that its Fiber-To-The-Tower (FTTT) initiative has reached another key milestone with more than 3,500 cell sites now connected with DukeNet-provided high bandwidth facilities. DukeNet operates more than 9,000 route miles of fiber optic capacity in the Southeast, and offers a wide range of solutions to meet carrier, wholesale and enterprise customers’ bandwidth needs.
“This milestone demonstrates DukeNet’s commitment to providing carrier grade network solutions that mobile operators expect to successfully deliver 4G and other enhanced services to their customers,” said Tony Cockerham, COO for DukeNet Communications. “We will continue to expand our next generation network to meet growing demands, and we’re already contracting to provide fiber connectivity to additional towers throughout 2013 and 2014.”
DukeNet currently provides FTTT services to all of the major wireless providers, most prominently in North and South Carolina but also including Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
“Our goal will always be to ensure our customers’ overall experience with DukeNet on Fiber-To-The Tower projects is excellent,” adds Cockerham. “DukeNet prides itself on providing reliable service while delivering sites efficiently. When it comes to mobile backhaul, we have a reputation for delivering positive results for customers with very high expectations. We seek innovative solutions for these demanding customer needs, and work around the clock to get the job done for them.”
According to Telecom Ramblings, DukeNet Communications is one of the top 10 FTTT providers in the United States and the largest in the southeast, based on number of towers in service.
About DukeNet Communications
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., DukeNet is a leading regional fiber network provider offering advanced data and high-capacity bandwidth services to enterprise, data center, government and carrier customers. Primarily serving the southeastern United States, DukeNet controls a 9,000 route mile fiber-optic network capable of delivering 100 Gbps services, enabling cloud computing and high-bandwidth applications for enterprise business. More information about DukeNet is available at www.dukenet.com. Follow us on Twitter @DukeNetComm.
If you look at a map of the railway lines, they look like the arteries that keep this country’s commerce alive. To companies like Parallel Infrastructure, a right of way (ROW) management and infrastructure development company, those lines snaking from city to city look like potential sites for cell towers or fiber-optic backhaul.
Parallel Infrastructure has expanded its client portfolio with ROW agreements in Pennsylvania. Contracts with SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, a regional freight service that serves central Pennsylvania, and Pioneer Railcorp, which operates the Gettysburg & Northern Railroad, add 207 miles of corridor. Parallel Infrastructure has agreements with 32 railroads that have a total of 2,100 miles of ROW running across 20 states. Eight of those railroads are in Pennsylvania.
Last year, the company signed 21 short-line and regional railroad agreements, bringing its total amount of managed right-of-way property to nearly 1,700 miles spanning 17 states across the country.
Parallel Infrastructure is on track to build 25 towers in railroad ROWs by the end of this year, and it has a goal of eventually building and operating 1,000 towers, according to Frank Chechile, company CEO. The landowners benefit through receiving a share of the gross revenue from the carriers.
“There continues to be strong demand for improving telecommunications infrastructure, and that means growth opportunities abound for right of way property owners,” Chechile said. “By entering into innovative revenue-share agreements, we help monetize our clients’ underutilized real estate without interrupting their core operations.”
Before Parallel Infrastructure will sign up a railroad, it evaluates the land assets of the right of way owner to determine what type of opportunities those assets represent.
“In every one of these railroads, we saw voids in the carriers’ coverage that could be served by the rights of way,” Chechile said. “In other cases, working with the carriers, we identify places where they would like to invest in their network, and then we see if we can fill that need by partnering with a right of way owner.”
Along with railroad ROWs, Chechile is seeing more opportunities to develop land owned by state and local governments. Allegheny County awarded Parallel Infrastructure the telecommunications facility development rights on 14 parcels, totaling more than 3 million square feet of underutilized county-owned land. By partnering with Jacobs Engineering, Parallel Infrastructure scouted and assessed sites that could be developed.
“With tightening budgets, government entities are making efforts to capture additional revenue by unlocking the value of their real estate,” he said. Along with telecom development, Parallel Infrastructure will also provide the county with access to its communications facilities to allow it to develop emergency management systems.
Parallel Infrastructure is is a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), the commercial real estate, transportation and infrastructure sister company to Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway, and manages 470 route miles of FEC’s right of way land, which runs continuously for 351 miles from Miami to Jacksonville, Florida, traversing 28 cities. By the end of this year, the company will begin providing fiber-based backhaul and long-haul infrastructure along this corridor.
“It’s been more than a decade since the last fiber cables were installed along this 351-mile corridor,” Chechile said. “These new, low-latency strands can transfer large amounts of data faster and are in high demand.”
The fiber-optic network will be marketed to telephone and wireless carriers, utility companies, cable companies, data centers, municipalities, and other educational and healthcare businesses that transmit large amounts of data on a regular basis.