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Tag Archives: wireless infrastructure

Small Cell Optimized for LTE carriers

The AirSynergy 3000 small cell, available from Airspan Networks, is an LTE eNodeB small cell optimized for outdoor deployment in Heterogeneous Networks on non-traditional deployment location. The AirSynergy 3000 eNodeB supports non-contiguous, triple carrier, LTE-Advanced Release 10 carrier aggregation in 2 GHz and 3 GHz bands, enabling it to deliver end user services speeds of over 300 Mbit/s. AirSynergy 3000 has Airspan’s iBridge NLOS Small Cell Backhaul solution fully integrated to create a self-contained LTE Small Cell system that radically reduces the cost of small cell CAPEX and OPEX.

AirSynergy 3000 is an incremental development of Airspan’s single- and dual-carrier AirSynergy products. AirSynergy 3000 was developed for carriers who have large, contiguous or non-contiguous, spectrum allocations in 2 GHz and 3 GHz bands and want to deploy outdoor small cells to fill coverage gaps, increase network capacity and reduce the costs associated with traditional macro deployment. AirSynergy 3000 can also be deployed in small-cell RAN sharing scenarios, where carriers combine individual spectrum allocations to deliver higher capacity using carrier aggregation, sharing small cell site costs and reducing the rollout costs when compared with standalone networks.  www.airspan.com

Armored RF Coaxial Test Cables

Pasternack Enterprises has introduced a line of flexible, armored SMA and Type-N test cables, designed to handle harsh industrial environments common in production test systems and antenna ranges. Pasternack’s armored test cables utilize stainless steel connector construction, with the SMA designed to operate to 20 GHz and the N connector to 18 GHz. These RF test cables from Pasternack are available with in-series configurations only.  A mechanical connector/armoring interface and strain relief boot increases the overall durability and life of the test cable. The company’s armored test cables are built using PE-P142LL coaxial cable which is triple shielded with an expanded PTFE dielectric, guaranteeing low loss performance.

These SMA and N-Type armored test cables are manufactured with a flexible, but rugged stainless steel armoring, which allows RF signal integrity during test, even when exposed to high traffic production environments.  The armored test cables from Pasternack are available in standard and metric lengths www.pasternack.com

New Networking Architecture Enables Small Cells Using Remote Radio Heads

The future of small cells, at least those with remote radio heads, will depend on a new networking concept known as “fronthaul,” according to a white paper by iGR. In 2014, the lion’s share of small cells will use remote radio heads, iGR said, which will be connected, or “fronthauled,” via fiber-optics to baseband units located in a central location that are then backhauled to the telephone network.

“The importance of providing a quality fronthaul/backhaul connection to a small cell cannot be overemphasized. The success, or failure, of the het‐net and small cell architecture depends on the operator’s ability to deploy fronthaul and backhaul that is appropriate to both the immediate data demand and what is forecasted,” according to iGR.

The move to a fronthaul-type architecture should be executed as a carrier deploys LTE, Iain Gillott, principal of iGR, told DAS Bulletin, but not every site is a candidate for fronthaul.

“There is a limit to how far the baseband can be away from the radio,” he said. “There can also be logistical reasons for avoiding fronthaul architecture.”

Fronthauling the baseband, which represents the virtualization of the radio access network, will save carriers millions of dollars in OpEx and CapEx globally, Gillott said.

“The cost to implement this architecture is not insignificant, but when you are putting in LTE you have a ton of work to do anyway. Especially with small cells, why not deploy fronthaul and get the benefits?” he said.

Fronthaul Fuels Deployment of SK Telecom Small Cell Network

The white paper goes on to highlight a system deployed by South Korea’s SK Telecom, which used SOLiD networking equipment and existing fiber to fronthaul an LTE small cell system.

Across South Korea, which is a small densely populated country, SK Telecom deployed 12,000 base station nodes and 80,000 remote radio heads in one year, using SOLiD’s fronthaul architecture. Since then the network has grown to 200,000 remote radio heads.

“SK Telecom is widely recognized as an innovator using the latest wireless technology. Because the South Korean market is in the forefront of technology it sheds some light on how the U.S. market is going to approach new technologies, such as small cells and RRH in order to fill in the holes and achieve network densification,” Mike Collado, SOLiD spokesman.

SK Telecom and SOLiD’s architecture used the existing legacy transport system complemented by two fiber rings for the LTE deployment.  LTE remote radio heads were connected to SOLiD’s Infinity ACCESS RT and, in this deployment, the RRHs acted as small cells that were mounted on towers.

A single fiber ring simultaneously supports 2G/3G, 4G and Wi-Fi traffic:  CPRI/OBSAI is used to support LTE traffic, Ethernet supports Wi-Fi, and E1/T1 is used for the legacy 2G/3G network. Up to 30 remote radio heads can be supported per base station node.

The base station nodes were located in a central office terminal. The transport system then provided connectivity back to the base station controller/radio network controller (BSC/RNC) and to the IP core, maximizing the re-use of existing fiber infrastructure.

SK Telecom deployed its initial network in about 12 month, which was half of the expected time. Operating expenses were reduced 5 percent in the first year and by 2014, SK Telecom expects 50 percent savings through reduced building lease and rental costs, reduced utilities, reduced maintenance and fewer truck rolls.

A copy of the iGR white paper can be downloaded directly from iGR’s website.

Controversy Buffets High School Wi-Fi Contract

State lawmakers became upset when Education Networks of America (ENA) was awarded a multi-year contract to supply Idaho high schools with Wi-Fi, even though funds had been appropriated for only one year.

Legislation was approved in the recent session for the state to pursue wireless for schools with grades nine through 12. The Department of Education of the State of Idaho then released a request for proposal on May 29, 2013, which called for a fixed price for the first five years of $2.25 million, and 5 percent increases every five years after that, totaling $35.47 million.

“We awarded a multi-year contract so we could provide the needed maintenance and to get the best price,” said Melissa McGrath, spokesperson, Department of Education. “Any time we sign a multi-year contract, it is contingent upon appropriation of funds every single year. Both the state and the vendor are aware that it can be canceled at any time if the state decides not to provide funding.”

McGrath said the process must change when legislation earmarks single-year appropriations for multi-year projects.

“Going forward, any time the state has to sign a multi-year contract as the result of language in legislation, the law needs to be much clearer so that both the state and the legislature better understand the path going forward,” she said. “We need to be on the same page. Clearly, there was some confusion, and we understand that.”

Work began in late July with the Wi-Fi service scheduled to be fully deployed in all Idaho schools by March 15, 2014. The RFP requires a fully managed wireless service, including content filtering, event logging, system implementation, user reporting and deployment management. The RFP also requires provision of 802.11X coverage (at a minimum a/b/g/n/and ac/ad when available), with the newest standards available at the time of award and periodic upgrades to the most current standards on a rotational basis once every 60 months or sooner.

It is not known how many systems will be deployed, but more than 110 school districts and public charter schools have decided to opt in for the state-provided Wi-Fi at this time. Wi-Fi systems have been deployed at two schools so far, and site surveys have been completed at four more.

“School systems have been asking for Wi-Fi from the state for years. A rural education task force met in 2008, and one of their recommendations was for the state to close the technology gap between rural and urban school districts,” McGrath said. “Schools want wireless because they are beginning to purchase tablets and laptops and are moving to a more mobile technology experience in the classroom.”

NASA Robot Goes Wi-Fi

Just think if Hal had been able to move around the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Obviously not movie buffs, NASA engineers are prepared to use Wi-Fi to allow their robotic astronaut or “robonaut” to move freely throughout the International Space Station (ISS).

The robonaut, which is currently bolted to a pedestal and connected with wires for power and control, will get a complete makeover including legs and batteries.  Control and monitoring will be provided to NASA via Wi-Fi using Digi International’s ConnectCore Wi-i.MX53 wireless module.

The robonaut will be “free” to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as housekeeping and air quality testing in space. This will free up time for astronauts to conduct science experiments and other tasks.

The robonaut may be controlled from within the ISS or at a NASA mission control center on Earth. The wireless link will also transmit video from cameras on the Robonaut, allowing astronauts and NASA to see what the robot is seeing in real-time and control its actions. Eventually, the robonaut will be able to perform tasks outside the space station.