The modern 4G LTE network is far more complex than its predecessors. Capacity requirements are doubling every year, requiring higher carrier counts and more efficient modulation schemes. These challenges introduce a greater probability of PIM interference, which can cause major deployment headaches for operators.
What is PIM? In a passive non-linear radio frequency (RF) circuit, passive intermodulation (PIM) is the interaction of fundamental signal frequencies that produces extra unwanted signals. These unwanted signals inadvertently produce many signals at other frequencies. These frequencies, called harmonics (integer multiples), are what cause signal interference.
High-performance active components are also highly susceptible to
PIM. Over the years, PIM has evolved from a virtually unknown DAS
performance metric into a critical system requirement. Network
performance, as identified by download speed, is highly
susceptible to smaller levels of distortion that significantly impact
performance. Hyper-sensitive antennas and radios, multiple frequency
overlays and more components in the RF path create an environment where
the margin for error continues to shrink.
Is it redundant to say, “Wow – I cannot believe 2014 is already over?” Every year around this time, pundits start to lament the end of the year and “how fast time goes by.” And sure, most people can relate to that, but honestly – time goes by at the same pace for children, adults and even the proverbial watched pot.
The perception of “fast time” is driven by the pace and stimulation of our activities and the amount of mental agility required to manage those activities. Right now, I am kind of enamored with the term “mental agility” and the ramifications it has on us as individuals and the wireless industry as a whole.
A few months ago, I blogged
about how software
defined networking (SDN) can help enterprise customers gain agility and
better control of their data center networks. Recently, I was asked what is
available for telecom service providers, including mobile network operators, so
they can build their next generation networks. I recommend a strategic approach
that involves Network
Functions Virtualization (NFV), which is similar to SDN, but not a carbon
The topic of women in STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs is an important one to CommScope. We recognize the important contributions
that women make in a variety of roles in the technology industries that we serve. However, we also recognize that women tend to be under-represented in STEM careers
, and we want to do something to help change that
CommScope is encouraging and supporting women who wish to enter and succeed in the wireless industry, specifically the growing distributed antenna system (DAS) field
, by offering a free training opportunity
. The company is now offering certification trainings
on CommScope DAS solutions to women employees of its partner organizations at no charge. The goal is to help women get more DAS-related jobs
by improving their knowledge and skills in this critical area of wireless communications.
In some industries, it is common to find complaints about standards
and regulatory requirements. They conjure up images of audits, extensive paper trails and major time and resources invested for seemingly little reward. However within the wireless industry
, antenna standards are a worthwhile and important thing – and I’d like to tell you why.
For a long time in our industry there was a lack of specific standards – in particular how base station antennas
are measured and compared, meaning that operators struggled to evaluate exactly which antennas were right for their needs. So the NGMN Alliance
set about developing and implementing a set of standards known collectively as BASTA
(after the Base Station Antenna Standards working group), with a view to making antenna selection
easier and more cost-effective. As with standards in other industries, adherence to BASTA can also deliver improved network performance
in the shape of greater coverage and capacity
plus enhanced Quality of Service
(QoS) to end-users.
As the cost of technology continues to decrease, bandwidth demand increases. Fueling this consumption are online videos, social networking sites and multimedia applications coupled with users operating multiple mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
This demand extends beyond the home and office traditionally served by telcos and multiple-system operators (MSOs) into the “anywhere space” covered by wireless providers. Data traffic growth is expected to grow at an annual rate of approximately 45 percent. Metro networks will particularly be affected by this growth because of user density.
The demand for bandwidth is a great opportunity for those in the outside plant (OSP) business. Multiple options are available to expand networks; however, operators have to take into consideration the total cost associated with each one. Regardless of where and how the connection is made by the user, the requirements to connect the user to other users and content sites is all about bandwidth. This is a great opportunity for those in the OSP business, particularly those in optical fiber networks.
(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to CommScope Blogs by Michael Thelander, CEO and founder of Signals Research Group. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to CommScope Blogs, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)
I and my colleague at Signals Research Group, Emil Olbrich, find it a bit ironic when we hear speakers at industry events say the next G (as in 5G) is a long ways away, and then they proceed to talk about everything it will offer. We also find it interesting that 4.5G and pre-5G are being used to create even more hype or perhaps to give a vendor/operator a self-proclaimed early advantage. Instead of falling into the same trap, we’d like to remind readers of what LTE and LTE Advanced have yet to offer.
The past couple of months have been an
exciting time in the world of fiber optic technology. In a recent blog, I mentioned that we have been working with our partners on new
technological advancements in support of
optimizing high-speed transmission over multimode
fiber (MMF), including a next generation that
we refer to as wide band multimode fiber
(WBMMF). Since then, we have
seen significant activity taking place regarding initial standards proposals.
What if you could give someone a gift that makes them better for the next 12 months? A no-brainer, right? A lot of companies do just that.
This is the time of year when most of the companies that use the CommScope Infrastructure Academy make plans to give their employees another year of education and training by purchasing a Training Passport. Training Passports are available for purchase anytime in the year, but many renewals happen about now.
The following is excerpted from an interview by Jean-Jacques DeLisle, editor of Microwaves & RF magazine, of Philip Sorrells, vice president of strategic marketing, CommScope, which was published November 17 by the magazine. See the complete Q&A for more.
Jean-Jacques DeLisle: What devices are most critical to the wireless infrastructure industry?
Philip Sorrells: It is challenging to identify one or two pieces of equipment that are the most critical. Every device in the radio-frequency (RF) path can have a big impact on network performance. After spending billions of dollars on spectrum and network infrastructure, the last thing wireless operators want is a loose or poorly made connection that degrades network performance and quality of service (QoS). But that is exactly what can happen in extra-sensitive LTE networks.