CommScope Blog

A Whole New Way to Test for PIM

Posted by Malik Ishak on March 4, 2015

PIM-Tester-in-CabinetDo you remember when the only way to get your blood pressure measured was going to the doctor’s office? A nurse would strap your arm with an uncomfortable cuff, pump air into it, have to find your pulse and then count while looking at that big old dial as the air pressure releases. I recently read about a smart watch that will be able to do all that for you in seconds, without that uncomfortable cuff, and relay the information to your physician. 

CommScope’s newly announced Optical PIM Tester provides a similar benefit for wireless networks. It will make testing for one of the most common sources of interference in modern networks, passive intermodulation (PIM), a simple task. PIM testing can finally be easily integrated into a technician’s site acceptance and preventative maintenance schedule. 

Automation Does Not Always Relate to Robots

Ricardo Diaz
Posted by Ricardo Diaz on March 3, 2015

Automation_RobotWhen I worked in a support role for cabling solutions, I often helped consultants correctly specify their projects. The objective was to ultimately release an accurate tender with the proper technical specifications for high-end cabling. Everyone involved in these kinds of repetitive tasks eventually generated a library of content to minimize writing time. That means you end up copying and pasting paragraphs to adapt the results to the specific target.

A commonly-used resource in the construction world is Master Format. It is a master list of numbers and titles classified by work results. It is primarily used to organize project manuals, detailed cost information and to relate drawing notations to specifications. It lists titles and section numbers for organizing data about construction requirements, products and activities. By standardizing such information, Master Format facilitates communication among architects, contractors and suppliers. This helps them meet building owners’ requirements, timelines and budgets.

Cloud RAN and the Evolution of Infrastructure

Morgan Kurk
Posted by Morgan Kurk on February 25, 2015

Cloud-RANSimple harmonic motion describes a situation when the restoration force is directly proportional to the displacement force and creates mathematically a sinusoid, continuously oscillating from some minimum to some maximum. 

Did I lose you yet?

My point is that things we observe in the natural world also exist in systems created by humans, including wireless networks. Cloud RAN (radio access network) is one stop on the wireless infrastructure continuum that oscillates back and forth between localization and centralization.  Since the beginning of cellular systems more than 40 years ago, the two forces acting on the network have been efficiency and latency.  Efficiency in all its forms tends to drive centralization, while latency, or time to take action, demands localization.

Europe Needs More Indoor Wireless Capacity

Posted by Samuel Buttarelli on February 24, 2015

ION-U-master-unit-set-upEuropean LTE deployments are expected to peak during 2015. Major network deployments already started in 2014 are expected to accelerate quickly this year. Similar to what happened with 3G, the first phase of LTE deployment has been focusing on macro network coverage and trying to maximize the number of users reached by the new technology. This is a race based on speed of deployment.

However, the next challenge for the mobile network operators is coming quickly. The benefits that LTE brings to the user experience—with superior performance in high data throughput and low latency—are setting high expectations. Consumers are willing to subscribe to new tariff plans at higher costs to continue enjoying the LTE experience.

Do You Know What a Smart or Intelligent Building Is?

James Donovan
Posted by James Donovan on February 23, 2015
Smart_Building_Institute_SmallAccording to the Smart Buildings Institute (SBI) in the United States, a smartly-designed building enhances the performance of the building and ease of operation over its life-cycle. The primary goal for a higher-performing building is to minimize the long-term costs of facility ownership to owners, occupants and the environment. In a higher-performing building all components of the building are integrated to work together. This synergy improves operational performance, increases occupant comfort and satisfaction and provides the owner with systems, technologies and tools to manage and minimize energy consumption.

CommScope Definitions: What is PIM?

Lou Meyer
Posted by Lou Meyer on February 20, 2015
PIM-auditThis blog post is the first in a new series called “CommScope Definitions,” in which we will explain common terms in communications network infrastructure.

When 4G LTE networks are overlaid on 2G and 3G wireless network infrastructure, interference becomes a real challenge—particularly passive intermodulation (passive intermod, or PIM). PIM has been a known issue for as long as RF communications have involved more than one frequency; however, LTE is particularly sensitive to its effects.

The Next Step for Category 8

Jason Reasor_1
Posted by Jason Reasor on February 19, 2015

Cat8NextStepFor technology that has been around for more than a century, twisted pair copper cabling seems to be in the thick of things these days when it comes to enabling the delivery of emerging applications in the enterprise. Wireless access consisting of cellular or Wi-Fi infrastructure, low voltage applications via Power over Ethernet(PoE), sensor networks, HDBASE-T, intelligent lighting and reliable high bandwidth applications are all enabled by the ubiquitous cost-effective delivery mechanism of category cabling


How Many Metro Cells Make Sense?

Michael Fabbri
Posted by Mike Fabbri on February 18, 2015

Metro-cell-two-pieceCommScope just announced its new Metro Cell Concealment Solution, which targets light poles for installing low-power cell sites in urban and suburban areas. Since then, I’ve been asked about the role that metro cells will play in wireless networks of the future—about whether macro sites will remain necessary, how much wireless capacity can be offloaded onto metro cells and what the user experience will be.

First, it’s hard for me to imagine macro sites ever going away entirely to be replaced by metro cells or other small cells—macro sites play a critical role in providing coverage. As such, wireless towers are not likely to disappear anytime soon, if ever. Having said that, network operators are challenged with meeting the insatiable demand for data capacity. Smaller cells provide the kind of site densification required to support that required bandwidth.

The Infrastructure Academy Comes to BICSI Winter Conference

James Donovan
Posted by James Donovan on February 17, 2015

2015_BICSI_BannerAs many of you might know, this year’s BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition will be held next week in Orlando, Fl. This is exciting for me because I will be representing the CommScope Infrastructure Academy.

At last year’s show, I received many inquiries from CommScope representatives about attendees stopping by our booth wanting to know more about the Academy and how they can enroll in classes. This year, I am excited to announce that I’ll be attending the BICSI conference and can be found at CommScope booth (#215) to help answer questions about the Academy.

While I do not want to take away from what we will be promoting at the booth during the show—ION-E, imVision and Redwood Systems—I am excited to talk about the Academy to those of you who want to expand you infrastructure knowledge.

What Is “Blown Fiber” Installation?

Chris Gemme
Posted by Chris Gemme on February 16, 2015

Air_Blown_FiberThere are couple buzz terms floating around the industry today—blown fiber and jetted fiber—which are used to describe the placement of a microfiber cable using compressed air. Those terms infer that the air is pushing or propelling the microfiber through a microduct. A more appropriate descriptive term would be “air lubrication.”

Air is being used as a means to reduce friction between the microfiber cable jacket and the inside wall of the microduct. Much like a puck on an air-hockey table, when the air is off the puck cannot easily overcome the friction between the surface of the puck and the surface of the hockey table.

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