Has curiosity ever led you down a path that leads to nowhere? I’m sure many of you have been down that road, especially when it comes to the ever so mysterious topic of 5G—the next generation of cellular technology
. So what’s all the publicity hype on 5G really about? We’ve seen a lot of PR and marketing around the progress of 5G, but rarely do you find anything of substance after the onion is peeled back a few layers. In fact, you often hear about the billions of dollars expended on research
by countries wanting to get a head start on 5G development, but there’s not enough “meat” around the actual 5G technology solutions
Infrastructure evolution is top of mind for most operators as their networks need to meet the surge in data demand to keep up with video services and mobile devices accessing their networks. Current networks still have substantial bandwidth capacity potential; however, if operators plan to stay competitive and support future growth, they must devise a plan that evolves their current networks from a hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) platform to a converged optical platform delivering Ethernet/IP-based services to the user. However, this evolution will vary from operator to operator based on available capital, competition and the current state of their network.
Service providers have legacy coaxial cable infrastructures that support commercial services for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as enhanced broadband services to residential subscribers. With limited CapEx and pressure to reduce OpEx, providers are searching for a logical upgrade path that is not possible solely with copper cables and that is not a relatively expensive fiber overlay. Operators must consider the deployment of a combination of coaxial cables, fiber cables, conduit and microducts as a single element. This reduces installation costs because multiple conduit and cable pulls are eliminated by single sheath construction.
If you follow our blog, you may already know about the online training course
for microwave radio technicians, field engineers and site installers. The Microwave Radio Antenna Link Fundamentals
course covers the fundamentals of microwave transmission
, the most commonly used method for backhauling
to the core network from wireless cell sites
Using a “go at your own pace” format, the Microwave Fundamentals course
includes a wealth of knowledge
about microwave transmission theory, application, microwave antenna selection and systems installation. Successful completion leads to a CommScope Infrastructure Academy certification
that is valid for three years. This certification is a great way to validate fundamental knowledge
in microwave communications and gain a competitive advantage.
In time for last month’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo®, my colleague Tom Anderson authored a blog “Time for 10G EPONs to Shine.” In it, Tom discussed how 10G EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) solutions enable public and private network operators to deliver bandwidth to users well above legacy EPON or GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) rates.
Tom’s blog also points out how 10G EPON enables public and private network operators to provide their power users, backhaul circuits, inter-network connections and other big bandwidth consumers with ultra-fast connections while enjoying the other benefits of PON. It’s true that while most consumers may not “need” 10G for standard Internet usage, commercial services and business users may require it.
Need a quick update about CommScope’s latest in-building wireless offerings? I interviewed Mike Shumate, vice president of CommScope’s DAS business, at the HetNet Expo in Chicago last week to get you just that. Mike summarized what’s going on now with CommScope’s two latest in-building wireless solutions: the ION-U and the ION-E.
month, CommScope participated in the Build Eco Xpo (BEX)
Asia event held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
BEX Asia is a global business sourcing,
networking and knowledge-sharing platform for the sustainable built environment in Southeast Asia that saw more
than 350 companies from around the world showcasing their latest green products
and technologies to more than 10,000 building professionals from the region.
It is almost ironic. While we see more and more data connections go wireless, the setup of a wireless network
itself still requires a cable and a laptop. When wireless networks like UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) or LTE (Long-Term Evolution) get extended for more capacity and better performance, new base station antennas
are installed. Inside of these antennas are motors allowing remote electrical tilt
(RET) to optimize the beams of these antennas to reduce interference
and to provide the best possible service quality
and performance. The speed that we experience when we watch a movie on our smartphones can depend heavily on the beam tilt
setting of the antenna.
When you think Denver, Colorado, the first word you probably think of is not “hot.” That wasn’t the case during last month’s SCTE’s Cable-Tec Expo.
Sure, the weather was great (warmer than I expected), but there was one thing that was hot. You might say it was a “hot topic,” and that topic was network evolution.
Network evolution was top of mind for a lot of operators because they must start to consider evolving their networks to meet the surge in data demand to keep up with OTT video services and mobile devices accessing their networks. It’s no secret that if operators plan on staying competitive and support future growth, they must devise a plan that evolves their current networks from a HFC platform to a converged optical platform delivering Ethernet/IP-based services to the user. Of course this evolution will vary from operator to operator because it will be based on available capital, competition and the current state of the network.
Some of the hardest places to add new cell sites are crowded, urban areas. Finding useable sites and getting the needed zoning approvals are not the least of the concerns. Cities typically have lots of competition for limited real estate, most of which is regulated and supervised by government agencies. For wireless operators, urban areas are typically where they need the most sites to provide enough network capacity to the high concentration of subscribers.
Operators globally continue to trial various means for boosting wireless capacity in these areas. The types of sites deployed in these locales are generally called metro cells. Other challenges for operators when deploying metro cells are: