CommScope Blog

CommScope Definitions: What is Carrier Aggregation?

Kevin Linehan
Posted by Kevin Linehan on May 22, 2015
LTE-tower-compressedThis blog post is part of a series called “CommScope Definitions,” in which we will explain common terms in communications network infrastructure.

Carrier aggregation is a powerful feature of LTE Advanced, which is the next major step in the evolution of LTE networks. Carrier aggregation significantly increases the performance of the wireless network and is being adopted globally at a quick pace. For wireless operators, the advantages of using carrier aggregation are greater flexibility in increasing overall cell capacity, more efficient use of spectrum and better peak user throughput. For consumers, the benefit is more consistent and higher speed data connections leading to overall improved quality of experience.

Avoiding PIM

Lou Meyer
Posted by Lou Meyer on May 21, 2015
PIM-Happens-Not-WatchThis is the fifth post in a new blog series based on the LTE Best Practices ebook

The CommScope North American Band/Block PIM Calculator available on our website has proven to be a valuable planning tool. It was designed to help RF design engineers avoid combining downlink (transmit) bands/blocks that cause harmful interference to the companion uplink (receive) frequencies. For all modulation schemes – but especially LTE – this interference reduces the signal to noise ratio and thus degrades the all-important throughput.

The Modern Data Center – Challenges and Innovations

James Young
Posted by James Young on May 20, 2015

 ModernDataCenterThis blog is the first installment of a three-part series discussing data center challenges and solutions.

The modern data center is a complex place. The proliferation of mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones, place an ever-increasing pressure on the IT departments and data centers. End-user and customers’ expectation levels have never been higher and the demand for data shows no sign of slowing down. Data center managers must manage all of these elements while also remaining efficient and keeping costs under control. So where does the data center go from here?

Defining an Efficient Data Center

Nathan Benton_new2
Posted by Nathan Benton on May 18, 2015

EfficientDCWhat is an efficient data center?  The easy answer is one I get most often: a data center that uses the least amount of power and has the most efficient cooling system. But is that the most accurate answer?  It depends.

I believe that in order to answer the question fully, you need to take a holistic approach when defining the term.  The focus should not only be on power and cooling, but also the other key components of the data center’s physical infrastructure including:

The Benefits of Class 4 Microwave Antennas

Posted by Andy Sutton on May 15, 2015
Sentinel-ETSI-Class-4(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to the CommScope Blog by Andy Sutton, principal network architect at EE. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to the CommScope Blog, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)

As Principal Network Architect at EE, the UK's most advanced digital communications company, I am tasked with ensuring that the EE wireless network is utilizing best-in-class products, designs and systems for delivering the best quality of service to our subscribers. EE prides itself on its network, which is great for job satisfaction within the engineering teams. The company recognizes the importance of having a very reliable network to deliver a superior customer experience – now we’re looking at new ways to enhance the performance again, and set the bar even higher.

Are Telecom Tools Becoming Trendy?

Ricardo Diaz
Posted by Ricardo Diaz on May 12, 2015

Online_toolsToday’s telecom professionals find themselves in the center of a perfect storm. On one hand, the technology is becoming even more complex and requires higher skills and deeper product knowledge. On the other hand, we are overloaded and have little time to improve our skills.

This is one reason we offer tools to assist engineers with their daily work. Generic software tools, such as project management or CAD software, can be versatile and often are extremely useful for some roles (in fact, CommScope provides a comprehensive Visio Library for network designers).

CommScope Definitions: What Is QAM?

Shane Eleniak
Posted by Shane Eleniak on May 8, 2015

What_is_QAM_ImageQAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) is pronounced as a one-syllable word that rhymes with Guam. QAM has to do with the way that digital information is transmitted between two points.  Fundamentally, QAM enables an analog signal to efficiently transmit digital information. It also provides the means by which an operator transmits more bits in the same time period, which effectively increases the bandwidth.

QAM is a modulation scheme that transmits data by changing the amplitude, or power level, of two signals: first in-phase with the incoming data and the second 90 degrees out of phase. QAM relates to the number of bits of information encoded in each time period. For example, eight bits defines the number of combinations that are possible for those two signals (in phase and 90 degrees out of phase). If there are 256 combinations possible for those eight bits, then it is referred to as 256 QAM. Using a single time period to convey 10 bits would be 1024 QAM. 

Challenges for Mobile Broadband in Latin America

Jose Otero
Posted by Jose Otero on May 7, 2015
LatAm-smartphones(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to the CommScope Blog by Jose Otero, director of Latin America and the Caribbean, 4G Americas. 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.)

The first commercial LTE networks in Latin America became available in late 2011. Unlike earlier mobile technologies which landed in Latin America five to six years after their initial commercial launch in other regions of the world, LTE emerged almost at the same time as in developed markets such as the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy. Thus, LTE was the first all-IP network to reach the region as well as the first time that a new network technology was deployed simultaneously in developed markets and the developing market of Latin America. LTE continues to spread throughout the region as 4G Americas reports from March 2015 show that 58 commercial LTE networks have been distributed over 22 markets in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It All Comes Back to PIM

Robert Cameron
Posted by Robert Cameron on May 6, 2015
Rooftop-cell-siteThis is the fourth post in a new blog series based on the LTE Best Practices ebook

When people hear the term “co-siting” in the wireless industry, they typically think of multiple operators sharing a site. That is one definition. But a more common scenario is when one operator co-sites multiple technologies at a site. For example, we all have heard the terms 3G and 4G. If an operator is operating a 3G network and wants to add 4G, they are essentially co-siting multiple technologies on the same site.

How this gets accomplished, however, can be challenging. There is increasingly less space available on cell towers and at other cell sites. Often there is not enough space, or it is too costly, to add another big antenna. So operators will re-purpose the existing equipment while adding a new technology like LTE. They often need to connect filters, combiners or cross-band couplers to manage the multiple 3G and 4G signals.

Different Network Challenges Across Asia Pacific Call for Different Approaches

Posted by Philip Sorrells on May 5, 2015

LTE-Best-Practices-coverGiven the very different terrains and population densities across many countries in Asia Pacific, wireless operators face distinctively different challenges when laying down infrastructure for the network.

In Asia, the urbanized cities usually observe a huge demand for speed and data from the users, yet the operators are often faced with limited land resources to build more towers. In the case of South Korea and Japan, we see leadership in applications of carrier aggregation and MIMO, which many other markets will not likely look into for another four or five years. This kind of leadership was shaped by, in essence, the urgent need to expand capacity for a relatively large number of people in a given geography.

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