CommScope Blog

Get on the RF Path to Enlightenment

TNew RRH Bloghere are several key factors driving the evolution of cell site architectures. The primary driver is the increasing demand for bandwidth and capacity. This demand is addressed by several things:

  • New radio technologies like High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Long Term Evolution (LTE)
  • Deployment of new frequency bands for cellular radio transmission
  • The increase in the number of carriers and channels (bandwidth)

While new 3G and 4G technologies like HSPA+ and LTE are introduced, there is also a need to continue to support legacy technologies like Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) for the foreseeable future. Consequently, radio networks are being required to support multiple technologies in multiple frequency bands simultaneously such as:

  • UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) 
  • WiMAX
  • GSM
  • LTE
  • CDMA

Therefore, there is a growing need to integrate these electronics and hardware in a typical base-station antenna to minimize site footprint and lower costs.

How to Efficiently Support Multiple Frequency Bands

UltraBand diplexersEvery mobile operator today is faced with the dilemma of how to add network capacity. One key factor to effectively adding more capacity is to utilize new and more frequency bands on more efficient air interface technologies, e.g. LTE and LTE-Advanced. At the core is the issue of spectrum availability in the wireless industry, which creates a need for investment in new equipment. Adding to the complexity is the lack of clarity and certainty about spectrum wins, or even when regulatory agencies will release a given spectrum for use.

These unknown variables introduce a huge potential risk as wireless operators look to modernize their wireless networks while trying to ensure that the equipment bought today can still be used tomorrow with the next available spectrum. Can the return on investment in new equipment be increased by acquiring equipment that is flexible enough to support current and future services?

Making Light Move To Educate Kids

Rob Wessels 2
Posted by Rob Wessels on July 28, 2014

Light Moves Girl 2There is nothing more important than educating youngsters. I believe we should take time out of our busy days and explain the importance of education to our kids—whether they are our kids or someone else’s. What’s so great about this is there are so many ways we can educate.

One way is to take children to museums. It doesn’t matter if you take them to the Smithsonian, Museum of National History or even a small, local museum; everyone can introduce children and students to a whole new world

CommScope is no stranger to supporting local museums, including the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas and the Catawba Science Center in our headquarters city of Hickory, North Carolina. Recently, we teamed up with several fiber optic manufacturers in support of the museum’s Light Moves exhibit. The exhibit explains the impact light has in our everyday lives. Visitors can experiment with reflecting and refracting light as they learn the scientific principles of optics. Additional displays demonstrate these principles in use in fiber optic communication devices. 

Baking a HetNet Cake

A good analogy I’ve heard used to describe the heterogeneous network (HetNet) is a layer cake. A layer cake consists of separate dessert cakes that are frosted and placed on top of each other to form a single dessert. The cakes are separate but combined into one, and an effective wireless HetNet needs to be the same way.

New Slide Rule Moves from Sun Visor to Smartphone

Slide RuleFor cable television technicians on the job, a truck is never considered fit for service without a Cable and Specification Guide, also known as a slide rule, tucked into the sun visor.

For as long as CommScope has been making coaxial cables for cable television (and that’s a long time), we have provided free cable frequency attenuation slide rules at trade shows and other events. Considering how many of those we’ve given away over the years, a lot of trees were cut down when they were made out of cardboard. For the past six years, we’ve been handing out slide rules made of plastic—which doesn’t contribute in a positive way to our carbon footprint.

Three Most Important Words For Your FTTx Network

FTTx Independent showThe Independent Show is a hotbed of creative-thinking, out-of-the-box-types—and I’m talking about the operators. There are so many FTTx success stories to be told among the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) members that an entrepreneurial writer could publish a book about them. These operators have latched on to the benefits and advantages that FTTx provides and they have never looked back.

This year’s show will be held in Kansas City, MO. CommScope will attend the show, but before we exhibit, we want you to be aware of three very important words before you deploy a FTTx solution—deployability, sustainability and scalability.

Operators, many of whom are our customers, can attest that they achieved these when building FTTx networks; however, it’s not just our solutions that make this happen, it’s the FTTx technology that best fits every aspect of the network making these three words important.

Webinar: Talking about DAS

ION-U_iPOIDistributed antenna systems (DAS) are red hot in the wireless industry. As someone who has been involved in DAS for quite a while, it’s exciting to see projections of DAS growth starting to come true. There are many drivers behind this trend, but the biggest is data traffic growth. Mobile subscribers simply are using more data services, especially streaming video, from more smartphones and tablets these days. Mobile video already accounts for almost half of mobile data usage with projections suggesting it will continue to rise.

‘Friend Request’ Your Data Center with DCIM

DCIM friend requestIt happens to all of us—life gets busy and we lose touch with friends. The occasional phone call and text is barely enough to find out about their lives and families. We resort to following them through social media, where we see that they take great vacations, move to a new house or change jobs. Even though you can’t make it to the reunion, you can see who was there and who ended up embarrassing themselves thoroughly while staying out late.

What if you could ‘friend request’ your data center? What if you were able to look at all of your floor-mounted assets the same way as going through a friend’s images and posts to find out what they are doing? 

Back to Basics in Microwave Systems: Front-to-Back Ratio and Antenna Beamwidth

front to back microwave backhaulIn the previous post of our Microwave “Back to Basics” blog series, Jim Syme spoke about radiation patterns and radiation pattern envelopes (RPE). He explained why they were so important in the planning and operation of microwave links and networks. In this post, I would like to discuss, in more detail, two of the most important characteristics of the RPE: front-to-back ratio (F/B) and antenna beamwidth.

The front-to-back ratio denotes the sensitivity of an antenna to radio waves in the region of 180 degrees plus or minus 40 degrees from the main beam direction - the area of space behind the antenna. It is defined in decibels (dB) relative to the peak of the main beam of the antenna. Details about the response immediately behind the antenna are important when evaluating the possibility of link “overshoot.” Let me explain:

How to Use Fiber to Increase Wireless Network Capacity

When modernizing a wireless network, there are many complex technical challenges to consider. To effectively address these challenges, network operators must have the best strategy for optimizing their current infrastructure and adapting to new technologies. As we ask in this new white paper, how do you make changes to existing tower components to meet the critical needs of remote radio unit (RRU) technology without overloading the tower? Just as important, how do you ensure adequate fiber capacity that will make your network future-ready, while controlling CapEx and OpEx costs?

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