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:
Several years ago, passive intermodulation (PIM) was a virtually unknown performance metric in distributed antenna systems (DAS). Today it is increasingly recognized as one of the most critical requirements for optimum system performance. Hypersensitive antennas and radios, multiple frequency overlays and more components in the RF path create an environment in which the margin for error regarding PIM continues to shrink. Given the high susceptibility of current DAS systems, even small levels of PIM distortion can significantly impact network performance, as measured by upload speed.
Outdoor macro sites were the first deployment scenarios where PIM issues had to be tackled. High power levels from the base transceiver station ports and a more complex RF path to the antennas—including jumpers, filters and tower mounted amplifiers—contribute to generating PIM, which can be very detrimental to the quality of wireless service. Due to the limited uplink transmit power of mobile terminals, the uplink receive sensitivity is a critical parameter to optimize for outdoor scenarios to allow a balanced downlink/uplink maximum path-loss. Best practices for macro site deployments have been defined over the past few years.
This final blog post in our “Back to Basics” series addresses the Return Loss and Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) characteristics of antennas. These metrics are important measures relating to the performance of an antenna system. Let me explain:
An antenna’s Return Loss is a figure that indicates the proportion of radio waves arriving at the antenna input that are rejected as a ratio against those that are accepted. It is specified in decibels (dB) relative to a short circuit (100 percent rejection).
Consider the antenna being used in transmit mode. The radio waves from the transmitter are routed via a transmission line to the input flanges of the antenna feed. At all waveguide junctions there is a mechanical mismatch, the size of which will determine the size of the consequential electrical mismatch.
The difference one day
makes can be big. Think about the difference between working six days a week and seven days a week. Having at least one day off for relaxation makes a major difference
in overall wellness and productivity when back on the job.
One day also made a big difference for a European network operator
when they trialed our HELIAX FiberFeed Direct
power and fiber solution. HELIAX FiberFeed Direct was able to shave one day off
of the planned installation time for the operator. If you multiply one day of labor and installation costs across all the sites in a network, that adds up to a tremendous savings
. That’s part of the reason why the operator approved FiberFeed Direct for use across all of its sites globally.
There is a sea change happening in the global lighting fixture market. The market is rapidly moving to light emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are based on semi-conductor technology just like computer processors. They are constantly increasing in brightness, energy efficiency and longevity. Previous generation of LEDs were used for “ambient lighting,” to create moods and enhance areas with different colors; however, they were not used for their light output—until now.
Higher power LEDs now deliver powerful light outputs in addition to having a longer lifespan. For example, a 20-watt LED light tube can replace a 40-watt fluorescent light with the same light intensity brightness or better. Many products will last up to 50,000 hours (almost 6 years); that’s about 50 times longer than a 60-watt incandescent bulb or five times longer than a 40-watt fluorescent tube.