How to Modernize Your Wireless Network for LTE

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb Philip Sorrells July 1, 2014
Network Modernization aerial viewThe task of modernizing a wireless network is becoming increasingly more complex. While every network must be updated to replace aging technology, the modernization process has the additional challenge of meeting an evolving need—mobile data consumption. As consumers purchase newer, more advanced mobile devices, the demand to increase bandwidth only compounds that need.

To meet increasing capacity requirements all the way up to 4G/LTE, wireless service providers are upgrading from conventional sites to top-of-the-tower remote radio unit (RRU) sites. Putting the RRUs close to the antennas involves deploying fiber and power cable up towers instead of the coaxial cable traditionally used. This evolved architecture is often called fiber-to-the-antenna (FTTA), and it is a big change for an industry that has relied on the traditional architecture for 20-plus years.

With change, of course, comes challenge in terms of learning how best to deploy the new architectures…and the challenges of deployment can be daunting. How can you best protect and optimize your current infrastructure while upgrading to new technologies now and in the future? What is the best method for deploying RRUs without overloading the tower? How do you ensure adequate fiber capacity that will enable you to grow while making sure your CapEx and OpEx costs do not spiral out of control?

Our new white paper “Network Modernization: Four practical solutions for cost-effectively modernizing your network” offers specific advice for these challenges. It explores different fiber and power cable configurations for choosing the right connectivity solution. The white paper describes the latest in antenna technology for simplifying the top of the tower. It also touches on one of the more concerning challenges in LTE networks—passive intermodulation (PIM)—and how to limit its appearance.

Check out the full white paper for more details. We also will be introducing a few more white papers about network modernization in blog posts over the next couple months. The new white papers will provide technical keys to modernizing wireless networks including FTTA, multiband antennas, PIM and weight and wind load mitigation. Stay tuned for more.

Have any advice to offer about network modernization? Leave a comment to keep the conversation going.

About the Author

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb

Philip Sorrells

Philip Sorrells is vice president of strategic marketing for CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. He is responsible for marketing strategy, linking key trends in the industry into marketing strategies for telecommunications networks.  Mr. Sorrells has 20 years of experience in the telecom industry with Allen Telecom, Andrew Corporation and CommScope, having spent 10 years prior with Texas Instruments. He has led the wireless industry in adopting many antenna system innovations—including remote electrical tilt (RET) technology for network optimization—and pioneering the concept of “agile networks,” which formed the basis for current initiatives in self-organizing networks. Mr. Sorrells has three patents related to antenna systems and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Texas Tech University.