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Wireless networks are becoming more complex, and new cell sites are becoming more difficult to secure. One way to grow capacity and coverage is network densification—the practice of increasing coverage and capacity through the deployment of more numerous but smaller cells, or splitting existing cells into more sectors. However, these practices also increase the likelihood that interference will drag down network performance.
RF conditioning mitigates the detrimental effects of densification by improving link performance in the RF path between radio and antenna. As space and weight considerations force many remote radio units back to the base of the tower, RF conditioning becomes even more important to network quality and reliability.
RF conditioning is the key to leveraging many of today’s most important technologies and practices, including MIMO (multiple input/multiple output), VoLTE (Voice over LTE), small cells and others—plus, it will become increasingly important as newly-released spectrum unleashes the next wave of network densification.
Since the earliest analog radio systems, RF conditioning devices have played an important role in wireless base station architecture. RF conditioning consists of both hardware and software solutions designed with features, designs and applications that have evolved over time. The trend continues today with new product developments and adaptations designed to support increasingly complex cell sites.
A new CommScope white paper, Densifying with grace: The resurgence of RF conditioning devices, examines current and future applications of RF conditioning components, the new challenges faced by designers, and the latest and emerging solutions that overcome those challenges.
Check it out for the current status of RF conditioning in wireless networks. If you have any questions, leave me a comment, and I’ll gladly reply.