When Providers Collide: LTE and Cable TV

DavidSherrill Headshot_small David Sherrill February 15, 2016

XPress_WhitePaper_CoverAn electromagnetic war is raging, and the battlefield is the 570-800 MHz frequency range. That’s because both cellular LTE and service providers use these bands for their signals—two great connectivity empires on a collision course. Whenever you have multiple signals occupying the same frequency bands, you run the risk of signal interference that can greatly impede one or both services.

For service providers, the threat of signal interference is most prevalent in the last hundred feet; that is, at the drop cable connection from the utility pole to the subscriber’s residence. To keep the electromagnetic peace, service providers need to employ shielded cable that keeps external LTE signals out and contains the cable television (CATV) signals.

Raise the Shields!

Cable shielding involves layers of super-thin aluminum foil and layers of braided aluminum, increasing its effective surface area. Simply put, these layers attenuate any signal seeping in or out of the cable. What’s not so simple, however, is the variety of engineering options available—and the trade-offs that come with each.

Shielding levels can range from 60 to 90 percent. Additional layers improve interference resistance, but make the cable more prone to damage when flexed and also complicate connectorization—two issues that arise regularly in the last hundred feet. The ideal shielding solution is found in the sweet spot between density and design.

Achieving Balance

Pursuit of this optimal balance is what led CommScope to develop XpressPrep drop cables, featuring a 77 percent tri-shield design. This allows three times the industry standard for flexibility while also providing superior cable and connector interference resistance.

Conflict in the 570-800 MHz band may rage for years. It only makes sense to employ a solid defense built on XpressPrep. You can learn more by downloading the “The Impact of Cellular Deployment on MSO networks at Lower Frequency Bandswhite paper.

About the Author

DavidSherrill Headshot_small

David Sherrill

David Sherrill, Product Manager at CommScope, manages the  75 ohm Coax Cable business; Drop and Trunk cables. He is responsible for product road mapping and life cycle management, 80/20 and PLS efforts, product line P&L, market level pricing decisions, margin analysis and management, and leading the Drop and Trunk Product Team.  David is a long-term CommScope employee in his 29th year of service. David joined the Product Management team in July of 2014. Prior to working in Product  Management, David’s background has been in the operations side of the business. David previously served as Director of Operations at CommScope’s Catawba manufacturing facility responsible for the manufacturing and support of Drop, Trunk, Cable-in-Conduit and Wireless cables. David also has served as the Operations Manager at the Claremont North Carolina facility with responsibility for the Twisted Pair and Specialty Coax business.  Earlier in David’s CommScope career, he held various positions in manufacturing including Production Manager, Quality Manager, and Supervisor. David started his CommScope employment in the plant hourly ranks and took advantage of CommScope’s Employee Education Assistance Program to complete his BA Degree.