UK - “Specialized base station enhancement infrastructure and antenna solutions, together with effective infrastructure optimization strategies, offer mobile operators a quick and effective path to achieving the capacity and coverage they will need to deliver LTE services and meet customer experience expectations,” says Peter Jackson, Director at Communication Components Inc (CCI; www.cciproducts.com) in Europe, a leader in base station enhancement solutions and strategies.
“While there is considerable and understandable focus by operators on developing increasingly sophisticated network planning and optimization software to meet the demands of ever more complex, heterogeneous networks,” Jackson continues, “by complementing these advances with enhancements to existing cell site infrastructure we can actually enable operators to achieve coverage and capacity results well beyond the scope of those that will be achieved through the use of software and radio network planning alone.”
While developments in network planning and optimization software, as well as the emergence of SONs and HetNets, small cells and femtocells, are helping towards meeting LTE capacity and coverage targets, innovative cell site enhancement solutions will complement these developments and help operators reach the same goals by optimizing their existing infrastructure resources, but without further, major capex.
“At a time when LTE and 4G service roll-outs and demands are forcing MNOs to look hard at how they can extract more from existing hardware infrastructure, RF enhancement solutions, including antennas and antenna-sharing combiners, splitters, cell extenders and other site-sharing equipment, will be instrumental in delivering solutions and strategies to maximize coverage and capacity of LTE and 4G infrastructure without increasing capex and opex,” says Jackson.
“Latest state-of-the-art Bi-Sector Array™ antennas, for example, will more than double the capacity of a cell site and maximize the use of existing spectrum. Used independently, or in conjunction with other cell site extension products, such antennas are designed to dramatically improve network service capacity and quality by addressing spectral efficiency, link quality, and coverage constraints.
“Including such equipment in an overall optimization strategy will be the best way of reaching the highest achievable coverage and capacity targets, in turn helping mobile operators across the world to handle today’s mobile data explosion,” he adds.
Another issue to affect capacity and coverage that, according to Jackson, is likely to increase as LTE and 4G networks roll out, particularly as MNOs increasingly share RF infrastructure at the cell site, is the problem of interference through passive intermodulation. “LTE operators will need effective PIM management strategies to ensure no losses or compromise on performance occur to ensure good customer experience. Mitigating PIM effectively is a win-win of capex and opex savings for any operator,” Jackson concluded.