CommScope's small cell concealment platform designed to ease urban wireless deployments

June 25, 2013
Because it is often impractical to deploy small cells in congested urban areas, operators require safe options for adding wireless capacity.

Wireless operators now require new strategies to keep ahead of surging mobile data consumption rates by offloading macro network traffic onto smaller, denser cell sites -- particularly in congested urban areas. To help in deploying these small cells more effectively, CommScope is now supplying its family of "equipment-integrated, factory-tested, modular solutions," dubbed the Metro Cell Concealment Solutions line.

Part of the company's Andrew wireless infrastructure portfolio, the products conceal key RF path equipment in a visually unobtrusive structure that more easily meets zoning restrictions in urban and suburban areas. According to the company, the stealthy appearance of the new integrated RF platform can help operators meet concealment requirements and physical space limitations for such cell sites. The company says the products can also help solve operators’ key issues involving power supply, backhaul and site acquisition and deployment times.

Providing a modular, systems-based approach to typical urban deployment scenarios, the Metro Cell Concealment Solutions line comes in three varieties to meet customer needs:

-- The integrated top assembly includes the antenna and other optional RF conditioning components such as diplexers and tower mounted amplifiers. These components are integrated into one unit that can be mounted to billboards, street poles and other existing structures, offering adaptability to current conditions.

-- A rooftop version consists of the integrated RF Path unit and non-penetrative supports designed specifically to avoid drilling penetration points into the roof.

-- A monopole version includes the integrated RF Path unit plus a monopole for mounting as a standalone structure on city streets or in traditional cell site locations. This option blends into the existing street appearance while providing needed wireless capacity.

All integrated wireless equipment -- including antennas, low noise amplifiers, diplexers, fiber and coaxial cable and cable assemblies -- are pre-assembled and tested by CommScope to deliver reliable performance. For critical areas with very high cell density, a key application includes integration of the CommScope/Andrew ION-M and ION-U distributed antenna systems. The DAS remote units are integrated into the lower section of the metro cell system, and quasi-omni or three sector antenna systems are integrated in the top section.

“There are many logistical challenges when it comes to increasing sector density in metropolitan wireless networks in addition to the technological ones,” says Philip Sorrells, vice president of strategic marketing, Wireless, CommScope. “The Metro Cell Concealment Solutions can help speed the site acquisition process and deployment times by meeting aesthetic requirements and space limitations.”

CommScope notes that the Metro Cell Concealment Solutions are radio-agnostic and forward-compatible to support multiple operators and technologies. The products are now available globally.

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