TE Connectivity, AlcaLu collaborate on large-venue DAS, RF processing
Joint platform reduces the equipment and power needed to connect multiple mobile operators’ networks to a shared DAS in stadiums, business parks, etc.
TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) have jointly developed a platform that delivers a common digital interface between the Alcatel-Lucent Ultra-Broadband mobile access portfolio and the TE FlexWave digital distributed antenna systems (DAS). Designed to reduce the time, materials and power required for mobile operators to connect customers in high-capacity locations such as sports stadiums, train stations and business parks, the new system will be available for commercial deployment during the second quarter of 2014.
With the ability to support multiple service providers across multiple technologies and frequency bands in high-traffic locations, the TE FlexWave digital DAS products (Prism and Spectrum) enable significant efficiencies for operators; however, the DAS still needs to connect to the macro network, which previously required each operator’s base station to be equipped with RF processing and attenuation panels. According to the companies, the Alcatel-Lucent and TE pre-integrated platform removes the need for RF processing and attenuation panels on-site, which may reduce physical equipment needs by more than 50%, and cost of materials by 40%.
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Additional cost savings with the joint platform may also be achieved by using less power (equipment consumption and cooling), space and fiber utilization, resulting in operational improvements and meeting sustainability demands. By deploying the new solution in large, high-traffic shared-operator venues, the companies says that mobile operators will be able to meet demand for coverage and capacity while lowering their cost of ownership.
Specifically, interoperability has been developed at the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) between the Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio Baseband Unit (BBU) and TE Digital DAS. Alcatel-Lucent will provide a CPRI interface that plugs directly into the FlexWave universal host. TE notes that its patented digital DAS technology can accept a direct baseband interface along with legacy RF services over a single DAS network. The new joint platform allows customers to migrate their existing ALU and TE solutions to CPRI and support legacy services, and can be applied to existing FlexWave deployments.
The collaborative system is intended to conserve costs and power for operators deploying bandwidth in private shared-operator locations owned by a third party, such as sports stadiums, hotel complexes or wherever DAS may already be supplying multi-vendor coverage. The companies contend that the new pre-integrated solution cuts the time and space required to deliver mobile ultra-broadband connectivity at these locations.
TE will showcase the FlexWave CPRI digital interface unit at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, from February 24-27, 2014, in booth 6B52.
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