Alcatel-Lucent announced on Monday a new radio interface for distributed antenna systems (DAS) that it says will save operators more than 80 percent in power and cooling costs and 90 percent in space requirements.
According to Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE Business senior vice president and general manager Glenn Booth, the Distributed Antenna System Radio Frequency Module (DAS RFM) is a wideband low-power LTE interface that connects to the company’s 9926 digital baseband unit and works with any analog DAS using radio frequency (RF) signals that consume just a fraction of the power and space used by traditional DAS interfaces.
“What we’re announcing is based on an RF platform that we introduced at the beginning of this year,” Booth said. “This new product uses much less space – almost 100 percent less space – than a macro cell approach and much less power, so the cost to the operator in interfacing with these DAS is much lower than the cost in the market today.”
In cost savings studies conducted by Bell Labs, the new DAS RFM provided an 81 percent savings in power and cooling costs, 78 percent savings in energy costs and 30 percent cost savings in wireless and DAS equipment required when compared to a traditional RRH and associated equipment. Live tests of the new system have also shown up to 10dB improvement in uplink noise, which allows for greater cell coverage and data speeds, and allows the radio to serve more end-users.
Booth said the most important feature of the new module, however, is the massive 91 percent cost savings in terms of space the unit provides.
“We can put 40 radio heads worth of coverage in one rack where it used to take 10 racks to do the same thing,” Booth explained. “All of this allows them to accelerate the addition of capacity in places (where space is limited), so it’s not only cheaper, it’s also faster. It really does have a big impact on all of us and how well our wireless service works.”
The Alcatel-Lucent DAS RFM will be offered in two wideband hardware versions, one for low band and one for high band radios. Each radio will cover between six and 10 bands. The card will be able to fit in a standard 19-inch indoor cabinet.
Alcatel-Lucent said filter cards will be made available by end of December 2015 in selected frequency bands.
Filed Under: Infrastructure