First it was the network core, then the RAN. Now it appears the virtualization craze has moved to the baseband radio. Commscope, which makes products that enhance wireless coverage in buildings and stadiums, says it has developed a way to virtualize and centralize the baseband radio assets in a distributed antenna system (DAS) deployment.
According to Matt Melester, SVP of DAS and small cell solutions at Commscope, the company has a new platform, called Era, that will let operators deploy a centralized head-end to serve multiple buildings but then will route the baseband capacity where it is needed. Commscope says Era will reduce the amount of headend equipment and also the amount of fiber necessary to carry the signal by up to 90 percent.
This means that when a stadium or another in-building deployment needs additional capacity or needs to alter how its system is deployed, the company can use software to re-allocate the resources. “We can compact and drive down the base station assets and move them off site to make them more cost effective,” Melester said.
He added that the company can now use software to do what he called “intelligent re-sectorization, “which means instead of having to physically re-cable a stadium to move resources around and add capacity, it can now do the same thing but use software. “We can reconfigure the system with different profiles for the event,” he said.
The company also has patented a new technology that it says will support interleaved multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) meaning that it can offer up to 80 percent of MIMO speeds over a single-input, single-output (SIMO) infrastructure. “This allows us to get the performance of collocated MIMO over SIMO,” he said, noting that this is a popular option for enterprises because SIMO is a lot less expensive than MIMO.