Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Alcatel-Lucent's Software Defined Radios for 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a new radio module, based on software defined radio (SDR) technology, that gives mobile service providers the flexibility to support any mix of 2G GSM, 3G W-CDMA/HSPA+ and LTE services simultaneously. The converged radio module, called the MC-TRX, can be used to upgrade the 700,000 Alcatel-Lucent base stations already deployed by service providers worldwide.

The new module, which is a key building block of Alcatel-Lucent's Converged RAN (radio access network) portfolio, has already been demonstrated to major European and Asian operators. It has the same form factor as the previous generations of TRX modules. In addition to its radio flexibility, the module offers very high GSM capacity, supporting up to 2.5x the number of transceiver capacity per cabinet. It can be configured to maximize network coverage thus reducing the number of sites. It integrates advanced radio capabilities such as MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) to ensure the best performance when used in a W-CDMA/HSPA+ or LTE configuration. It provides bandwidth flexibility up to 20MHz for easy deployments and maximum capacity for LTE introduction.

Significantly, the new converged radio module gives mobile operators the ability to "re-farm" their 900 or 1800 MHz spectrum -- currently used to provide 2G GSM services -- by introducing more advanced W-CDMA/HSPA+ or LTE services through simple software activation. This process can be managed dynamically -- if the majority of wireless subscribers on the network are using GSM, the module will be configured in GSM mode. As more subscribers move toward W-CDMA or LTE the module can shift the relative mix of technology to allocate more power and carriers to W-CDMA or LTE. The upgrades can be performed remotely on base stations equipped with the new module.

"The new converged radio module lets customers evolve networks at their own pace while optimizing use of available spectrum -- by introducing more efficient technologies -- minimizing the total cost of ownership. Just as importantly, it enables operators to prepare for the kind of bandwidth demands generated by the growth of multimedia services, supported on a variety of all-IP networks," said Wim Sweldens, president of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Networks Product activities.

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