Thursday, February 21, 2013

NTT Docomo Tests Active Antennas for LTE-A

NTT DOCOMO successfully connected an active antenna to a commercially operational LTE base station.

Active antennas are expected to be widely used in LTE and LTE-Advanced base stations to improve range and lower power consumption.

The antenna, jointly developed by Tokyo-based Nihon Dengyo Kosaku Co., Ltd. and Ubidyne GmbH of Germany, was connected to a DOCOMO LTE base station via an ORI-standard interface.

The base station used in the experiment is a remote installation-type base station comprising one master station and multiple secondary stations. A conventional secondary station is equipped with an antenna and separate remote radio heads (RRH) for sending and receiving signals. An active antenna, however, has a built-in RRH, allowing the secondary station to be smaller in size and installed in more confined spaces, resulting in denser LTE coverage and reduced installation costs.

DOCOMO said the experiment indicates that it eventually will be able to install active antennas quickly and inexpensively without having to set up new base stations. DOCOMO already operates base stations that use the ORI interface, a specification of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

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