LTE enters the era of fully electrically tuned antennas


In 2013, the issuance of LTE licenses in China officially launched 4G network construction and market competition in China, in order to pave the way for the coming era of big data.

In the LTE era, wireless networks will show several characteristics: 2G, 3G and 4G networks will run at the same time, and network thickness will increase; Outdoor macro stations, indoor small stations, micro stations, etc. form a three-dimensional coverage network, and the network density increases. Multi-network cooperation and network optimization become the key to build high-performance LTE networks. Therefore, operators need easy to operate, high efficiency, low cost, high flexibility antenna solutions to meet the increasing demand for network optimization.

Traditional mechanical downdip antennas cannot meet the requirements of LTE networks

The traditional mechanical downdip antenna controls the antenna downdip by adjusting the antenna mechanical downdip arm at the station. This scheme has three major defects:

1 Cannot meet the "optimal" downdip Angle of all frequency bands

The number of operators running networks at the same time increases, but it is increasingly difficult to obtain new sites, operators can only choose multi-frequency antennas to meet the deployment requirements. According to the ABI report, from the global development trend, the proportion of multi-frequency antenna applications will gradually increase from the current 30% to 68% in 2018.

All systems share a mechanical downdip Angle, when the downdip Angle of one system is adjusted in network optimization, the downdip Angle of other systems will also be adjusted, and the network coverage and performance will also be affected, so that all the networks of the multi-frequency antenna cannot achieve the "optimal" performance at the same time.

2 The antenna pattern is distorted due to mechanical downtilt

With the explosive growth of mobile broadband services, inter-cell interference and user experience have become the key points. Mechanical downdip can only be used to achieve different downdip adjustment for traditional fixed electrical downdip Angle, which is easy to cause pattern distortion, increase inter-cell interference, decrease edge user rate, and affect user experience.

3 Low optimization efficiency and high cost

The multi-network cooperation in the LTE era not only enhances network coverage, but also increases network "thickness" and "density". In addition, LTE network adopts the same frequency networking mode, because the same frequency interference has a great impact on the network performance, it needs to be frequently optimized. In order to optimize the network, the traditional mechanical downdip antenna needs to be accessed and adjusted station by station, which is low in efficiency and cannot meet the requirements of long-term network performance optimization in LTE networks.

At the same time, reducing costs is the eternal pursuit of operators. When the mechanical downtilt optimizes the antenna network, the upstation optimization is required, and the cost of site access, site access, and uptower adjustment is much higher than the purchase cost of the electric modulation antenna.

Also, in extreme climates and bad weather, it is difficult for people to go to the site to optimize the network. For example, Kuwait's summer is as long as 6 months, the direct sun temperature is as high as 80 degrees Celsius, and the manual adjustment of the downdip Angle of the traditional mechanical downdip antenna will face great difficulties.

To sum up, the mechanical downdip antenna will gradually withdraw from the historical stage due to its inherent defects, while the remote electric modulation antenna is becoming the choice of the global mainstream operators with its advantages of high efficiency, low cost and easy optimization.

Remote, electrically tuned antennas help build a "premium" LTE network

It is well known that the remote electrical modulation antenna can control the operation of the remote electrical modulation unit (RCU) by remote operation in the network management center, so as to adjust the antenna's beam dip Angle change.

Compared with mechanical downdip antenna, remote electric modulation antenna has many advantages: no site visit, no climate and environmental restrictions, remote real-time downdip adjustment, high efficiency and low cost; High flexibility of optimization, each frequency band can be independently optimized, can achieve the best network performance; The antenna robot arm does not move and the direction pattern does not distort when the electric dip Angle is adjusted.

The remote modulated antenna is divided into traditional remote modulated antenna and plug and play remote modulated antenna. In practical applications, a large number of external devices such as RCU and cascade cables are not easy to install, and the connection points between the devices also become unreliable parts that cause electrical modulation failures.

In order to avoid the disadvantages of traditional remote modulation antennas, plug and play remote modulation antennas are innovated, and external modulation devices such as motors and AISG cascade cables are built in to reduce the connection of external modulation devices and increase reliability, while simplifying engineering installation. At present, the scheme has become the main development trend of the electric modulation antenna, and has been applied in the global mainstream operator network. In Europe, where labor costs are high, the Middle East, where the climate is hot in summer, and Canada, where the Arctic Circle is extremely cold, plug and play remote electric modulation antennas continue to bring value to customers with high reliability, easy installation, and no configuration.

LTE networks are moving towards the era of all-electric modulation

Antenna, which accounts for a small proportion in the cost of wireless network construction, is the key channel of wireless network, which directly affects the user experience and has a decisive significance for the quality of wireless network.

As the basis of future Self-optimization-network, the remote tuning antenna not only has the characteristics of high efficiency, real-time and remote optimization, but also can transmit more valuable information through the signal channel connecting RRU and network management established by the tuning antenna, as well as the mature tuning scheme protocol. For example, the smart antenna stores weight information, antenna direction diagram information, manufacturer information, and antenna operation status information, which lays the foundation for the intelligent and information management of the subsequent antenna feed system.

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