Nokia Siemens Networks and Vodafone have successfully tested a new antenna technology designed to reduce carbon emissions and improve the cost efficiency of mobile phone networks for operators.
The tests, carried out through the recently announced Nokia Siemens Networks Innovation Centre (NICE) initiative between the two companies, mark the first time that an integrated Active Antenna solution has been used on a commercial mobile WCDMA telecommunications network.
Nokia Siemens Networks Active Antenna incorporates elements of the base station within the antenna, reducing the footprint of base stations and lowering power consumption.
The solution is capable of supporting multiple standards, such as GSM, WCDMA and LTE, and has been developed in accordance with the industry’s Single RAN specification, which Vodafone has also played a key role in developing.
“We see Active Antennas as the next logical step in base station site evolution, where the trend is to move RF parts closer to the antenna. Nokia Siemens Networks is a leader in Active Antenna technology, helping operators reduce CAPEX and OPEX with its innovative solutions” said Tommi Uitto, head of Wireless Access Product Management at Nokia Siemens Networks.
Active Antenna technology has the potential to support operators by enhancing network performance and increasing the flexibility of deployment while creating opportunities to lower OPEX through reducing site rental, maintenance and energy costs.
“Vodafone is committed to driving innovation throughout its operations and working closely with its vendor community to enhance the quality of our customers’ experience, while identifying opportunities for greater cost efficiencies” said Fergal Kelly, Director of Access Networks, Vodafone Group.
The Active Antenna solution is targeted at operators rolling out new 3G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks or enhancing their existing 3G networks, as well as for those markets planning to re-farm current GSM band to make space for WCDMA/LTE.
For the demonstration of voice and data calls over the Active Antenna system, Nokia Siemens Networks provided the uB900 Antenna Embedded Radio from its partner Ubidyne integrated to be part of a Flexi Base Station system. Vodafone provided access to its commercial network in Italy where the engineering team successfully performed the joint technology assessment.
The demonstration is the first project to be generated through the NICE initiative between Vodafone and Nokia Siemens Networks, based in Madrid, Spain and created for the purpose of joint innovation around new concepts, products and architectures.