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RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, has developed a range of breakthrough technologies that will help to meet the 700MHz wireless needs of carriers in a timely and highly cost-effective manner.

North American carriers, says Rodrigo Oliveira, RFS’ area product manager for Wireless Infrastructure Solutions, have spent billions of dollars acquiring licenses for LTE at 700MHz and are now keen to start generating healthy revenues from the technology.

“Even though carrier’s LTE licenses require them to achieve 40 percent coverage by 2013, we fully expect the actual rollouts to be a lot more aggressive than that, with commercial trials taking place later this year, ready for real-world deployments in 2010,” he said.

“These ambitions, however, will have to be tempered by the situation in many areas that cell site towers are fully loaded and there is no room for additional feeders or additional antennas. Without the new products that RFS has developed, carriers would be looking at having to build additional cell sites or rent additional tower space,” he added.

According to Oliveira, RFS has devised a suite of LTE migration products to diminish all of this cost and difficulty. These include a range of diplexers to share feeders, next generation multi-band/polarity antennas that can replace the old systems, and a family of high performance 700MHz tower mounted amplifiers with advanced filtering to reduce interference levels.

Central to this suite of LTE migration products is RFS’ ShareLite Diplexer range, which gives carriers access to the antennas and associated electronics that will support multi-band, and multi-frequency transmissions without physically overloading the cell tower.

“We have pioneered the development of a leading edge set of base station technologies - spearheaded by a range of multi-band diplexers that cover carrier’s needs, including 698-960/1710-2200MHz and 698-787/824-896MHz for North American LTE deployments,” said Oliveira.

The state-of-the-art technologies that RFS has developed support features such as near-zero insertion-loss, as well as a wide array of other advantages at the cell site tower top.

For the carriers, he explained, these new technologies will mean reduced capex and much less need for extra cell site towers, as well as no extra leasing fees for site owners, helping to keeping the antenna count as low as possible.

“For North American wireless users, these advances will translate to a more rapid 700MHz service rollout, allowing customers to enjoy high capacity and low latency performance across much longer distances than before – even into areas not previously within coverage,” he said, adding that 700MHz also propagates far deeper into buildings.

Flexible solutions for flexible deployment scenarios

Even though at least one major North American carrier has already confirmed plans to launch LTE at 700 MHz in a 2010 timeframe, Oliveira says that precise carrier deployment plans are still quite fluid, owing to the need to support – as seems quite likely – the expansion of LTE into the 850 and 1900MHz frequencies over time.

This means, he says, that carriers could see usage of wideband/dual-band base station architectures alongside existing products with new tower mounted amplifiers plus feeder sharing solutions being required.

RFS’ central offering in this regard, says the North America area product manager, is a 700MHz (UL 698-716/DL 728-746MHz) tower mounted amplifier with an Rx gain > 15 dB and a noise figure of less than 1.0 dB and minimal Rx bypass loss - plus a ground-breaking Tx insertion loss of under 0.4 dB.

The company also has a family of ShareLite Diplexers ready for multi-band usage, supporting 698-960MHz in the low, and 1710-2200MHz in the high frequency band.

With typical low-band insertion losses of 0.07dB and high-band values of 0.12dB, the ShareLite Diplexers feature, says Oliveira, the best insertion loss currently available in the market, along with the industry’s most compact and lightweight (3.1 pounds) design with this performance.

“The first 700MHz trial antenna - 2.0m, 65 degree, fixed electrical tilt - started shipping during the run-up to International CTIA Wireless 2009 and you will see a wide range of different 700MHz Base Station Antenna solutions becoming available over the next 12 months,” he said, adding that support for vertical plus cross-polarity antennas will be standard across the Optimizer series.

RFS’ approach with its 700MHz base station architecture, says Oliveira, is flexibility in terms of deployment scenarios.

This flexibility, he explained, extends to support for multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) technology, allowing carriers to solve the ongoing issues associated with multi-path interference by the simple expedient of sending and receiving data over more than one antenna.

This helps, he says, to increase network capacity, peak rates and, of course, coverage in all deployment scenarios.
Capacity will be the key
Regardless of how the battle for technical supremacy in 3G and 4G markets pan out, Oliveira says that backhaul capacity is going to be a headache for carriers.

Studies have shown, he explained, that carriers will need at least 100Mbps for full mobility and 1Gbps at wireless hotspots, so it is highly likely that LTE sites will need close to 1Gbps to satisfy customer demands for data-rich services.

It's against this backdrop that RFS has developed a range of microwave backhaul technologies that easily support 1Gbps without the cost of fiber-based backhaul, which is really best suited to 2Gbps links and above, says Oliveira.

"On top of this, microwave backhaul is less costly and far quicker to install, which makes it ideal for the aggressive rollouts that North American carriers are planning on the 700MHz front," he said.

"Our technologies - including advanced low-loss cabling solutions - are designed to support carriers in their quest to meet data-rich customer demands. Dual-polarized antennas, for example, double the capacity of the antenna system, while E-band microwave systems can support up to 600Mbps links over distances of around two miles," he added.

The old adage that `time is money,' Oliveira went on to say, will apply more than ever to 700MHz network deployments, and RFS is pleased to be leading the market with solutions that matter.

“It’s clear from what the industry has seen and heard at the Mobile World Congress back in February, that the networks have highly ambitious plans for an aggressive rollout of LTE at 700MHz in North America,” he said.

“We’re ready and able to support North American carriers in this regard, but with the important caveat that our technology allows full flexibility to support the various evolution scenarios that LTE is certain to undergo in the years ahead. That flexibility translates to reduced capex and improved network coverage for carriers – a win-win situation for all concerned,” he added.

Meet with RFS at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 (Central Hall, Booth 4836).

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Notes to Editors:

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

Trademarks

Trademarks: Radio Frequency Systems® and RFS® are registered trademarks of Radio Frequency Systems. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

North America contact:

Paula Mennone-Preisner
Marketing & Communication Specialist
Radio Frequency Systems
Pho: 203.630.3311 x.1809
Mobile: 203.213.7454
Email: paula.mennone@rfsworld.com

Media contacts:

Jo Gottschalk
Turtle Consulting Group UK
Tel: + 44 70 74 707 081
Email: jgottschalk@turtleconsulting.com

Elaine Witteridge
Turtle Consulting Group UK
Tel: + 44 70 74 707 062
Email: ewitteridge@turtleconsulting.com

Jackie Thomas
Turtle Consulting Group Asia Pacific
Tel: + 64 2737 57 461
Email: jthomas@turtleconsulting.com


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