Is CommScope Era cost effective for in-building coverage?

CommScope Era
Telecom equipment maker CommScope introduced CommScope Era, a C-RAN antenna system that leverages wireless operators’ initiatives to centralize and virtualize baseband radio assets.

The US-based wireless technology major said the CommScope Era will be a key enabler for network densification in LTE Advanced, Gigabit LTE and 5G. CommScope Era responds to operators’ needs for options that will make in-building wireless more affordable for building owners and commercial real estate companies.

The company did not elaborate on the cost efficiency of the latest in-building wireless solution to enhance coverage.

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Era enables operators to deploy a centralized headend that serves multiple buildings, or even to tap capacity from the operator’s existing centralized radio access network (C-RAN) hubs. Era’s Wide-area Integration Node (WIN) resides in the C-RAN hub and routes baseband capacity to a distribution point within the served building or campus.

CommScope said that Era allocates baseband capacity where it is needed while reducing the amount of onsite head-end equipment and the amount of fiber needed for signal transport by up to 90 percent.

“We have invested to create an all-digital platform architecture that upends the economics of in-building wireless and ushers in a new era and standard for distributed antenna systems,” said Matt Melester, senior vice president, Distributed Coverage and Capacity Solutions, CommScope.

CommScope holds 164 patent families for the technological innovations incorporated in Era. CommScope Era’s digital architecture enables capabilities that analog DAS simply cannot. Engineers can make changes in capacity re-allocation, soft re-sectorization, system setup and diagnostics with a few clicks of a mouse.

Era also transports Gigabit Ethernet backhaul to each remote node, which can be used for separate Wi-Fi networks, IP security systems or to support a small cell overlay needed for future network expansion.

Telecom engineers can use CommScope Era to enhance wireless coverage in venues because the in-building solution features access points that are available in a range of power levels, with copper and fiber connectivity and outdoor and plenum ratings.

In addition, the in-building solution supports interleaved MIMO using patented technology that can offer up to 80 percent of collocated MIMO speeds over a SISO (single input/single output) infrastructure.

Era uses IT-standard copper and fiber-optic infrastructure and allows for the sharing of existing fiber networks, significantly reducing fiber costs. The company is silent about the actual savings in fiber costs. Telecom operators are looking at optimizing their cost in order to enhance efficiency of their operations.

Kyung Mun, principal analyst, Mobile Experts, said: “Driving down costs and barriers to in-building wireless implementation will be critical for supporting the emerging demand for connected smart buildings.”

Engineers can make software upgrade to the company’s ION-E distributed antenna system to ensure interoperability with Era. CommScope did not reveal the deployment details of ION-E distributed antenna system.

CommScope will showcase the new CommScope Era C-RAN antenna system at the Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC) in Barcelona.

Baburajan K