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Mar 05, 2013

2013 Mobile World Congress: Moving On – Microwave Journal

Microwave Journal

March 5, 2013

Just as mobile networks are reaching their capacity so too did the Fira de Barcelona Conference and Exhibition Centre, which had played host to the Mobile World Congress since 2006, prompting a move to the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via for MWC 2013, which took place from 25 to 28 February 2013. The modern, contemporary venue was a fitting backdrop to a show focusing on cutting edge, state of the art innovation. Its cavernous halls offered scope for those with the funds to erect stands on a grand scale, the impact of which could be viewed from the upper (moving) walkway that traversed the site.  View our Photo Gallery and Video Gallery to see our multi-media coverage of the event.

More than 72,000 attendees from 200 countries were treated to a wealth of learning and networking opportunities, product showcases, announcements and innovation. More than 1,700 companies showcased their organisations through exhibition stands and hospitality space across eight halls and outdoor spaces that offered occasional February sunshine.

Not only has the venue changed but so too could the mobile communications landscape. The most significant news for the RF industry was QualComm releasing information just prior to the show that they will be producing their own single chip RF front-end.  This is reported to meet the requirements for 4G/LTE in a single CMOS chip that includes envelope tracking and antenna tuning.  This could have a huge impact on the industry if the device turns out to meet all of the performance requirements it is reported to have.

MWC annually offers a gauge as to whether the ‘talked about technologies’ are developing as predicted, have lost momentum or fallen by the wayside. Not long ago LTE was the new thing, vying for attention alongside WiMAX! Now, along with its sidekicks LTE-Advanced and TD-LTE, LTE has established itself with rollouts. However, VoLTE is still to find its voice. A key topic that was raised on several occasions and one which is particularly on the test and measurement manufacturers’ radar is Carrier Aggregation, which is a key feature of 4G LTE-Advanced and part of LTE Release 10.

The device companies are also concerning themselves with carrier aggregation, small cells and 802.11ac along with higher efficiency PAs, antenna tuning, power management, filtering and higher levels of integration.

Small cells are much vaunted as the means of filling the connectivity void, while the merits of Active Antenna Systems and Distributed Antenna Systems are also being voiced. An issue that continues to raise its head is backhaul, which is one of the major areas of congestion on cellular networks but one that is being addressed by various companies offering microwave backhaul.

All of these themes were reflected in the exhibition which also offered glimpses of exciting new phones, tablets, devices, back-end solutions, technologies, applications, accessories, and more. Companies from across the globe, covering the complete mobile communications spectrum demonstrated their latest innovations. Those particularly active in the RF and microwave sector were the test and measurement, semiconductor and chipset, components, small cell and backhaul equipment manufacturers. Read on for a selection of the new products which were showcased.

Test & Measurement

Key demonstrations performed by Aeroflex Limited included carrier aggregation on LTE-A user equipment (UE), and LTE TDD-FDD handover on the E500 Capacity Test Platform. The 7100 carrier aggregation demonstration featured the Aeroflex TM500 Test Mobile to emulate the UE under test, along with the 7100 Digital Radio Test Set to perform carrier aggregation measurements. As well as carrier aggregation, the TM500 supports all the key LTE-A features of 3GPP Release 10, including enhanced Inter Cell Interference Cancellation (eICIC) and 3GPP Release 10 Transmission Mode 9 (TM9).

The E500 LTE Capacity Test System is claimed to be the industry’s first capacity tester to successfully hand over data services between TDD and FDD networks. This is a crucial test capability now that network operators around the world are commissioning dual-standard networks as part of the rapid expansion in TD-LTE (LTE TDD) networks.

Agilent Technologies introduced the new E6607C EXT wireless communications test set, featuring an integrated multiport adapter for cost-effective, high-volume wireless device manufacturing test. Optimized for testing multiple devices simultaneously, the EXT-C is an integrated one-box tester that includes a vector signal analyzer, vector signal generator, high-speed sequence analyzer, eight bi-directional input/output ports for multiformat cellular testing, and four output ports for GNSS testing.

The company focused on product demonstrations, which included the newest T4000S LTE Conformance Test Systems family that provide extensive test coverage for RCT, PCT and RRM, and are validated by GCF and PTCRB for both FDD and TDD technologies. Also featured were the newest signal generation and analysis test tools for LTE-Advanced and multi-standard radio (MSR). LTE-Advanced signal generation is easy and flexible using Signal Studio, and analysis and troubleshooting go deeper with 89600 VSA, including one-button MSR compliance testing.

Extensive 2G/3G/LTE Functional Test explored the latest capabilities of the 8960 and PXT wireless communications test sets for comprehensive 2G/3G and LTE testing. Technologies showcased include Dual Band DC-HSDPA, HSPA+ MIMO, TD technologies, the latest VoLTE solutions and full 2G/3G/LTE handovers. The company also demonstrated how Fast Manufacturing Test for Wireless Devices can help manufacturers achieve faster test times and increased throughput, while the popular FieldFox handheld RF and microwave analyzers, were also featured.

Finally, under embargo, the company announced that all new Agilent electronic test instruments sold after 1 March 2013 will be covered by a ‘bumper-to-bumper’ three-year repair warranty. The increase from one year to three years is the result of ongoing quality initiatives.

Anite claims to be the first vendor to announce support for GCF device data throughput testing for LTE and 3G. This achievement has been enabled by its recently launched internal fading capability that is available as a software upgrade to the company’s existing device testing solution portfolio. Anite’s internal fading capability provides users with a highly competitive platform for comprehensive device performance testing (such as LTE data throughput) that is either part of a mobile operator’s device acceptance scheme or part of a mobile device certification process.

Anite also took the opportunity to showcase its newly acquired market leading Propsim® branded portfolio consisting of radio channel emulators designed to replicate wireless environments and isolate performance issues of wireless equipment in order to ensure the reliable functionality of any broadband wireless technology including LTE. Propsim® FS8, a compact-sized radio channel emulator with a broad range of test cases and applications, provides accurate and realistic MIMO radio channel modelling for advanced LTE performance testing. It includes features necessary to truly replicate the live channel environment from within the lab.

For its part Anritsu offered a demonstration of the MD8430A signalling tester with the new Rapid Test Designer (RTD) based solution for full VoLTE services. This technology has already been adopted in the field, proving its credentials and capability as a complete IMS signalling and LTE signalling solution within a single environment. Within the same test platform the company also demonstrating full LTE-Advanced test capability with carrier aggregation. Carrier aggregation technology was also demonstrated operating on both RF and Protocol conformance test solutions.

Also featured was the recently released portable MW82119A PIM Master, which has enabled engineers testing PIM in hard to reach areas to use a solution with 40 W power measurement capabilities that measures beyond the cable run of an antenna. Sources of PIM within an antenna site can significantly degrade the network performance when left unchecked, so in difficult-to-access sites, such as Remote Radio Head (RRH) installations and indoor Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) the portable single box solution is ideal. The MD8475A signalling tester was also on view.

Azimuth was featuring their Field-to-Lab testing – Drive it, Map it, Play it.  Their Field-to-Lab testing includes profiling the environment, recreating the real field conditions in the lab, visualizing channel conditions over a drive test route and troubleshooting, debugging and stressing the test devices.   Then automate the test bed.  Behind the hardware is their channel emulator which is 60% smaller than the previous model.

EMScan offers very near field measurement systems that give real-time results of antenna radiation patterns.  They offer an antenna measurement tool that provides real-time antenna performance characterization on a small desktop form factor. They also offer and EMC/EMI diagnostic tool to identify and solve problems in a single design cycle in the lab by showing emissions or leakage in real-time.

Kaelus was featuring their PIM analyzer that can support multiple test scenarios such as testing at the top of the tower, base of the tower, roof top and in-building for DAS systems.  It is a rugged hand-held 20 W unit that is battery operated including an iPad Mini for remote control, hands free dynamic testing scenario.  It has range to fault to identify the location of PIM and return loss sources.

Ixia introduced a new category of products that deliver a highly scalable network visibility solution to help mobile carriers better understand their rapidly growing 4G LTE networks. The Ixia Anue GTP Session Controller enables mobile carriers to gain better insight and control over individual user sessions in order to increase customers’ quality of experience. Ixia’s VeriWave solutions test Wi-Fi devices and wireless LAN networks using a unique client-centric model that precisely measures the real-world behaviour of mobile device, their impact on other devices, and overall network performance.  They also perform traffic generation and analysis systems reduce test cycles.  Their site assessment solution evaluates network quality and the end-user quality of experience (QoE) for individual client devices on a live network.

National Instruments featured its second vector signal transceiver, the NI PXIe-5645R, which is built on a software-designed architecture that engineers can modify with LabVIEW to meet their specific needs. The new vector signal transceiver adds a high-performance, differential or single-ended I/Q interface to test both the RF and baseband signals of a device with a single instrument for faster test times using the latest PC and FPGA technologies.

Features include; a 65 MHz to 6 GHz frequency range, 80 MHz instantaneous bandwidth and 24 channels of high-speed digital I/Q, a baseband I/Q interface with 16-bit data sampled at 120 MS/s with up to 80 MHz of complex bandwidth, configurable as differential or single ended, and open, programmable FPGA that engineers can customize to add user-defined functionality

The company also offers test solutions for 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth low-energy technology that combine NI graphical system design software and modular, FPGA-based PXI instrumentation to provide high-performance test capabilities that are completely user-programmable. These test solutions along with other cellular, navigation and wireless connectivity solutions, help engineers thoroughly test their devices on a single high-performance platform.

Rohde & Schwarz together with the sister companies SwissQual and ipoqueexhibited its entire range of test solutions for mobile network operators. From RF and protocol test systems for vendor selection, to handheld instruments for on-site installation and interference hunting, to drive test systems, benchmarking and deep packet inspection the company offered a full portfolio of test solutions for the complete mobile network lifecycle.

Specifically, the company has equipped its R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester with new software options for LTE-Advanced downlink carrier aggregation. The R&S CMW500 makes it possible for the developers of chipsets used in tomorrow’s wireless devices to carry out the tests defined in LTE-Advanced Release 10. These include verification tests on the physical layer and the protocol stack as well as throughput tests. All combinations of defined bands and bandwidths for LTE-Advanced can be tested with two downlink carriers, including MIMO 2×2 and 4×2. The R&S CMW500 emulates the two cells used in an LTE-Advanced network. By combining two R&S CMW500, it is also possible to test the handover within LTE-Advanced networks. Significantly, the R&S CMW500 test platform also supports TD-SCDMA signalling

Also, new options extend the baseband of the R&S SMBV100A vector signal generator to 160 MHz, Using the R&S SMBV100A and R&S FSV, manufacturers of WLAN chipsets, components and devices can now easily generate and analyze signals with 160 MHz bandwidth.

Together with Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), Rohde & Schwarz also performed a live test on a 2×2 MIMO base station in the uplink and downlink. ASTRI provided an LTE-Advanced small cell as the device under test but significantly for this demonstration the 2×2 MIMO signal is generated and analyzed using only a single measuring instrument each. The test setup included a high-end R&S SMU200A vector signal generator, which generates a faded EUTRA/LTE uplink signal with 2×2 MIMO. This MIMO signal is received and demodulated by ASTRI’s LTE-Advanced small cell. The R&S RTO digital oscilloscope acquires the 2×2 MIMO downlink signal output by the small cell. The signal is analyzed on a PC using the R&S FS-K102PC EUTRA/LTE downlink MIMO software.

With Spirent’s Live2Lab, the end-user mobile experience can be assessed in a more realistic and predictive way than has previously been possible in a lab environment, allowing mobile device and wireless infrastructure performance issues to be consistently reproduced and diagnosed prior to commercial deployment. The captured RF environment data is mapped to the Spirent VR5 Spatial Channel Emulator using the Virtual Drive Test Conversion Tool.  The VR5 provides a replay capability for the RF environment, in conjunction with lab-based network infrastructure, or with the Spirent CS8 Mobile Device Tester, which is used to emulate the wireless network.

Devices and Components
Altair Semiconductor added the 3800/3802 baseband processors and the 6300 radio chip to its FourGee platform. The firm, which started life in the WiMAX world and has taken part in TD-LTE trials in China is targeting dongles, mobile routers, smartphones and, in future, M2M devices which require LTE-only (in FDD or TDD flavours but without integrated 3G or 2G). Its latest chips support two elements of LTE-Advanced Release 10 – carrier aggregation and eICIC, and other elements will be added via software upgrades as demand is seen. An interesting feature of the chips is support for envelope tracking (ET) technology which addresses the fragmentation of LTE spectrum by supporting many bands at once while preserving battery life. UK start-up Nujira has been pushing ET for several years and recently announced Woodstock, a reference design for smartphone RF front ends, which can support a total of 16 frequencies while keeping power low.

We had the chance to visit Cree and Etaoffsite as they were displaying some possibly ground breaking PAs with 70% efficiency (probably about 60% efficiency in actual use) which is a huge improvement over today’s 40-45% efficiency range for basestations.  Eta is a new startup out of MIT that developed Asymmetric Multilevel Outphasing (AMO) that is similar in some ways to envelope tracking but still maintains wide bandwidth by reducing the resolution of voltage levels used.  They are using Cree’s GaN devices and plan to introduce their product to the basestation market first followed by the handset market.  Like the Qualcomm news, this also could be a game changer if they are able to successfully bring it to market and meet all of the performance needs.

Maxim introduced a single-chip multi-standard RF to Bits® small cell radio transceiver. This highly integrated solution requires very few external components to execute an all-band, multimode, multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radio design. The MAX2580 design package also includes full system-level reference designs to shorten time to market. This RF transceiver is ideal for mobile operators planning residential, enterprise, or outdoor small cell deployments in their next-generation heterogeneous networks (HetNet).  Maxim and Freescale Semiconductor collaborated to showcase a comprehensive LTE/3G picocell base station. This small cell base station platform design is field deployable by mobile operators and also serves as a production-ready reference design to accelerate time to market for equipment manufacturers. They were also showing off a new 6 GHz synthesizer with an integrated VCO along with many other products outside of the RF sector.  See our video of their RF to Bits solutions here.

Nujira Ltd celebrated the opening of the 2013 Mobile World Congress by announcing that it has passed the 200 patent mark. The company has the most extensive Envelope Tracking IPR portfolio in the industry and this latest milestone demonstrated Nujira’s continuing innovation in developing ET for use in modern digital communications.

The company’s most recent patents go beyond current ET implementations to cover next-generation, higher bandwidth architectures that are required for future handset capabilities such as Carrier Aggregation, MIMO, and LTE-Advanced. The patents cover not only the core technical breakthroughs that underpin the company’s high bandwidth, low noise, high efficiency Coolteq®ET modulator ICs, but thousands of separate claims, covering all aspects of ET systems and components. These include system architectures, timing alignment, linearization with or without Digital Pre Distortion (DPD), PA performance enhancement, system optimization, test & measurement, and production-line calibration techniques.

Peregrine is collaborating with Intel on the latest generation of its DuNE™ tuning technology offering for Intel’s LTE platform reference design.  The tuning solution utilizes Peregrine’s third generation tuning products, which feature multidimensional tuning capabilities, for full coverage of the 41 available LTE bands. The solution introduces a monolithic full tuning network that integrates three digitally tuneable capacitors (DTCs), a MIPI serial interface, and all tuning functions in a single device. They also have expanded the DuNE™ Digitally Tuneable Capacitor (DTC) product line with six second-generation devices for antenna tuning in 4G LTE smartphones.  Finally, they announced that they release their STeP8 technology which has a 36% improvement in RonCoff performance over STeP5 technology announced just one year ago—dramatically improving the linearity, insertion loss, and isolation capabilities of Peregrine’s RFIC products.

RF Micro Devices announced it is shipping production volumes of its power amplification solutions that are compatible with Broadcom’s 5G WiFi chips. They developed the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz FEMs with Broadcom’s 5G WiFi chips, which are based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard. They also announced the expansion of the company’s entry solutions product portfolio to include multiple new solutions for 2G and 3G entry smartphones. RFMD stated that they intend to expand its entry solution product portfolio in calendar 2013 to include fully integrated silicon-based multimode power amplifiers and multimode transmit modules (maybe a result of their Amalfi acquisition).

They also expanded their family of multimode multi-band (MMMB) power amplifiers (PAs) to include the highly integrated 3G/4G MMMB PA. RFMD’s MMMB PA portfolio is compatible with all leading chipset providers and includes multiple derivatives accommodating a variety of band counts, air interface standards, interfaces (both GPIO and RFFE), and power management schemes, including average power tracking (APT) and envelope tracking (ET). In addition, they announced multiple new products to RFMD’s envelope tracking (ET) power management and power amplifier (PA) solutions.

Skyworks is ramping up several antenna tuning products with leading smartphone manufacturers mostly using their advanced SOI switching solutions.  They also announced that several leading OEMs and smartphone providers are leveraging the company’s highly customizable, fully optimized SkyOne™ front-end solution. The SkyOne platform, which integrates all RF and analog content between the transceiver and antenna, reduces complexity, size and time-to-market for customers with demanding architectures for advanced mobile applications. Skyworks expanded its wireless portfolio with the introduction of highly integrated front-end modules enabling 802.11ac connectivity in smartphones and tablets with modules for both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.

Texas Instruments was offsite and talking about their coming 2 chip solution for microcells that include both RF and baseband coverage using new JESD interface.  They are emphasizing small cell products and offering flexible products with software to customize them for each user’s needs.  They are offering a holistic solution that can satisfy the needs of a wide variety of customers.

TriQuint recently introduced two new high-performance multi-band, multi-mode power amplifiers (MMPAs) that extend operating time while simplifying complex RF design for today’s increasingly sophisticated wireless devices. The highly integrated MMPAs support more frequency bands in 20% less board space than discrete architectures. The versatile new MMPAs also allow manufacturers to support more regional phones with a common platform. TriQuint’s new duplexer bank utilizes bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technology to support Band 25 and temperature-compensated surface acoustic wave (TC-SAW) technology to serve Band 26. TriQuint’s advanced filter technologies are instrumental in enabling simultaneous voice and data for next-generation 3G / 4G smartphones. TriQuint’s three new high-performance WLAN front-end modules and two advanced Wi-Fi /4G coexistence filters enable a superior wireless user experience. Their two 5 GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi RF modules, as well as the new 2.4 GHz WLAN product, provide extended operating ranges when compared with earlier products.  I like their new tagline – Reach Further, Reach Faster.

WiSpry was featuring their MEMS single chip antenna tuner with VSMW corrections of up to 20:1 over any phase with fast and accurate control using SPI and MIPI RFFE 1.1 interfaces.  Their new design uses chip level packaging to reduce the footprint by 60%.  It will be interesting to see how this type of solution competes with the tuneable capacitor based CMOS solutions.

We also had a chance to visit the WiGig Alliance which will merge with the WiFi Alliance soon and they have certified their standards with WiFi 802.11ac.  Another interesting meeting was with theUNH Interoperability Lab which has setup interface standards for the RF industry.  They developed the DigRF standard along with the RFFE standard for the RFICs to talk to the RF front-end and now the eTrak standard is being worked for envelop tracking.

Small Cells
The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, announced Small Cell Release One. This is the first deliverable in its Release programme, which provides operators with all the information they need to successfully launch the technology in one easily digestible package. The theme of Release One is the Home, providing the complete body of work that operators will need in order to deploy residential femtocells. It also contains significant advanced work on future releases, including enterprise, metro, and rural small cells.

Release One is aimed at operators who have waited to deploy residential small cells until the market and technology were proven while also assisting operators planning newer enterprise, metro and rural rollouts. It provides all the business case and technical detail, including recommended equipment specifications for RFPs, together with best practice from the operators which have successfully deployed femtocells in scale.

Addressing small cell challenges, CommScope is adding its expertise in macro site deployment to multiple Andrew RF cell densification solutions to create a portfolio of options that help operators address small cell deployment concerns (we visited with them off site).  Their products include distributed antenna systems (DAS), integrated RF concealment, wireless backhaul support including antennas and turn-key services. CommScope is also offering a new, comprehensive antenna solution that enables wireless operators to significantly increase capacity at the cell site. The Six Sector Solution utilizes advanced antenna technology that can make site acquisition and installation easier by enabling the use of three antennas where six were previously needed.  Late last year CommScope introduced an Argus™UltraBand, believed to be the world’s first ultra-wideband antenna system capable of supporting the four major air-interface standards in almost any wireless frequency range. It enables operators to reduce the number of antennas in their networks, lowering tower leasing costs while increasing speed to market capability.

NEC Corporation highlighted the latest update to its solution portfolio for small cell backhaul, particularly the adoption of millimetre-wave technologies. In line with expected large scale deployments of small cell networks, the company provides all of the key technologies required for the backhaul of small cells: high capacity millimetre-wave and microwave, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) radio, wavelength division multiplex (WDM) optical access, full IP routing, unified network management systems and complementary software tools for network planning and optimization.

Specific products contained within the solution portfolio include: the iPASOLINK SX for urban street-level connectivity, which is a 60 GHz (V-band) compact high-capacity all-outdoor radio; the iPASOLINK EX for urban small cell traffic aggregation and distributed RAN ‘fronthaul’ that is a new 70 to 80 GHz (E-band) all-outdoor radio capable of delivering capacities in excess of 10 Gbps; the iPASOLINK AX all-outdoor radio, and iPASOLINK split-mount series for remote small cell connectivity and urban aggregation, which are  NEC’s core wireless backhaul products in the 6 to 42 GHz frequency ranges.

TE Connectivity displayed a range of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and optical infrastructure solutions that create smarter small cell networks. In particular, the CPRI interface card for TE digital DAS products further simplifies multiband, multiservice small cell distribution. It is claimed a direct CPRI interface will bring significant efficiencies to DAS by eliminating unnecessary dual conversion and amplification stages from the radios to the DAS Host.

Also, advancements to TE’s innovative high-powered, more energy efficient DAS radio heads include additional frequency bands and digital capacity to the company’s, +43 dBm HDM solutions supporting worldwide migration to 4G services such as LTE and multi-operator neutral host networks

Nokia Siemens Networks showcased its extended small cell portfolio, including new Micro and Pico base stations for LTE and Wi-Fi, designed to complement standard base station capacity in hot zones. The new Micro and Pico bases stations can be integrated into the company’s Flexi Zone architecture that has been specifically designed to target mobile traffic hot zones. Other launches included new HSPA+ and LTE Femtocells for small cell coverage in enterprises and indoor public areas and services for Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets) have also been enhanced.

The compact next generation Flexi Zone Micro and Pico can be operated as stand-alone base stations initially and then evolved into Flexi Zone Access Points in a Flexi Zone architecture, as hot spots grow into hot zones from areas covering a few cells to large indoor spaces. The two new second-generation Femtocell Access Points for enterprise and indoor public spaces feature plug-and-play deployment and provisioning to enable rapid ramp-up of new services, tap into new revenue streams, and capitalize on value-added enterprise services. The FAPe-hsp 5620 Femtocell for HSPA+ offers high output power for large coverage, while the FAPe-lte 7610 is the company’s first Femtocell Access Point for LTE.

Services for HetNets include hotspot analysis, optimization and small cell planning and deployment to help operators optimize their mix of macro and small cells. Other new capabilities help operators ensure that their backhaul can cope with demand in high-use urban areas and the addition of small cell solutions.

Radios & Mobile Backhaul

SIAE Microelettronica offers state of the art wireless solutions to address the changes in mobile backhaul RAN in traditional networks as well as being in the position to address the front-haul of CPRI transport. The company is also investing in innovation and progress of high technology components coupling the high capacity mobile application requirement with more compact and reliable solutions, while maintaining their key benefits of cost effectiveness, fast rollout and consequently fast time to service.

Key for the company is the ALFOplus Series, which is a full outdoor, full IP, fully featured next generation microwave radio. It is a zero footprint solution, fully integrable with 3G, 4G and LTE nodes, making the series suitable for fast and flexible evolution toward full IP networks with high radio capacity and performance. With its advanced Ethernet features and complete synchronization management (SyncE and 1588v2), ALFOplus is a state-of-the-art IP radio, providing the foundation for leading edge networks.

The latest in the ALFOplus Series is the ALFOplus80, which is a carrier grade, FDD radio for E-Band applications. This next generation solution is an alternative to expensive fibre deployment, while retaining the same capacities and performance. It is state-of-the-art, not only from a technological point of view but also from an engineering perspective, being totally produced using pick and place and SiP technologies, even at such high frequencies when E-Band solutions are generally based on discrete/mounted components.

Sub 10 Systems featured an extension to its range of millimetre-wave, point-to-point wireless backhaul links incorporating breakthrough technology designed to improve resilience in hostile radio conditions. The new Liberator V100 includes ‘Snapback’, a patent-pending innovation from the company that enables its links to re-establish synchronisation with the operator’s mobile network almost immediately should the connection be lost for any reason.

Network synchronisation is a vital part of service quality on 3G and next generation mobile digital networks, and the Snapback capability on the new V100 enhances industry standard SyncE support and IEEE 1588 timing protocols to ensure superior synchronisation reliability and speed in even the most hostile radio environments.

There is only one way to build an effective Active Antenna System (AAS) according to Ubidynethat featured its LTE 700 MHz uB700 and 900 MHz uB900 Antenna Embedded Radios at MWC. While there are multiple AAS architectures, the company maintains that it is vital to have one transceiver or M-Radio per antenna radiator. This means that an antenna with 16 radiators – or eight cross polar radiators – will also have 16 transceivers.

The company presented simulation results that it claims prove having one small amplifier per radiator is the only way to deliver significant performance benefits. The results are said to show that only a full AAS can meet critical upper sidelobe suppression requirements with margin, while simultaneously providing the highest possible antenna gain over an electrical tilt range of more than 10 degrees.

It was an exciting show this year with many technologies evolving quite rapidly.  It will be interesting to keep following these stories and themes for the rest of the year.