LONDON Alcatel has teamed with Italian industrial group Pirelli to integrate an optoelectronic module developed by Pirelli Labs and Telecom Italia Lab in the French telecomm equipment maker's Evolium multi-standard Remote Radio Unit. The radio access point will reduce costs and electromagnetic emissions of 3G networks, the companies claim.
The integrated 'Radio over Fiber' set-up will give Alcatel a 'significant' competitive advantage, the companies say, with increased cost efficiency and easier combination of multiple access technologies in mobile networks.
It will be. available for operators by next year.
They aslo claim the Alcatel Evolium access point solution will make site acquisition a lot easier, allowing re-use of existing 2G sites for 3G, while simplifying the operation and maintenance of hybrid networks.
The combination allows a smooth physical split between the central unit and multiple remote radio access heads by using direct optical fiber transmission.
Alcatel and Pirelli say integrating such a digital transport module into a basestation is a precursor to competing industry efforts such a the Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) and the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI), both of which aim to create standard interfaces between the processing and radio parts of a 3G basestation.
"This solution was developed thanks to intuitions and skill of our Labs: it's a worldwide innovation and it represents first commercial product originating from the laboratories," Mauro Sacchetto, CEO of Pirelli Telecom Systems, said in a statement. "This new optoelectronic module, developed in strict cooperation with Alcatel, will enable mobile operators using Evolium solution to benefit from more efficient equipment, that will reduce costs, by containing electromagnetic emissions, with a good impact on the community."
Market analysts and the main mobile operators estimate the market for UMTS access networks will be worth Euros500 million (about $580 million) over the next three years.