SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a bold move, Alcatel-Lucent has rolled out lightRadio, a new system that signals the end of the mobile industry’s reliance on masts and basestations.
Leveraging Bell Labs research in active antenna technology and advanced CPRI compression and partnerships with Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., Alcatel-Lucent is first in the industry to announce products in this space.
ThelightRadio product family is comprised of the several parts: the Wideband Active Array Antenna, the Multiband Remote Radio Head, the lightRadio Baseband Processing, the lightRadio Control, and end-to-end management using the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM).
The technology said to replace the base station, typically located at the base of each cell site tower. LightRadio is broken into its components elements and then distributed into both the antenna and throughout a cloud-like network, according to the company.
It also shrinks today’s clutter of antennas serving 2G, 3G, and LTE systems into a single antenna that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection.
In a statement, Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: “lightRadio will signal the end of the basestation and the cell tower as we know it today.”
LightRadio will actually change the way base stations look. Currently the defacto design for base stations is to have antennas on poles, connected with waveguides to the radio subsystem (which is happens to be as big as refrigerators). LightRadio leverages the advanced chip technology such that much of the radio functionality is miniaturized and included in the antenna chassis.
I don't think it is. This has been discussed at antenna-theory.com:
The idea of adaptive antennas (or smart antennas) has been around for quite a while. Arraycomm already does it. I'm highly skeptical they will be able to properly track users to enable the proper spatial diversity gains.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.