LONDON – A U.S. network trial for the LTE 700-MHz active antenna from startup Ubidyne GmbH (Ulm, Germany) has demonstrated a 40 percent increase in cell capacity, the company said. The result, which exceeded Ubidyne's own predictions, could delay the need to invest in small cells to extend coverage.
Ubidyne said the trial was conducted at multiple sites with a leading U.S. mobile operator but declined to name the operator.
The uB700 Antenna Embedded Radio enables beam forming and tilting and thereby was able to deliver doubled data throughput at the cell edge and an increase of 40 percent cell capacity overall at comparable output power, Ubidyne said. The Ubidyne integrated active antenna systems are compatible with CPRI
and OBSAI optical interfaces and support current and next-generation
standards including GSM, UMTS, HSPA+ and LTE.
"The trial shows that active antennas can significantly increase cell capacity using vertical sectorization and double the uplink throughput at the cell edge as well as increase the coverage area with independent uplink and downlink tilting," said Michael Frankle, CEO of Ubidyne, in a statement. "This successful independent verification shows that operators can now get maximum coverage and capacity from their macrocells using active antenna technology before investing in costly small cells."
"The active antenna market is just in the early stages and Ubidyne is at the forefront of this trend with their Antenna Embedded radio solutions. Ubidyne's technology offers great efficiency and versatility and delivers tremendous benefits for network operators addressing exploding demand in wireless data traffic," said Earl Lum, president at EJL Wireless Research LLC, in the same statement.
Commercial deployments of the uB700 Antenna Embedded Radio are expected to begin during the first half of 2012.
Ubidyne, founded in 2005, has received more than $58 million from six venture capital firms: Accel Partners, TVM Capital, GIMV, BayTech Venture Capital, CSK Venture Capital Co. Ltd. and Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures.
Ubidyne entered the Silicon 60, EE Times' list of emerging
startup companies at version 11.0 in October 2010. The latest edition of the Silicon 60,
version 12.5, is the subject of a detailed technology and employment
digital edition which can be accessed via http://e.ubmelectronics.com/Silicon60/index.html
Heavy cell phone users are well aware of the "dead spots" in their local area. It would be wonderful if this active technology could build continuous coverage bridges across small dead spot gaps and avoid the need to add additional towers. New towers could be more cost effectively allocated for the larger gaps that can't be bridged by active antennas.
This is a very interesting result. With the increase in the importance of smartphones and the attendant increased importance to customers of good signal for voice and data transfer, and in view of the existing number of very low signal level areas and dead spots, the need for better coverage, preferably at low cost, becomes increasingly apparent. What would have been an minor inconvenience only a couple of years ago now seems like a major problem to the customer and will need to be resolved soon.
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