At Mobile World Congress 2012, French company E-Blink was showing off its alternative solution for deploying base stations in mobile networks. The company’s Wireless Remote Radio Head (RRH) comes with the addition of a wireless link that allows base stations to be deployed on the ground and connected wirelessly to network antennas mounted on roofs.
The cost-effective development eliminates the need for coaxial cables or fibre optic connections and gives network operators the additional flexibility of using a wireless solution. The flexible wireless technology makes the installation process easier as no cabling is involved, which in turn speeds up the deployment time.
Site owners find the wireless solution more appealing, because it is less noticeable and requires few, if any, modifications to the physical layout of the buildings. Lengthy site acquisition and planning negotiations are reduced and costly, disruptive civil engineering works are avoided.
Alain Rolland, President-Directeur Général and co-founder of E-Blink, told Wireless that the technology can be used as a standalone wireless RRH product or it can be integrated or embedded into the base station and/or the antenna.
E-Blink’s solution is already installed and operational on sites in its modular ‘plug-and-play’ configuration, but in future versions new antenna and base stations products will have the wireless technology either integrated or embedded into their own form factor. This will give rise to the more compact and cost effective full wireless radio.
'Operators worldwide are under pressure to increase performance and capacity of their networks to meet rapidly growing demand,' Rolland said. 'Our innovative approach supports this global network expansion by enabling quick and easy site acquisition and installation along with state-of-the-art wireless capabilities that aren't available anywhere else.'
E-Blink outlines the key advantages of its wireless solution as follows:
• Reduces network infrastructure CAPEX/OPEX. As the sites’ complexity increases, so do the savings.
• Non-intrusive solution: respects the environment, greater public acceptance.
• Eliminates the need for fiber or coaxial cables, reducing civil works to a minimum. This not only reduces construction costs, but increases site owners’ approval for the site construction.
• With Wireless RRH, any location becomes a potential deployment site. Complex building infrastructures or reluctant site owners are no longer obstacles to deploying a new cell site or upgrading an existing site.
• Time spent on site searches, zoning, negotiation and installation is sharply reduced, which ultimately translates into cost savings. This is particularly true in urban and suburban areas, where, with existing technologies, the number of candidate sites is decreasing.
• Delivers faster ROI, as radio sites are on air more rapidly and deployment costs are considerably reduced.
E-Blinks notes that while new and more efficient wireless technologies are being introduced by mobile operators, they have not been able to break the existing total cost of ownership (TCO) related to site acquisition, site construction and civil works.
E-Blink believes its wireless technology is the missing link that allows mobile operators to break the TCO reduction limits and cost-effectively deploy, evolve and modernize their network infrastructure to meet the ever increasing demand for data services. It argues that the benefits of the wireless technology will prove to be decisive in the race between operators to secure sites for 4G and small-cells deployment in urban and suburban environments.
Prior to the Congress, E-Blink announced a strategic partnership with Alcatel-Lucent to promote the use of its wireless base station technology.