CommScope develops new power solution for wireless cell sites

PowerShift is a ‘plug and play’ DC power supply solution, which automatically delivers the most efficient power to remote radio units

CommScope develops new power solution for wireless cell sites

CommScope has introduced a new way of managing power to remote radio units (RRUs) at macro and micro cell sites called PowerShift – a plug-and-play direct current (DC) power supply solution for RRUs.

With wireless operators deploying increasingly powerful remote radio units (RRUs) at the top of cell towers, and with those RRUs being further distanced from the power distribution points, delivering electric power efficiently becomes more challenging—and costly. PowerShift is designed to help solve this problem.

PowerShift can help operators re-utilise existing power cable infrastructure, eliminate the need for deploying higher gauge conductors when installing new cabling and increase the useable length for cables by over four times. It can also extend RF battery uptime by up to 35%.

“Network operators are targeting energy consumption reductions of up to 25% over the next decade and beyond, and CommScope is responding with the industry-first PowerShift solution,” said Stan Catey, senior vice president and general manager, Cable Products, CommScope.

“PowerShift is specifically designed for the advanced cell site architectures used for 4G/LTE and beyond, and to help our customers increase battery backup time, save CapEx and/or OpEx and build future-ready networks.”

In the majority of macro cell site installations today, the operator has installed an RRU close to the antenna to decrease RF signal loss and achieve other performance benefits. Separated from the baseband unit, each RRU needs its own power, typically between 300-600 watts, but which can exceed 1,000 watts. In this site architecture, power cables deliver the energy from the power distribution point, which is usually at the bottom of the tower.

CommScope’s PowerShift solution automatically delivers the most efficient voltage to the RRU, utilising technology CommScope developed with the power supply experts at General Electric. The PowerShift solution requires no manual calibration when managing power supply. It is currently available for trial with general availability expected in the first quarter of 2016. The benefits for operators can include:

• Reduced capital expenditures through the use of smaller diameter power cables, especially the ones already deployed on-site in RRU upgrade scenarios
• Decreased operating expenditures due to lower overall power consumption, more efficient inventorying, standardised installation and lower shipping costs
• Decreased weight and wind load on towers with smaller diameter cables
• Extended RF battery uptime of up to 35% more by taking full advantage of the existing battery back-up system.

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