Blue Danube Systems has developed a new radio platform specifically developed for advanced 3D beamforming in 4G, 5G and other wireless applications. Beamforming is seen as a key technology on the road to 5G, but the company believes it is the first to come up with a commercial product.
BeamCraft 500, which uses the company’s proprietary High Definition Active Antenna Systems (HDAAS) technology, was launched just before Mobile World Congress last week (22-25 February 2016).
The HDAAS platform places and directs wireless power to solve the challenges of ever-increasing data demand. By intelligently and seamlessly focusing radiated power where it is needed most, HDAAS allows wireless carriers to better serve high-demand areas and minimize interference zones while delivering up to a 10x increase in cell capacity.
Built upon the HDAAS platform, Blue Danube claims its BeamCraft product series can deliver a range of performance improvements and support multiple field applications through design elements such as transmit power, array size and intelligent software control.
The company’s first product, the BeamCraft 500, packs 96 active elements and radios with a total maximum output power of 160W into a panel measuring 63 inches x 14 inches x 10 inches (HxWxD). This panel can be easily installed at existing antenna locations, onto both towers and buildings, using conventional mounting techniques.
Using Blue Danube’s proprietary integrated circuits, the BeamCraft 500 is capable of producing agile beams that can move rapidly and with high precision—functionality not previously feasible in a commercial product.
BeamCraft 500 supports 2T2R, 2T4R and 4T4R deployments, and is fully compatible with LTE standards (3GPP release 8 and above) and existing mobile devices. The first release of the product supports both AWS and PCS frequency bands and it can be easily customised for operators’ varying needs, according to Blue Danube.
Using actual experimental beam shapes and analysis consistent with 3GPP standards, Blue Danube has shown the BeamCraft 500’s ability to significantly improve wireless traffic flow when compared to typical conditions.
With a 14-inch width limit conforming to current standard tower installations, the BeamCraft 500 enables an average capacity increase of more than 5x when compared with a conventional AWS/PCS 4T4R system. Improvements in average capacity of greater than 10x are possible for larger widths or higher frequencies.
Under dynamic conditions, such as a hotspot with tens of video users, the BeamCraft 500 delivers Mbps downloads where existing systems can become seriously impaired.
Blue Danube has reached agreements with multiple OEMs and mobile operators to work on deployment scenarios, with several field trials scheduled for the first half of 2016.
“Although beamforming has been proposed in numerous 5G roadmaps, no one has defined a viable approach for a commercial product—until now,” said Dr. Mark Pinto, CEO of Blue Danube Systems. We’ve not only developed a major beamforming technology breakthrough, but we’ve also implemented it into a solution that can be easily integrated into today’s 4G networks.
“For an increasingly ‘on-demand’ world, in which video streaming and other data-draining applications are growing in popularity, we are setting the new standard by improving overall user experience and delivering on the promise of 5G without the wait.”