Even with additional spectrum and the introduction of long-term evolution (LTE) networks, there are geographical areas in mobile networks where demand is projected to exceed the capacity provided by the macro layer.
To expand their networks to other hard-to-reach locations, wireless providers are turning to the deployment of alternative infrastructures, like remote radio heads (RRH), distributed antenna systems (DAS) and other small-cell alternatives, most of which are fiber-based.
Since physical and transport layers remain the foundation of a network, they require proper testing to:
To bring bandwidth connection to cell towers, operators must now rely on fibers to connect the base station to the backhaul, and the RRH to the base station.
Typically, in a new cell tower deployment, fibers run from the base station to the RRH–at the top of the antenna. Due to the number of existing cell site deployed, operators can also choose to upgrade the cell site by replacing old coax cables by fibers from the base station to RRH. In most cases, they will use contractors specializing in installation and maintenance to complete these jobs.
A distributed antenna system, or DAS, is a network of spatially separated antenna nodes connected to a common source via a transport medium (fiber) that provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure. DAS antenna elevations are generally at or below the clutter level, and node installations are compact.
Similar network design is also seen in other fiber-fed small-cell infrastructures.
Detailed analysis of wireline challenges in the mobile space, covering topics such as small cells, RRH, DAS and the key physical parameters that can affect DAS performance. The guide also outlines various DAS testing methods and describes the full process for troubleshooting a live system.
Detailed summary, complete with illustrations, to get you up-to-date on the specifics of FTTA, RRH, and DAS network infrastructures, which are key to expanding networks to hard-to-reach areas.
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With bandwidth demand growing faster than revenues, operators are boosting network capacity by rapidly shifting to FTTx. In a context of high pressure on cost and decreasing level of optical expertise in the field, FTTx/PON network testing is a necessity, and this, throughout all stages of the network lifecycle.