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Poor network reliability, perceived or real, is a primary reason subscribers leave a network, also known in the industry as “churn”. Key performance indicators (KPI) such as blocked or dropped calls and data sessions or low data throughput are monitored and are identified by network operators as the main reasons customers churn. Additionally, operators are having to overcome the multiple challenges of co-siting new LTE-A 4G technology with legacy 3G and 2G infrastructure, new base station types such as remote radio heads (RRH) using the optical CPRI interface for fronthaul, advanced MIMO transmission techniques, providing reliable in-building coverage using distributed antenna systems (DAS), increasing passive intermodulation (PIM) and interference levels and sometimes periodic mandatory regulatory testing, all while keeping installation, maintenance and optimization costs under control.

Cable and Antenna Systems

The cable and antenna system plays a crucial role of the overall performance of a Base Station system. Degradations and failures in the antenna system may cause poor voice quality or dropped calls. From a carrier standpoint, this could eventually result in loss of revenue.

While a problematic base station can be replaced, a cable and antenna system is not so easy to replace. It is the role of the field technician to troubleshoot the cable and antenna system and ensure that the overall health of the communication system is performing as expected. Field technicians today rely on portable cable and antenna analyzers to analyze, troubleshoot, characterize, and maintain the system.

C-RAN and Fronthaul

The rapid spread of smartphones and tablets together with many new Cloud services in the last decade have led to explosive growth in mobile data traffic. Operators are supporting mobile data traffic growth by increasing the bandwidth of mobile communications networks. This has been an important driver for a complete change in mobile communications systems with the adoption of the Centralized-Radio Access Networks (C-RAN), sometimes called Cloud-Radio Access Networks. Another important driver for operators has been reducing network running costs.

Backhaul

The first mobile communications backhaul was based on TDM technology (SDH/SONET and PDH) but quickly migrated to Ethernet-based packet-switched networks due to simplicity and relatively low costs. However, the asynchronous nature of Ethernet is a challenge because mobile networks require frequency synchronization across the entire network. Although TDM technology has a built-in physical layer supporting frequency synchronization, Ethernet has replaced TDM in mobile backhaul by using Synchronous Ethernet technology, which applies synchronization to Ethernet-based networks.

Baseband unit (BBU)

Traditional cell sites consisted of a ground-based radio connected to tower-mounted antennas by a long run of coaxial cable which has high loss and is vulnerable to interference. This has negative impacts on maintenance costs as equipment ages and also on system performance.

To answer the need for more throughput at lower cost, wireless network providers have moved to using a remote radio head (RRH) where the radio equipment is connected to the baseband unit (BBU) by a fiber optic cable. This provides a new level of flexibility in how the cell site is deployed, including siting the RRH at the masthead (for low RF losses) or locating the BBU at a remote location (for improved operational efficiencies).

CPRI Solutions

A flexible interface between the BBU (baseband unit) and RRH (remote radio head) is necessary to accommodate today’s new architecture. Many high speed serial communication standards are available, but without modification, none offer the high throughput, low latency and features required to support these cell site architectures.

New interface standards have been developed to support these new cell site architectures. The two interfaces that lead this charge are the Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) and Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI). OBSAI is the more complex of the two to implement and CPRI technology is now used in the majority of new installations. CPRI pushes the complexity into the higher layers of the system so a connection between the BBU and the RRH can be established with minimal configuration. CPRI has become the more common standard, allowing manufacturers to tailor the interface to their own requirements. The high throughput potential of later CPRI releases enables providers to futureproof their rollouts.

Return Loss on Base Station Coverage

When designing and building cellular infrastructure, one objective is to maximize the RF signal level seen throughout the coverage area. Assuming the noise level remains constant, higher signal levels mean faster data rates and fewer dropped calls, ultimately resulting in happier customers.

In many cases, the personnel building a cell site do not control every variable necessary to ensure strong signals. Some of the variables outside the installer’s control include transmit power levels from the radio, cable type, antenna gain and antenna height. Important variables that installers do control are losses in the cable feed system due to reflections and absorption. As we all know, minimizing these losses will improve the quality of the system. But, there are points of diminishing return. Sometimes “better” may provide very little practical benefit to customers. In times where operators are seeking sensible ways to reduce installation costs, knowing when to stop chasing that last decibel is important to understand.

In Building Wireless

The purpose of an in-building wireless (IBW) system is to provide enhanced network coverage and/or capacity when the existing macro network is not able to adequately service the demand. Coverage may be poor due to high penetration losses caused by the building structure or due to low emissivity glass installed to improve the thermal performance of the building. In dense urban environments, adjacent buildings may create an RF barrier that blocks coverage from nearby macro sites. Tall buildings typically have poor coverage on upper floors since macro site antennas, many floors below, are specifically designed to suppress energy radiating above the horizon. Capacity may be an issue in venues such as stadiums, coliseums and convention centers where many thousands of users may be trying to simultaneously access the network.

DAS Systems and SkyBridge Tools

The need for documentation of antenna systems is increasing. A typical tower based antenna system might require 50 to 150 measurements, traces, and photos to show that the installation meets quality standards. A DAS, also known as an In-building or Outside Antenna System, may require 1,000 to 15,000 traces, photos, and other deliverables to show that the installation meets performance standards. Each of these deliverables needs to be inspected, renamed, and perhaps have the markers and limit lines set and judged. The manual inspection system that worked well enough for tower work does not scale well for the much larger DAS systems.

SkyBridge Tools enables reliable and quick creation of test plans, enables fast and accurate testing, and assists in report creation. This leads to less time testing, accurate tests, and reliable payment for work done.


Wireless Glossary and Dictionary

The wireless industry is constantly evolving, and so are the words and terms we use to describe its technology. Whether you’re describing the difference between W-CDMA, CDMA and TD-SCDMA… explaining applications such as line sweeping, DTF measurements or vector signal analysis as they apply to GSM, HSPDA or WiMAX… or simply looking up a term that’s new to you… Anritsu's Wireless Base Station Glossary is the place to start.

0-9 | A-B | C-D | E-G | H-M | N-R | S-Z


Base Station Industry Associations

Your community of base station and RF wireless professionals.

Speed your RF wireless network deployment or solve problems by using the experience of others working with base station testing and analysis. Use these links to connect with industry standards groups as well as Anritsu’s own Master User Group.

Base Station Industry Associations

Products

Cell Master MT8212E

MT8212E

频率为 100 KHz 到 4 GHz 的频谱分析仪频率为 2 MHz 到 4.0 GHz 的电缆 & 天线分析仪MT8212E 的 360° 视角

Cell Master 紧凑型基站分析仪 MT8213E

MT8213E

频率为 100 KHz 到 6 GHz 的频谱分析仪频率为 2 MHz 到 6.0 GHz 的电缆 & 天线分析仪

BTS Master MT8820T

MT8220T

Base Station Analyzer
400 MHz - 6 GHz VNA frequency
150 kHz - 7.1 GHz SPA frequency

手持式频谱分析仪 MS2712E

MS2712E

频率范围为 100 kHz ~ 4 GHz 的频谱分析仪

 手持式频谱分析仪 MS2713E

MS2713E

Handheld Spectrum Analyzer
9 kHz - 6 GHz frequency
1 Hz - 3 MHz resolution bandwidth

频谱分析仪 MS2720T

MS2720T

Handheld Spectrum Analyzer
9 kHz - 9 GHz, 13 GHz, 20 GHz,
32 GHz, 43 GHz frequency

网络测试专家 MT1000A

MT1000A

Network Master™ Pro
10G Multirate Module
All-in-one Portable System

网络测试仪 MT9090A

MT9090A

Network Master™
Several modules available
Rugged, lightweight and compact

LMR Master™ 陆地移动无线电调制分析仪 S412E

S412E

Land Mobile Radio
500 kHz - 1.6 GHz VNA frequency
9 kHz - 1.6 GHz SPA frequency

S331P

线缆与天线分析仪
150 kHz – 4 GHz , 150 kHz – 6 GHz
超便携

Site Master 紧凑型手持式电缆与天线分析仪 S331E

S331E

2 MHz ~ 4 GHz

Site Master 电缆 & 天线分析仪 + 频谱分析仪 S332E

S332E

频率为 2 MHz 到 4 GHz 的电缆 & 天线分析仪频率为 100 kHz 到 4 GHz 的频谱分析仪

Site Master 手持式电缆 & 天线分析仪 S361E

S361E

2 MHz ~ 6 GHz 电缆 & 天线分析仪

Site Master 电缆 & 天线分析仪 + 频谱分析仪 S362E

S362E

2 MHz ~ 6 GHz 电缆 & 天线分析仪100 kHz ~ 6 GHz 频谱分析仪S362E 的 360 度视角

MA24507A

Power Master 毫米波功率分析仪
9 kHz — 70 GHz
频率可选

通过式峰值功率计 MA24105A

MA24105A

350 MHz — 4 GHz

MA24350A Microwave CW USB Power Sensor

MA24350A

微波 CW USB 功率传感器
10 MHz — 50 GHz
50 kHz 视频带宽

 MA24340A Microwave CW USB Power Sensor

MA24340A

Microwave CW USB Power Sensor
10 MHz - 40 GHz frequency
K (male) connector

MA24330A Microwave CW USB Power Sensor

MA24330A

Microwave CW USB Power Sensor
10 MHz - 33 GHz frequency
K (male) connector

微波 USB 功率传感器 MA24126A

MA24126A

Microwave USB Power Sensor
10 MHz - 26 GHz frequency
True RMS Measurements

Microwave USB Power Sensor MA24218A

MA24218A

微波通用 USB 功率传感器 MA24218A

Microwave USB Power Sensor MA24208A

MA24208A

微波通用 USB 功率传感器 MA24208A

USB 功率传感器(平均功率) MA24106A

MA24106A

50 MHz ~ 6 GHz

高精度功率传感器(平均功率) PSN50

PSN50

50 MHz - 6 GHz

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