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Attenuate Wireless Network Costs with Modularity and Scalability

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Adequate coverage and capacity are essential in delivering next-generation wireless services, especially to the middle-price, which includes commercial real estate like offices, industrial parks, rail and airport hubs, shopping malls, educational campuses, and hospitals. Venues such as these are considered high-density environments, meaning they typically support several wireless devices in any given area. Despite this need, nearby macro-towers are often unable to meet the demand due to signal penetration (coverage) or capacity challenges.

In-building neutral host networks (NHNs) are viable solutions that extend coverage and capacity capabilities, enabling high-density venues to deliver seamless connectivity to numerous users. As a result, these locations can capitalize on a vast increase in productivity, the number of visitors, new leases, tenant retention, and value-added user experiences. NHNs provide these improvements due to their ability to meet a wide range of wireless connectivity requirements while allowing occupants/tenants to bring their own devices (BYOD). The importance of NHN benefits and efficiencies intensifies as the rollout of 5G continues, which will ramp up the number of prospective use-cases with new services, products, and demands. Therefore, when considering in-building NHNs for commercial real estate, it is necessary to plan for the coverage and capacity requirements of today and the future. This article will explore critical figures of merits when choosing a modular point-of-interface (POI) solution to reduce deployment costs and maintain optimal network performance, focusing on the Microlab Modular Carrier Combiner (MCC) Platform.

MNO Additions & Future-Proof Networks

Ensuring the success of any NHN deployment strategy, the Microlab MCC Platform is a relied upon, cost-effective POI solution that can realize both the coverage and mobile network operator (MNO) service capacity improvements to capitalize on current and emerging 5G use-cases. Its superior modularity enables network commissioning with just the facilitating MNO, accommodating those who join first and those who join after agreements are in place. Typically, NHN deployments involve MNOs signing up as tenants of the network. The contract finalization process varies, ranging from just a few months to more than a few years. No matter the duration, the MCC Platform enables the quick and easy addition of new MNOs after network commissioning. This flexibility avoids the costly, complex, and resource-intensive process of redesigning and replacing network infrastructure often seen in fixed, non-upgradeable configurations.

The burden of excessive Capex and Opex continues in fixed network designs if new spectrum bands must be injected after commissioning. NHN solutions need to accommodate evolving allocations of licensed and shared frequency bands to avoid additional costs while still delivering the desired network performance to users. For instance, coveted mid-band spectrum, such as frequencies in the C-band and Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), will provide 5G performance. The mid-band spectrum can unlock the actual 5G experience since it offers an ideal balance between high capacity and broad coverage. The MCC Platform avoids the trouble of intricate field upgrades, providing a simple means for NHN building owners and design partners to capitalize on new spectrum assets whenever necessary.

MCC Platform Key Features

Designed to maximize versatility while combining RAN remote heads for RF distribution, the MCC Platform supports various NHN configurations, including multi-carrier and multi-band MIMO and SISO applications. To address different NHN combinations, the platform’s multi-band combiners can combine 3, 4, or 5 licensed frequency bands spanning 617 MHz to 5925 MHz. Diving a bit more into the system’s specifications, low insertion loss filters improve the transmit antenna’s adequate isotropic radiated power (EIRP) while low-passive intermodulation (PIM) filter combiners and hybrid combiners ensure optimal network throughput. Furthermore, its passive cooling streamlines installation by eliminating the need for external power or fans. Overall, these efficiencies work together to create a reliable combining and distribution solution that ensures the success of each NHN deployment.

Space is critical in densely packed telecom closets and therefore requires a compact, wall-mount solution. The MCC Platform provides the exceptional density needed when addressing multi-carrier, multi-band NHN applications in severely space-restricted environments, smaller than the standard 19” rack. The most recent expansion of the modular POI platform – the wall-mount MCC200-SRC-01 chassis with an integrated 4x4 hybrid combiner – offers this compact yet efficient option for neutral host SISO middle-price applications, allowing up to four MCC filter cards.

Enabling Next-generation Wireless Services

NHN building owners and design partners face many NHN deployment challenges that obscure the certainty of obtaining optimal wireless connectivity for its users. The Microlab MCC Platform allows for the addition of new MNOs, injection of new spectrum bands, various NHN configurations, and optimally performing components with compact, wall-mount compatibility. These features, functionality, and performance coalesce into a trusted, modular POI solution that reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) and maximizes network capacity and coverage.

Microlab – A Wireless Telecom Group Company

This Week’s Sponsor

Microlab is a leader in low PIM RF and microwave products enabling signal distribution and deployment of in-building DAS wireless base stations and small cell networks. High performance passive components such as power combiners, directional couplers, attenuators, terminators and filters are developed for broadband applications to support public safety networks, GPS reference signaling, television transmitters, and aircraft landing systems. Microlab’s active solutions include GPS signal repeaters for cellular timing synchronization and smart components for real-time in-building DAS system diagnostics.