Mobile Communications

Mobile operators are facing a data tsunami driven by the rapid adoption of smart phones and other broadband mobile devices. Large numbers of small cells will be deployed in urban areas to meet the growing need for increased mobile broadband capacity. Market research firm Infonetics in its March 2012 Small Cell Equipment report forecasts that the global small cell market will grow rapidly, with about 3 million small cells shipping and the market worth about $2.1 billion in 2016.

Self-Organising Wireless Backhaul Networks

Wireless backhaul is the only scalable option available for connecting small cells to the mobile network. Industry observers agree that small cell networks are a huge OPEX and CAPEX challenge for operators and will only be viable if they are able to self-organise. Plasma Antennas has developed a range of smart selectable multi-beam antennas that can be automatically aligned, enabling wireless backhaul networks to self-organise whenever new cells are deployed, traffic patterns alter or operating conditions change. These capabilities are essential to reduce installation and maintenance costs to a sustainable level for network operators. Fixed directional antennas, the mainstay of traditional wireless backhaul, are not suitable for self-organising networks as they cannot be automatically aligned.

Benefits

The use of Plasma Antennas’ smart SMB antennas significantly reduces both the CAPEX and OPEX of small cell networks by:

  • Simplifying small cell installation by enabling automatic alignment of wireless backhaul connections. By contrast, fixed directional antennas need to be manually aligned by specialist engineers.
  • Enabling backhaul network links to be automatically re-organized in response to changing conditions (e.g. changing traffic patterns, installation of new cells, new sources of interference and obstacles, etc.). Again this is not possible using fixed directional antennas.
  • Supporting self-healing, allowing the backhaul network to recover automatically in the event of failure, increasing overall service availability and customer satisfaction.
  • Reducing spectrum costs by mitigating the co-network interference that would result from onmi-directional antennas, enabling greater frequency re-use and reducing spectrum costs.
  • Enabling high-capacity backhaul by providing enhanced directional gain and improved interference rejection compared to onmi-directional antennas.

OEM Partners

Plasma Antennas partners with mobile equipment OEMs to produce strongly-differentiated solutions for backhaul connectivity of 4G small cells and WiFi offload. Typically, our SMB antennas are tightly integrated with the backhaul radio of an OEM partner. Plasma Antennas is able to customise its antenna technologies to meet the individual requirements of wireless communications OEMs.

Find out more about our exciting portfolio of selectable multi-beam antenna technologies.