Running Down RAN Costs

Every week Light Reading receives a welter of industry announcements about new technology developments that come loaded with efficiency claims -- how spending money on deploying certain technology will help reduce operating costs. Every now and then one of these announcements stands out, as was the case this week with a joint announcement from Middle Eastern operator Ooredoo (formerly Qtel) and network infrastructure vendor CommScope Inc. The two companies have designed a "factory-assembled tower-top" that makes the deployment of base station remote radios quicker and easier. (See Ooredoo, CommScope Improve Wireless Deployment.) Basically, there hasn't been a standard design for mobile tower tops that house the radio elements, so CommScope, which specializes in passive infrastructure products, has worked with Ooredoo to develop a pre-assembled tower top that, the pair claim, will reduce installation time (by about 50 percent), reduce power consumption and free up physical space on the tower. Compared with developments such as wireless carrier aggregation and the promises of software-defined networking (SDN), this might seem like a dull, workaday development. The picture from the presentation given by the partners isn't one to get the juices flowing. But … this is critical stuff for mobile operators. These are the kind of operational advances that, as mobile operators worldwide look to upgrade their radio access network (RAN) infrastructure for 4G, can make a significant difference to rollout costs in a very real and tangible way. It may not look sexy, or sound sexy, but for mobile operators, a "factory-assembled tower-top" could be hot stuff. And -- I just can't let this go -- Ooredoo? Someone please let Scooby and Shaggy know they have some competition… — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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