‘Rain Umbrella’ For Computer Servers Wins US Patent – And Sees Orders Triple Post SuperStorm Sandy

DCME0014_TurtleShellServerShield - An UmbrellaTo KeepWaterAnd DebrisOff DelicateEquipmentWhenLeaks AndStormsOccurAbove-W600Hundreds of thousands of data centers and server rooms are in multi-tenanted buildings across the US and elsewhere. Within them, critical computer servers and telecommunications equipment are regularly damaged by water dripping – and sometimes cascading – through ceilings from leaking or burst pipes on the floors above.

And worse: In storm-prone areas, it is only too frequent for roof-damage to allow water to come flooding in (even when the roof is several floors up) – causing widespread destruction of the server equipment and disruption to businesses.

An invention called the Turtle Shell server shield – effectively a massive umbrella for data center servers and telecoms racks – is already protecting thousands of servers around the US and as far afield as Norway and Pakistan.

Completely innovative, the Turtle Shell server shield has just been granted US patent number 8,413,385 in recognition of its uniqueness.

Glenn Mahoney, president at Turtle Shell Industries, and his team have been developing the product for four years – with considerable success.

Said Mahoney, “We’ve been called to many disaster sites where storms and pipe bursts have sent water cascading through the ceiling and right through $millions-worth of server and telecoms equipment – not only interrupting vital business operations but in most cases damaging the equipment beyond repair. It’s a highly distressing sight to see”.

“In one such situation – a major cable operator’s network center in New York – thousands of customers were offline because of the water damage. While the center was being rebuilt, the operator asked us to fit Turtle Shells, as one of several new disaster precautions. Less than two years later torrential storms hit again but even the newly reinforced roof gave way and water came cascading through again. However this time, the unique Turtle Shell ‘umbrellas’ kept the water out of the electronics and the equipment kept on working. With $millions worth of equipment saved to carry on earning revenue.”

You can see an amazing video of both the first and the second storm damage as this NYC data center is struck in 2008 and 2010 at ‘Turtle Shell in action’ here: http://turt.co/dcme14.

Turtle Shells are made from a very strong polycarbonate and shaped like a sideways “(“ extended over the full length of each suite or racks.

They can be installed over, under and around all manner of cables, conduits and support rods or brackets. Once installed Turtle Shells are total watertight. They can also be fitted with flexible curtains which can be operated manually or automatically to ensure that water doesn’t splash into the front and rear of racks.

“We’ve seen a 300 percent raise in sales since October,” said Mahoney. “As people on the East coast are recovering from super storm Sandy they are thinking seriously about how to build-in extra disaster protection. And Turtle Shells are proving to be the ideal solution not just for data centers, but telecoms and cable operators, hospitals, schools, universities and Government sites too.”

For further information on Turtle Shells and advice on how to protect your sensitive equipment from damage by falling water and debris visit turtleshellproducts.com

(Note: Turtle Shell Products is a client of Turtle Consulting Group, but the companies are not related. GREAT NAME THOUGH!)

 

RFS to showcase telecoms & broadcast innovation at CommunicAsia 2009

Released: June 2009

Singapore: Global wireless infrastructure specialist RFS (Radio Frequency Systems) is participating at the CommunicAsia ICT conference & exhibition being held at the Singapore Expo, on 16-19 June 2009. RFS has been working closely with its customers to develop the products, manufacturing resources and distribution logistics required to cement its position as the partner of choice for broadcast and telecom providers throughout Asia Pacific.

The company boosted its supply chain and logistics in Asia Pacific recently with the establishment of an extensive warehousing facility in Port Klang, Malaysia, and has also developed a range of wideband antenna systems and RF conditioning solutions that ensure a cost-efficient, future-proof and speedy deployment for mobile operators in the region looking to transition from 2G to 3G and beyond.

At CommunicAsia, RFS will be showcasing its comprehensive range of cost-effective diplexers, in-band combiners, dual band and side-by-side single band antennas, which allow mobile operators to re-use existing infrastructure to support both 2G and 3G systems simultaneously. As well as reducing the cost and time of migration, especially in terms of materials, site installation and on-going operational costs, RFS’ wideband antenna systems and RF conditioning products help operators maximize their 3G investments, reduce the loading on cell towers and thus minimize both leasing costs and visual impact on the environment. Crucially, the RFS portfolio includes an extensive range of advanced filters designed to provide effective interference mitigation and thus support flexible approaches to 3G migration in markets where both European and US band plans have been adopted.

As a leading innovator in indoor wireless infrastructure solutions, RFS will also be exhibiting some of its latest world firsts at CommunicAsia, including:

  • ClearFill Star – the disruptive fully digital RF-over- GigaEthernet wireless indoor cellular coverage solution
  • ClearFill Space2 – an advanced multi-band, multi-operator RF-over-fiber distribution system for wireless indoor coverage

Best migration partner for mobile operators

“Our complete portfolio of cellular infrastructure solutions positions RFS as the best migration partner for mobile operators in the region looking to migrate from 2G to 3G, as well as other next-generation technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and mobile TV,” states Tim Conboy, Vice President Sales and Marketing for APAC South at RFS. “Using RFS’ market-leading solutions, customers are able to reduce CapEx (capital expenditure) requirements for network evolution and expansion, reduce the ‘loading’ on cellular antenna towers that are often operating at close to full capacity, and readily upgrade networks across technologies and frequencies.”

RFS’ wideband antennas support operation at both 800MHz/900MHz, and 1800/2100MHz, while a range of side-by-side, single-band antennas enable operators to replace existing units and double capacity, or facilitate two different systems (e.g. 2G and 3G) operating at the same frequency. In addition, RFS’ range of dual-band antennas support low- and high-band combinations – again providing operators with the flexibility to maintain their 2G systems while adding in 3G. “The important thing is that this can be done and has already been achieved with great success in markets such as Australia,” continues Conboy. “We believe that operators in many other markets in Asia Pacific will follow this strategy, since it is a great way for them to make the transition to 3G cost-effectively.”

Boosting supplying and logistics in Asia Pacific

RFS serves customers globally across the broadcast and telecoms industries – including operators, OEMs, distributors/systems integrators, utilities and government. In addition to its unrivalled product portfolio, the company is ideally positioned to service its telecom customers throughout the Asia Pacific region via its new bonded warehousing facility in Port Klang, Malaysia. The facility provides a central logistical hub for local distribution and onwards fulfilment to other countries in the region, and is being run jointly by RFS and Malaysian distributor C&C Universal Engineering Sdn Bhd. The warehouse will stock RFS’ complete range of wireless infrastructure, RF transmission distribution and radio link network solutions, enabling the company to deliver much shorter lead times to customers of typically between 2-3 days.

Total package across broadcast & telecoms

A renowned technology leader for more than half a century, RFS is today uniquely positioned as a global provider of total package infrastructure solutions across broadcast and telecoms. The company offers the full spectrum of mobile media antennas, whether for use in ‘panels in arrays’ or discrete antennas across all global broadcasting bands (VHF, UHF, L-Band and S-Band), and also has solutions for horizontal, vertical and circular/mixed applications. Complementing the antenna suite is a full range of bandpass, lowpass/harmonic filters and combiners, which can be deployed across mobile media, 3G/4G co-siting and low power DTV (Digital Television) applications. RFS has also developed patch-panel-mountable automatic coaxial switches and Internet-accessible monitoring systems in response to the requirement for unmanned sites and automation.

“Across the globe, wireless communications operators rely on RFS as their global supplier of cutting edge technology in telecommunications, broadcast and defense communications,” Conboy continues. “We provide all components across the RF chain, offer the broadest range of products per category, and are fully-committed to driving innovation for the future of broadcast and mobile communications in Asia Pacific.”

Recent industry accolades for RFS include the coveted EMMY award, received by the company in recognition of its pioneering work on ‘adjacent channel combiners’ for TV broadcasting, and its induction into the prestigious Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame in Australia. The latter recognies the achievements of local manufacturers in their pursuit of excellence, with RFS’ operation in Kilsyth (which is the company’s world-wide Centre of Excellence for Broadcast) selected on factors including export provision, sustainability, quality and innovation.

RFS’ specialists on hand at the CommunicAsia ICT conference & exhibition include Martyn Kemel (President, Broadcast and Defense Systems), Mick Bennett (Global Product Manager Broadcast and Defense), Tim Conboy (Vice President, Sales and Marketing for APAC South) and Eric Mariette, VP Global Marketing and Strategy.

Meet them on the RFS stand (Hall 5, Stand 5E2-01)

 

RFS company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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RFS smooths network migration as Asia Pacific looks to 3G and beyond

Released: June 2009

Singapore: On the occasion of the CommunicAsia ICT conference & exhibition being held at the Singapore Expo, on 16-19 June 2009, wireless infrastructure specialist RFS (Radio Frequency Systems) has underscored its readiness to ensure a cost-effective and smooth 2G to 3G migration for mobile operators based in Asia Pacific, providing them with a safe passage to next-generation wireless technologies, whatever their coverage, frequency and deployment needs.

With a complete multi-band and broadband VET antennas portfolio for widest site configuration alternatives, high-performance customized co-location filters for interference mitigation, and cost-effective feeder sharing from 2G, 3G to LTE with its ShareLite broadband diplexers, RFS’ solutions are at the same time migration ready and co-location friendly.

Reducing migration cost & time

Currently, many of the region’s 2G cellular networks employ a mixture of technologies operating in various frequency bands, making the implementation of 3G and other next-generation cellular technologies problematic in terms of ongoing transmission and interference, especially in scenarios where operators are looking to re-use existing infrastructure. There are also growing concerns in some countries regarding the environmental impact of further cellular network rollouts.

A global leader in RF subsystems, RFS has developed an innovative range of cost-effective diplexers, in-band combiners, dual band and side-by-side single band antennas to reduce the cost and time of migration, especially in terms of materials, site installation and on-going operational costs. Furthermore, when used in combination, RFS’ wideband antenna systems and RF conditioning products help operators future-proof their 3G investments, reduce the loading on cell towers and thus minimize both leasing costs and visual impact on the environment.

“There is huge diversity throughout the cellular markets of the Asia Pacific region, and while some countries are comparatively advanced, 2G remains by far the dominant technology today,” says Tim Conboy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for APAC South at RFS. “However, the drive to advance is endemic and there is a lot of 3G migration underway. Many mobile network operators are working within constrained budgets, and are looking to migrate in a step-site manner by maintaining their 2G networks while deploying additional infrastructure cost effectively. RFS offers a complete portfolio of cellular infrastructure solutions that includes wideband antennas, combiners and interference mitigation filters, allowing operators to re-use existing equipment to support both 2G and 3G, while avoiding issues such as interference and additional loading on cell towers.”

RFS’ wideband antennas support operation at both 800MHz/900MHz, and 1800/2100MHz, while a range of side-by-side, single-band antennas enable operators to replace existing units and double capacity, or facilitate two different systems (e.g. 2G and 3G) operating at the same frequency. In addition, RFS’ range of dual-band antennas support low- and high-band combinations – again providing operators with the flexibility to maintain their 2G systems while adding in 3G. “The important thing is that this can be done and has already been achieved with great success in markets such as Australia,” continues Conboy. “We believe that operators in many other markets in Asia Pacific will follow this strategy, since it is a great way for them to make the transition to 3G cost-effectively.”

According to Conboy, a key enabler to this approach is RFS’ range of in-band combiners, which negate the requirement for additional cabling and associated rigging at the cell site. With many mobile operators running 2G systems at 900MHz, the use of in-band (‘passive’) combiners allows 2G and 3G at 900 MHz to be combined into one antenna system. Feeder cable sharing between systems is also possible using RFS’ cost-effective, yet advanced diplexers. “The space to run additional RF cabling and rigging is already limited on cell towers, while visual impact issues are becoming more prevalent in Asia Pacific, just as they have done in other regions,” states Conboy. “People don’t want to see their environment cluttered with cell towers and massive antenna structures. Thus operators are looking to minimize the visual impact by reusing existing antennas and combining systems down on the ground so that they can be fed into the one antenna. Importantly, this reduces tower loading and site rental costs.”

Deploying 3G at 800MHz

A further challenge for a growing number of mobile operators in the region is the deployment of 3G at 800MHz. With spectrum being a scarce resource in markets where both European and US band plans have been adopted, mobile operators are looking to benefit from the excellent propagation and in-building penetration afforded by operation at 800MHz. However, a great deal of filtering is required at the 800/900MHz boundary. “3G networks operating at 800MHz can cause massive interference problems for existing 900MHz GSM networks. Transmit filters on the WCDMA (3G) side at 800MHz, and receive filters on the 2G (GSM/CDMA) 900MHz side are therefore essential. RFS has developed an extensive range of advanced filters designed to provide effective interference mitigation and thus support flexible approaches to 3G migration,” Conboy concludes.

RFS’ specialists on hand at the CommunicAsia ICT conference & exhibition include Martyn Kemel (President, Broadcast and Defense Systems), Mick Bennett (Global Product Manager Broadcast and Defense), Tim Conboy (Vice President, Sales and Marketing for APAC South) and Eric Mariette, VP Global Marketing and Strategy.

Meet them on the RFS stand (Hall 5, Stand 5E2-01).

 

RFS company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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Customer service and value-for-money central to RFS’ Tower Components strategy

Released: May 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, is extending its end-to-end solutions range in North America to include Tower Components, a newly expanded range of high quality steel and cabling support equipment used in cell tower installations.

“Our name has been synonymous with high quality and value-for-money in the global wireless installation and components industry for many years. We are now extending this strategy – of offering high levels of service at the most competitive prices – into Tower Components,” said Matt Gauvin, RFS’ Area Product Manager Transmission Lines.

“In launching this new service and product range to North American carriers, we are showing that, even at the seemingly less complex level of steel and cabling, RFS can offer the same superior levels of service and supply logistics as we do in other segments of the carrier supplies and installation business,” he added.

According to Gauvin, in the current economic climate, carriers of all sizes are focusing their attention on those core operations that generate the best return on investment.

As a result, he says, they do not wish to concern themselves with complex sourcing and procurement procedures, which soak up management time and frequently push the costs of network expansion and operations above budgeted levels.

What carriers seek above all else is a partner that can meet their supply needs in a cost-effective manner that does not cause them any headaches. With RFS North America’s extension of its end-to-end support strategy into the Tower Components side of the market, we can now meet those needs in a much more timely and cost-effective manner, he explained. 

Gauvin went on to say that, until the launch of RFS Tower Components, carriers had to rely on multiple suppliers to meet their steel, cabling and associated technology requirements.

Now, he says, they can order everything from a single supplier:  RFS.

Not only is the ordering procedure streamlined and simplified, says the company’s director of marketing and product management, the new service extends into the field of purchase order management, delivery times and logistics.

“Carrier customers typically order on a per-site basis and our sales team work intensively with colleagues at several levels within the company to ensure that the order is fulfilled in a timely and effective manner. This ‘managed project’ strategy includes seamless and transparent interworking with supply chain partners to ensure the delivery of everything required at the same time and in the same delivery,” he said.

“It’s no good claiming to be an end-to-end supplier if the steel arrives one day at the warehouse or on-site, and the cabling arrives a couple of days later, leaving the installers idle for longer than necessary. There is absolutely no room for cell site installation delays in a modern carrier’s installation program. RFS’ new Tower Components’ offering can help carriers avoid these costly – and unwanted – headaches,” he added.

Photo: Can be downloaded here:

http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/RFS0229_Tower_Components.jpg

 

Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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RFS powers mobile media expansion with new and breakthrough SCO antenna

Released: April 2009

Las Vegas– On the occasion of the 2009 NAB Show, RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure and RF specialist, announces that it has developed a breakthrough SCO circularly polarized omnidirectional antenna for the booming mobile TV carrier, broadcaster and OEM marketplace in the United States.

Designed specifically for 716 to 728MHz – in the Lower 700MHz band used for MediaFLO mobile TV transmissions and other signals around the world – the antenna features low pattern ripple of typically better than +/- 1.0 dB across the entire operating frequency range.

“The antenna is highly cost-effective, featuring two channel capacity – for bandwidth and input power – and has 16 circular polarization radiating elements with a 9dBd gain per plane. And with an omnidirectional azimuth pattern, it is ideal for the rapidly evolving mobile media marketplace in the US,” said Mick Bennett, Global Product Manager, Broadcast & Defense.

“With the FCC having allowed several UHF stations across the US to turn off their analog terrestrial TV signals ahead of the June 2009 planned switch-off, US wireless carriers have been able to bring forward their inception dates for their new mobile TV transmitters, pushing the number of Mobile Media markets from 65 to 68 by the end of the first quarter of 2009,” he added.

As a result, he says, the US wireless industry is now on target to achieve Mobile Media coverage to 200 million potential viewers by the end of the year, making 2009 a landmark year in terms of mobile TV.

In parallel with this significant coverage increase, power outputs on existing Mobile Media transmitters are scheduled to ramp up, once the analog television Channel 55 UHF transmissions cease this summer.

This scenario, says Bennett, is what the new SCO mobile media antenna was designed for, with a maximum input power of 18kW and a low pattern ripple across its entire operating frequency range.

Once Channel 55 analog gets switched off across the whole of the US, he explained, mobile media carriers will be looking to boost their ERPs to 25kW per polarization – or more, where reception can be boosted in optimum signal propagation conditions.

The technology underlying the new antenna, he said, is the result of the years of research and experience that RFS has gained as a quality player in the global communications infrastructure marketplace.

The current economic situation, he added, means that a number of suppliers in the mobile TV transmission infrastructure sector will, unfortunately, go out of business in the next few years. RFS’ position as a global supplier of high quality and price competitive communication solutions – together with its multi-decade track record – means that the company will be here for the foreseeable future to support broadcasters, carriers and OEMs with their systems.

Any interruption to customer support, says Bennett, reduces customer satisfaction and, even in today’s economic climate, that can only increase the risk of a customer migration to other suppliers. Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to RFS in the US marketplace, and this is where our globally gained track record as a quality supplier at the right price comes to the fore.

“Our support levels are second-to-none in the communications transmission infrastructure industry. We’re proud to allow broadcasters, carriers and OEMs to tap into our ability to meet their needs at this pivotal point in the rollout and expansion of mobile media to more than 100 markets across the US by the end of 2009,” he said.

“The new SCO mobile antenna is just one building block in our quest to become a key player in the supporting team of quiet heroes that ensure cellular customers across the US can access their favorite news and sports broadcasts whilst on the move. Americans need no longer be tethered to their homes and offices when watching TV,” he added.

RFS’ specialists on hand at the 2009 NAB Show (RFS booth # C2315) will include Raymond Bibisi, Sr. Director of National Area Sales for North America, and Mick Bennett, Global Product Manager, Broadcast & Defense.

 

Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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How engineering challenges will influence the UK’s great DTT switchover

Released: March 2009

Much has been written about the digital TV switchover in the UK from the consumer’s point of view, but little has been revealed about the changes taking place behind the scenes on the network side of DTT (Digital Terrestrial TV)

This is hardly surprising, since how the industry achieves the digital switchover is irrelevant to the millions of terrestrial TV viewers in the UK – all they are truly concerned about is how the switchover will affect their own TVs. Dave Thickett, Systems Sales Director, Broadcast & Defence EMAI for Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) explains what is happening behind the scenes on the UK’s digital switchover…    

The scale of the changes and the behind-the-scenes engineering required for a smooth switchover to digital TV was clearly illustrated in the Borders area of Scotland last November, when, without too many problems, the analog channels were quietly switched off during a 24-hour period and, slowly but surely, the power of the DTT multiplexes was increased.

Ramping the power of DTT transmissions from 4-10 (depending on the multiplex) to 116 kW as the analog element of the broadcast TV network is switched off is only part of the equation, however. In most cases, there is also a need for transmitting arrays to be progressively relocated and realigned on a typical transmission tower, in order to optimize transmissions.

Apart from the now digitally-enabled Scottish Borders region, most of the UK is currently served by a set of high-power UHF analog transmitters, normally working in one `antenna group’ with horizontal polarization, and a flotilla of lower-power local transmitters normally working with vertical polarization.

A number of these local UHF TV transmitters also transmit in more than one antenna group, usually due to a channel saturation issue with ‘Channel 5’, which means that, for optimum reception, TV antenna installers in many parts of the UK have had to install wide-band multi-group antennas.

The DTT transmission front in detail

On the DTT transmission front, meanwhile, there has also been a need to transmit some of the multiplexes outside of the frequency range for which the domestic user’s antenna is optimized for in a given analog TV reception area.

As well as meaning that a sizeable minority of DTT viewers in the UK have had (or will have) to upgrade their antennas – usually to a wide-band and multi-group capability – in order to receive all the digital multiplexes, this has also presented challenges from a network engineer perspective.

If we look at the UK’s Belmont main transmitter serving the regions of Lincolnshire, parts of Yorkshire, the East Midlands and the Northern part of East Anglia, we can see that DTT is transmitted at relatively low power (see boxout one).

As a result, the pre-digital switchover DTT coverage area for Belmont is limited to a smaller coverage area to that seen with analog TV.

In addition, many old residential antenna installations, which are in current service in the Belmont coverage area are optimized for UHF channels 21-34 (also known as a `group A’ antenna) and were installed prior to the launch of Channel 5, the UK’s fifth national TV channel, back in 1997

Unfortunately, group A antennas are not suitable for complete Belmont pre-switchover DTT reception, nor will they provide analog Channel 5 reception, so an antenna upgrade is normally needed.

Looking more closely at Belmont’s DTT transmissions (see boxout one), we can see that five out of the six multiplexes are in the UHF channel 48 to 68 range – i.e. well outside the channel numbers that a group A antenna (channel 21–34) is optimized to receive.

Wide-band antennas help

In theory, if a TV viewer has upgraded to a wide-band antenna in order to receive analog ‘Channel 5’ from Belmont on UHF channel 56, they will be better able to receive all six DTT multiplexes, especially since analog Channel 5 is transmitted at a 50 kW transmitter power level, compared to the 500 kW seen on the other four analog terrestrial channels.

In practice, however, since the six DTT multiplex transmitting antennas are arrayed on the Belmont transmitter tower at varying heights, this means that full line-of-sight DTT reception is not currently available in the middle and outer fringes of the analog coverage area.

Coupled with the fact that two of the multiplexes are only currently broadcast at 4 kW ERP (Effective Radiated Power) levels, compared to the 10kW ERP of the other four multiplexes (see boxout one for multiplex details) full DTT reception from Belmont is limited to a much smaller area than that seen with analog TV.

This situation will change dramatically in July 2011, when the analog channels are switched off and the six multiplexes are each increased to 116 kW levels.

The multiplex broadcast channels will also be re-arranged from July 2011 so that four of the multiplexes (see boxout one for multiplex details) will radiate in the old group A antenna range.

The engineering perspective

If we look more closely at the pre-DTT switchover Belmont multiplexes, we can see that the multiplex power outputs are relatively weak compared to the post-switchover plans detailed in boxout one.

The switchover will involve detailed preparatory work on the part of the transmitter engineers in the months leading up to the region’s July 2011 DTT switchover date, which will involve shortening the support structure and replacing the main transmitting antenna.

This will optimize the reception area of each DTT multiplex and help ensure that analog TV viewers – even in the fringe areas of the current Belmont service area – will be able to receive most, if not all, of the six DTT multiplexes after July 2011.

This increase in reception capabilities is achieved through the use of a 12-level horizontally polarized broadband panel antenna array capable of accepting the higher powered digital multiplexes to be used after the digital switchover.

Many of the DTT broadcast antenna arrays are based around an RFS five-sided PHP 5S panel array technology.

Engineered specifically for the UK’s DTT environment, the array supports multiple channel operation over the entire UHF frequency band (470-862 MHz), and delivers high levels of horizontal radiation pattern (HRP) performance.

This HRP performance is largely thanks to the use of an advanced dipole design and `winged’ back screen, allowing optimized coverage for both omni-directional and directional array configurations.

 BOX OUT

 Pre- and Post-July 2011 multiplex/channel/power allocations for the UK’s Belmont DTT transmitter:

 

        Pre-DTT switchover Belmont TV Transmitter UHF DVB-T Channels (Digital Multiplexes)

Mux 1

Mux 2

Mux A

Mux B

Mux C

Mux D

Ch30 – 5kW

Ch48 – 10kW

Ch68 – 10kW

Ch66 – 10kW

Ch60 – 4kW

Ch57 – 4kW

 

After Digital TV Switchover Date – 1 July 2011 (DVB-T power increase to 116kW)

DVB-T PSB1

DVB-T PSB2

DVB-T COM4

DVB-T PSB3

DVB-T COM5

DVB-T COM6

UHF Ch22

UHF Ch25

UHF Ch30

UHF Ch28

UHF Ch53

UHF Ch60

 

Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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Cure found for cell-site deafness – CTIA preview

Released: March 2009

All around the world, mobile cell-sites suffer from inexplicable dropped calls and degrees of uplink degradation “deafness”.  Many engineers know in their hearts that the cause is more than likely PIM (passive inter modulation). PIM just lies hidden in the cell’s RF infrastructure but until now there has been no way of diagnosing the level of the problem on site in order to set about curing it.

Summitek has finally brought to market two user friendly truly portable PIM “diagnostic measurement” tools iMT and iQA for use in the field.  Both have the same high-power and effectiveness as their benchtop model which is the standard for laboratory PIM testing. It’s being demonstrated at CTIA (Central Hall C3, Booth 6221).

PIM often only shows up under full-power transit conditions. It is caused by a variety of factors such as arcing between surfaces that are not correctly prepared or where mating surfaces are not 100% clean or terminations not 100% torqued.

The route from transmitter to airwaves is a complex one – filters, diplexers, combiners, feeders, connectors, jumpers, and the antenna itself – and not only is every single component a candidate for causing  PIM, but so also is the way it was installed one, three maybe five or ten years ago.

Says Wayne Skinner, VP Sales Interconnect technologies, “PIM is insidious, it slowly grows and the cell becomes more damaged, more ‘deaf’ – but no-one could investigate and explain why – until now.”

Conventional VSWR and ‘distance to fault’ testing are robust measurements in themselves, but incapable of finding PIM distortion and its causes; and even the low-power portable PIM testers are inadequate because they don’t have the power levels to simulate the system environments which cause the real-life PIM issues.

Summitek iMT and iQA field test units are both full 20w + 20w testers. Both are fully field ruggedized, capable of being dropped and stood upon (not that Summitek actively recommend such treatment) and can be easily taken by technician-in-van to any site and used to test and diagnose PIM issues, and once the suspect element has been replaced/repaired to test for a full “clean bill of health” on the entire RF system. There is even a small back-pack tester (iHA companion) which can be taken to the tower-top during identification and cure operations.

Engineers know that gaining an extra few dB of signal to noise ratio on the uplink receive path saves on lost calls and improves data thru-put. PIM cures effected with Summitek iMT and iQA portable field PIM testers have instances improving the noise floor by a massive 5dB delivering an environment which allows optimal receiver performance

Summitek forecasts a frightening rise in PIM issues as existing infrastructure is re-used for new technologies like 3G/UMTS and LTE.

Says Skinner “Feeders, filters and the like have been in-situ for years and they were built for either analogue or GSM single frequency operation. UMTS and LTE use wideband approaches so old empirical PIM solutions like using a different frequency are no longer an option. What’s more, because they are wideband instead of discrete transmission frequencies, the wideband carrier being transmitted creates a type of spreading effect of the third, fifth and seventh order intermods causing significantly raised noise floors for the uplink receivers.”

Although this is a potential minefield says Skinner, now with the Summitek iMT and iQA field testers it is possible to confirm end-to-end RF interconnection quality through the analysis of the presence of PIM – problems can be identified and rectified so that existing infrastructure can be re-used with the certainty of high quality operational use.

PIM-free RF components

From its leading position as the manufacturer of the laboratory standard Summitek PIM bench tester, the companies sister brands will also be on the CTIA booth (Central Hall C3, Booth 6221) showing:

Triasx HSPA proven Filters, Diplexers, triplexers, combiners and splitters

Triasx Sole supplier of RF products (Active solutions and Tower Mount Amplifiers) to the world’s fastest national mobile network

Allrizon radio receiver conditioning solutions, (filtering and amplification)

Allrizon Microwave broadband RF filter solutions from 2.4GH to 38GHz

 

Photo

Download here: http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/IQA2000_001.jpg

Caption: Fully field ruggedized the Summitek iQA allows full on-site system testing and elimination of PIM – a major cause of cell site deafness.

SIW0011

RFS appoints Jay Martin as Broadcast Technical Sales Director – Americas

Released: April 2009

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), the global wireless infrastructure specialist, has appointed Industry veteran Jay Martin as ‘Broadcast Technical Sales Director – Americas’. The appointment is pivotal in strengthening RFS’ established presence across the region, and follows the reinvention of its sales and customer support operations to ensure it remains ideally positioned to meet local market requirements.

The broadcast industry in the Americas has witnessed tremendous change in recent years, most notably with digital TV (DTV) switchovers, HDRadio and the introduction of Mobile DTV and Mobile Media in a number of markets. As such, network operators require RF coverage solutions that secure existing investments and ease migration to new standards, while allowing them to manage spectrum and maximize tower space. Providing a complete range of RF solutions for broadcasters – from analog radio and TV, to DTV, Mobile DTV, Mobile Media, HDRadio and DAB – RFS delivers a total package solution that ensures timely and cost-efficient deployment.

In his new position as head of broadcast technical sales for RFS throughout the Americas, Jay Martin brings a wealth of experience in the design and application of antenna systems for the broadcast industry. His career, which commenced with WLBZ-TV in Bangor, ME, and Shively Laboratories, spans more than three decades. From 1985 to 2008, Jay assumed key roles with Dielectric Communications of Raymond, ME, including Television Antenna Product Manager, Senior Director of Marketing, VP of Broadcast Marketing and VP of Sales. 

Welcoming him to his new role, Martyn Kemel, President, Broadcast and Defense Systems, RFS, points out that Jay has been involved with all aspects of antenna and filter design from concept to completion – including testing, specification and installation. “His engineering background and practical acumen are complementary skills that allow for high-level system solution development with customers. One of his many assets is his ability to communicate with both technical and non-technical customers”, Martyn said.

Commenting on his appointment, Jay added: “I have always been impressed with the RFS product portfolio, having competed with it for years.  Furthermore, once I met the people, I immediately realized that this was the right fit. The RFS people are an enthusiastic team of professional experts who share a strong customer focus, a great work ethic, and have a great sense of community and a long-term commitment to the broadcast industry. Having been in the industry some 30 years myself, this is very important to me and the customers that I serve.”

Jay Martin received his BSEET from the University of Maine at Orono, and his MBA from Husson College in Bangor, ME. He is an active member of International Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) and The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE).

RFS will be participating at the NAB conference and exhibition being held in Las Vegas, Nevada USA, April 18-23, 2009 (RFS booth # C2315). Specialists on hand at NAB will include Raymond Bibisi, Sr. Director of National Area Sales for North America, and Mick Bennett, Global Product Manager, Broadcast & Defense.

Photo:

Can be downloaded here;

http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/RFS0253%20Jay%20Martin.jpg

 Caption: Jay Martin, Broadcast Technical Sales Director – Americas’

 

Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0253

LAN Media – Structuring the Solution

Released: April 2009

Ken Hodge, of global cabling and data solutions company Brand-Rex, considers the selection criteria for in-building LAN media and points out that with a lifecycle of possibly 15+ years, structured cabling infrastructure must support a wide array of network services for both current and future applications.

Maximising interoperability and optimising network performance are key criteria when designing a seamless transmission network. In Europe, LAN media must comply with numerous standards and Codes of Practice set out by the International Standards Organisation (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation). In addition, national regulatory requirements must be met.

Choice of LAN media

LAN media falls into three transmission types – copper, fibre and wireless, each of which have differing selection criteria that vary according to operational environment, performance requirements, building structure and budget availability.

Copper

Essentially, copper cabling comes in two forms: twisted-pair cables (‘balanced’ cabling); and coaxial cable (‘un-balanced’ cabling). Twisted-pair copper is available in shielded and un-shielded (UTP) cable types and is suited to cable runs of up 100 metres. 

Cable performance classifications include Category 5 (Cat5), Cat6 and Cat6A, which use RJ45 connectors and are fully interoperable and backwards compatible. The higher performance Cat7 and 7A products are backwards compatible to the lower categories, but they must employ hybrid cords to achieve RJ45 connectivity.

Copper cabling classification:

  • Class D – (100MHz), supports Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, PoE and ATM.  Uses Cat 5 components
  • Class E – (250MHz), supports all Class D applications and ATM1200 and uses Cat6 components
  • Class EA – (500MHz), supports all Class D and E applications and 10GBASE-T and uses Cat6A components
  • Class F and Class FA systems – (600Mhz and 1GHz), use Cat7 and Cat7A components respectively, and are designed to distribute multi-media services

Traditionally, UTP with its small diameter, lightweight and flexibility was the preferred installation solution for Class D and Class E systems, and was easier to install than screened cabling.  However with the introduction of Class EA screened cabling, this trend has reversed. Offering a higher degree of immunity to EMI, Class EA is now a preferred option for critical network areas such as data centres.

In addition to cable performance, environmental issues such as specifying cables with an LSZH-FR (Low Smoke Zero Halogen – Fire Resistant) sheath should be considered.

Optical Fibre

Fibre optic cabling supports transmissions up to 10km. It comes in two basic types – multimode (OM) and singlemode (OS) – and is available with the following ratings:

  • OM1 (62.5/125 fibre) – limited by its relatively low bandwidth it only supports very short drive distances for higher-speed applications
  • OM2 (50/125) – a higher bandwidth product which can support high speed applications over longer transmission distances but only by using more expensive transceivers; and in some cases special mode-conditioning patchcords
  • OM3 (laser optimised 50/125) – a high performance multi-mode fibre, the optimum solution for transmission of 10Gbps up to 300m
  • OS1 – has an attenuation of 1dB/km and is typically specified for indoor or campus building links up to 2km
  • OS2 – has an attenuation lower than OS1,and supports longer drive distances

Selection is determined by several parameters, including ‘end to end’ system costs, distance traversed and transmission bit-rate. Installation methods vary from laying cables conventionally – i.e. indoors in tray, basket or conduit, – to pulling cables into existing exterior ductwork, and more advanced techniques such as blowing micro cable or fibre units into pre-installed microduct systems.

Wireless

Wireless LAN (WLAN) is widely deployed to complement, rather than replace, structured cabling. Whilst ROI may be rapid, operational issues such as security, radio propagation and upgrading costs, limits its application.

The IEEE’s 802.11 WLAN standard defines three systems (see Table 1).

Table 1: Wireless Technologies

IEEE & WiFi WLAN technology        802.11a        802.11b       802.11g
Raw Data Rate      54 Mbit/s      11 Mbit/s      54 Mbit/s
Average Throughput      27 Mbit/s     4-5 Mbit/s      27 Mbit/s
Typical Indoor Operating Range          12m          30m          12m

 

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af-2003) allows Ethernet ports to both connect and power devices such as WLAN access points, IP Cameras and IP phones. Power-sourcing equipment (PoE enabled switches or mid-span devices) is required for delivery of a  maximum of 13 watts to the powered devices. ‘PoE Plus’ (yet to be standardised as IEEE P802.3at) will offer an increased power level to support devices such as laptops and PTZ cameras and requires Cat 5 (8-wire) instead of Cat 3 (4-wire) cabling.   PoE supports the convergence of intelligent building systems and provides a platform for development of new ‘end point’ devices. 

System selection

Today, LAN media selection is increasingly involved as demand for ever higher bandwidth and delivery of both power and data extends application scope into all walks of industry. At present, copper remains the most viable option for connections up to 100m, while fibre is favoured for distances over 100 metres and in the network backbone. Moreover, while WLAN enables mobility, copper is required for electrical power. Nevertheless, regardless of complexity, the goal of LAN media selection must be to provide seamless connectivity for both present and future networking generations.

ABOUT BRAND-REX

Brand-Rex Ltd is a global operation, designing, developing and manufacturing the most sophisticated, high performance copper and fibre cabling systems for communications and extreme environment applications. Headquartered in Scotland, the company is committed to being a trusted market leading provider of best-in-class communication infrastructure solutions that are truly ‘future proof’. For more information visit www.brand-rex.com

BRX0198

RFS underscores its commitment to the North American broadcast market with world-leading RF coverage solutions at the 2009 NAB Show

Released: April 2009

Las Vegas, 20 April 2009: Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), the partner of choice for the broadcast industry, will be participating at the NAB conference and exhibition being held in Las Vegas, Nevada USA, April 20-23, 2009.

Produced annually by the National Association of Broadcasters, the NAB show attracts broadcast engineering and industry professionals from throughout the world, and will feature more than 1,600 exhibits showcasing the latest developments in 3D, mobile solutions, IPTV and content.

Offering an unrivalled range of broadcast and mobile-broadcast RF solutions, RFS will be demonstrating its expertise in bridging the boundaries between broadcast and cellular, as North America makes the leap from the sunset of analog, to the dawn of digital TV.

The North American broadcast industry has witnessed tremendous change in recent years, with the deadline for the switch from analog to digital broadcast television – known as the ‘digital TV (DTV) transition’ – now set for June 12, 2009.

All over-the-air TV broadcasts will be in digital after this date, with the resulting re-allocation of 700MHz spectrum creating significant opportunities and challenges for traditional broadcast TV, cable and satellite providers, as well as for cellular network operators and new mobile media entrants.

RFS is currently working with several US-based and global OEMs for delivery of end-to-end wireless coverage solutions across the broadcast, mobile media and cellular markets. RFS’ coverage solutions ensure that network operators are able to secure existing investments and ease migration to new standards, whilst managing spectrum and maximizing tower space.

“The DTV transition signals a new phase of market development for broadcasters and new mobile media providers alike in North America,” says Martyn Kemel, President, RFS Broadcast & Defense Systems. “There are tens of thousands of low-power DTV (LDTV) broadcasters looking to enhance and extend network coverage, while new high-power broadcasters such as AT&T and Qualcomm/MUI are poised to launch services.

“RFS has reinvented its sales and customer support operations in the US, which have been further bolstered with the appointment of industry veteran Jay Martin as RFS’ Broadcast Technical Sales Director – Americas. Jay’s experience and leadership coupled with the development of innovative RF coverage solutions designed specifically for the US market means that RFS is ideally positioned to support its customers in meeting the DTV switchover challenge and addressing the significant market opportunities moving forward.”

At the 2009 NAB Show, RFS will be exhibiting its complete range of RF solutions for broadcasters – from analog radio and TV, to DAB, mobile TV and DTV switchover. The RFS portfolio includes:

  • Full spectrum of mobile media antennas – from ‘panels in arrays’ to discrete antennas across all global broadcasting bands (VHF, UHF, L-Band and S-Band) plus solutions for horizontal, vertical and circular/mixed applications. Products on show will include the HU6, CTV, MTV-4, LVO, PCP and 159 Series.
  • Complementing the RFS antenna suite is a full range of bandpass, lowpass/harmonic filters and combiners. Designed for applications such as combining and filtering, mobile media, 3G/4G co-siting and LDTV. Other RFS products being exhibited include the LPF Series, 50E Series and 80E Series.
  • Switching and monitoring solutions meeting the requirements for unmanned sites and automation. RFS offers patch-panel-mountable, automatic coaxial switches, and Internet-accessible monitoring systems. Visitors to NAB will also be able to view the RFS’ CS Series and MS Series.

The coveted EMMY trophy, received recently by RFS in recognition of its pioneering work on ‘adjacent channel combiners’ for TV broadcasting, will also be on show at the RFS booth (# C2315). RFS’ award winning directional waveguide adjacent channel combiner technology has been deployed in 132 projects worldwide to date, and has saved the TV industry $billions by making it unnecessary to deploy new antenna systems and towers when operating digital and analog systems concurrently during DTV switchovers.

Other recent broadcast technology ‘World Firsts’ for RFS include distributed broadcast systems for digital TV in the US, where the use of multiple low-power transmission sites provides improved performance at lower cost compared to the conventional single-site high-power transmitter approach; and an innovative five-sided broadcast antenna that greatly improves operational health and safety by providing more work-space for technicians inside the array, while allowing more channels to be transmitted concurrently due to its world-leading broadband capability.

“We have been working hard with our customers in the US to ensure we provide the levels of support and product innovation demanded in such a dynamic market,” continues Kemel. “With the current economic climate, broadcasters need technology partners they can trust, and RFS has been renowned as a technical leader for over half a century. We are the only manufacturer of all components across the RF chain, and offer the broadest range of products per category. And this means we can deliver total package solutions that ensure timely and cost-efficient deployments for our customers.”

RFS’ specialists on hand at the 2009 NAB Show (booth # C2315) will include Mick Bennett, Global Product Manager, Broadcast & Defense; and Raymond Bibisi, Sr. Director of National Area Sales for North America. 

Photo: can be downloaded here:

http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/RFS0254PCP%20panel_2.jpg

Caption: 700MHz PCP antenna for US carrier trial and commercial LTE network rollouts

Photo: can be downloaded here;

http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/RFS0253%20Jay%20Martin.jpg

Caption: Jay Martin, Broadcast Technical Sales Director – Americas’

 

 Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0252

RFS Expands Production Capacity with State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Plant in India

Released: March 2009

New Delhi (India). Global wireless solutions group, Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), today announced the opening of a new manufacturing plant in Kolkata, India, for its market-leading microwave antenna systems. The first phase of a major investment by RFS in the country, this state-of-the-art manufacturing plant will enable RFS to meet the burgeoning requirement across India and later the APAC region for microwave connectivity in mobile backhaul and transmission backbone applications.

The RFS manufacturing plant will enable the company to be more responsive to existing clients, compete aggressively in all aspects of India’s wireless sector and reach out to new customers across the APAC region – where the microwave radio market is forecast to reach $2.4 billion by 2013, up from $1.9 billion according to market analysts, Sky Light Research.

“In India, a new cellular base station site goes on air every four minutes. This is generating a huge need for the timely and cost-effective delivery of high-quality and leading-edge microwave radio systems to connect new BTS to cellular networks,” said Kuldeep Tikoo, General Manager for India at RFS. “By ramping up our production capacity in India, we will be able to lower the cost of logistics and reduce import duties, while cutting delivery lead times by more than 50%. We anticipate further cost benefits to be realised by our solution partners and customers once the initial commissioning phase is completed in 2009.”

With around 350 million subscribers, the cellular market in India is the second largest in the APAC region (the first being China). However, with a mobile penetration rate of just 29%, India is the focus of heavy network rollouts as the Government strives to increase basic teledensity and achieve its target of connecting 500 million mobile subscribers by 2010. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), more than 100,000 base transceiver station (BTS) sites are being deployed annually, while the imminent award of 3G licences will certainly prompt a fresh wave of telecoms investment.

Working in conjunction with its local Indian partner, RFS entered into an exclusive agreement to deliver unique expertise, knowledge transfer and quality verification for completion of its new production facility. Covering an area of around five thousand square meters, with capability to grow, the plant will focus primarily on the manufacture of RFS microwave antenna systems for various global & domestic companies in this line including NEC group, which is a global leader in the provision of microwave radio solutions, and a major provider of end-to-end radio link networks in the booming mobile telecoms markets of APAC – such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia.

“We have set-out a five-year strategy to increase our manufacturing capacity and grow our global footprint. Today, RFS has ten manufacturing centres-of-excellence on six continents with 36 technical support and sales offices that enable us to deliver the best possible service and quality to our customers. The addition of India will enable us to further balance our production capacities, further capture the APAC market opportunity and ensure that we are uniquely positioned to provide an end-to-end solution tailored to the specific requirements of each customer locally,” added  Modeste Addra, Head of Radio Link Networks Product Line at RFS.

 

Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0136

At CTIA, RFS showcases leading-edge technologies to support pervasive wireless into the next decade and beyond

Released: March 2009

Las Vegas, 1 April 2009 RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, is showing a range of updated and new wireless infrastructure solutions plus support services at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 event in Las Vegas.

The wireless industry, says Larry Heisler, RFS’ Director of Marketing and Product Management, is at a key milestone in its evolution, with many carriers working hard to prepare for their first trials of LTE (Long Term Evolution), a technology that will power most networks well into the next decade and beyond.

“While LTE and the advanced services it brings to all categories of users will be one of the key themes of this year’s CTIA event, we should not lose sight of the fact that existing technologies, such as 2G and 3G, will still need to be supported for many years to come,” he said.

“This is why we are keen to show to our carrier customers the variety of new and updated wireless technologies that we have developed to assist them in efficiently migrating to the benefits of LTE, while still supporting their legacy customers,” he added.

According to Heisler, efficiency does not just mean looking at cost and logistical issues involved with network overlays and rollouts. As important as those issues are, the industry also needs to look at the environmental impacts, which are another central theme of this year’s CTIA show.

It’s against this backdrop, says Heisler, that RFS has developed its range of wideband base station antennas, diplexers and other cell site technologies to support carriers in their quest for a cost-effective rollout of LTE across North America.

Products in focus

RFS has developed a range of newly developed LTE solutions, as well as a family of 700MHz products, all of which are designed with both backwards and future compatibility in mind.

The LTE solutions include a range of LTE migration products that work with the base station and support multiple frequencies.

Without these RFS products carriers may have to build many new and expensive cell sites or rent more tower space.

RFS’ LTE migration products can replace existing antennas with dual or multi-band units, but with the important feature of using little or no extra cell tower space.

Indoor coverage is also being catered for with a comprehensive family of indoor propagation technologies designed for small, medium and large-scale wireless deployments, ranging from office buildings and atriums, all the way through the major campus and airport applications.

The company’s ClearFill Star, Space 1 and ClearFill Space 2 wireless indoor solutions offer carriers and site installers a complete range of flexible options that help ensure wireless users receive the same service quality they have come to expect in outdoor city situations.

The ClearFill solution-set consists of a modular mix of passive and active technologies that include a range of options for harnessing and distributing RF signals inside buildings, internal open spaces and tunnels.

Meet with RFS at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 (Central Hall, Booth 4836).

 

Index to CTIA Wireless 2009 press releases

RFS0231 – Ready for LTE – RFS announces that its’ global multi-site manufacturing resources – along with 24×7 tier one support teams and rapid response distribution services – are ready to be mobilized as North America’s carriers prepare for the high speed rollout of their trial and commercial LTE wireless services…

RFS0230 – 700 MHz – RFS has developed a range of breakthrough technologies that will help to meet the 700MHz wireless needs of carriers in a timely and highly cost-effective manner…

RFS0235 – ClearFill Star – RFS is proud to unveil ClearFill Star, the world’s first fully digital RF-over-Ethernet wireless indoor cellular coverage solution….

RFS0229 -Tower Components – RFS is extending its end-to-end solutions range to include Tower Components, a newly expanded range of high quality steel and cabling support equipment used in cell tower installations…

RFS0236 – ClearFill Space2 – RFS shows its advanced multi-band multi-operator RF-over-fiber distribution system for wireless indoor coverage solutions especially serving the public transportation sector (metro, rail and road tunnels)…

RFS0237 – Pushing the diplexer technology envelope – RFS has developed a groundbreaking wideband diplexer technology that will assist carriers as they migrate their cellular network infrastructures to LTE…

RFS0238 – CELLFLEX Lite technology – RFS has boosted its range of cable solutions with the addition of several new CELLFLEX Lite foam dielectric coaxial transmission line products…

Photos: Can be downloaded here;

http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/RFS0247%20CTIA%20Overview_ClearFillStarCDMA_Ethernet.jpg

http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/RFS0247%20CTIA%20Overview_Diplexer.jpg 

 

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0247

Wireless RF-over-Ethernet becomes a reality from Radio Frequency Systems

Released: March 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, is proud to unveil ClearFill Star, the world’s first fully digital RF-over-Ethernet wireless indoor cellular coverage solution.

ClearFill Star uses a unique; cost efficient and digital IP-based approach that improves indoor wireless service by converting radio coverage into an IP based Ethernet application. With its unique approach ClearFill Star is able to reduce the total cost of ownership by up to 30-40% compared to other in-building solutions.

Central to its cost-effective appeal, says Larry Heisler, RFS’ director of marketing and product management, is the use of Cat 5e standard LAN cabling and switches.

“When using a suitable Cat 5e network administration technology this means that carriers, enterprises and building owners can deploy ClearFill Star simply and inexpensively. And, when the time comes to maintain and/or reconfigure the system, the process is as simple as working with standard Wireless LAN systems,” he said.

Designed to complement the company’s ClearFill suite of wireless indoor solutions – being shown at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 event – ClearFill Star is designed to offer carriers and enterprises access to a new set of options for harnessing and distributing RF signals inside buildings.

Indoor coverage, says Heisler, is provided by ClearFill Star via several remote radio heads (similar to WLAN access points) powered over Ethernet, whereas the indoor capacity is defined by the number of base station interface units connected to the cell sectors of a CDMA site.

Wireless meets Gigabit Ethernet technology

A key feature of ClearFill Star is its distribution of an RF signal from a BTS via a Gigabit Ethernet network connection. The use of an Ethernet network as a transport medium, says Heisler, cuts the cost of indoor wireless deployment since it can often use existing structured cabling infrastructure.

“This dramatically reduces the cost of indoor wireless coverage, while at the same time supporting a highly flexible and scalable system. And, in common with RFS’ Long Term Evolution (LTE) solutions being shown at CTIA 2009, ClearFill Star is future-proof, as the transport medium will evolve with the evolution of Ethernet technology,” he explained.

Heisler says that all base station interfaces and active antennas (indoor remote radio heads) are powered via the Cat 5e cable (power-over-Ethernet) obviating the need and expense for installing 110v electrical supplies to each.

Another unique advantage of ClearFill Star is the possibility of managing the capacity of the base station, using a software-based solution to alter which remote radio heads are allocated to which base station or base station sector.

“The principle behind this concept is that carriers and other installers can extend capacity on a central basis and then allocate the resource to the different remote radio heads according to changes in demand. This is what makes the technology as highly scalable and flexible as it is,” said Heisler.

“As an evolution, this concept of capacity management could be controlled dynamically. For example during the day, a shopping mall might distribute its capacity evenly between the mall stores, the movie complex and food courts. In the late evening, when the mall stores close, the bulk of the indoor capacity can be reallocated automatically to the movie complex and food courts,” he added.

“Whether the application is a private enterprise, a major university or airport campus, the addition of ClearFill Star to our ClearFill suite of wireless indoor solutions sets a new benchmark in the industry in terms of coverage enhancement, cost-effectiveness and flexibility. With ClearFill Star, our customers are guaranteed to maximize their return on investment,” Heisler concluded.

Meet with RFS at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 (Central Hall, Booth 4836).

 

Photo can be downloaded here: http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/PICS/RFS0235%20ClearFillStarCDMA_Ethernet.jpg

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0235

RFS ready to support North America’s intensive rollout plans for LTE technology

Released: March 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, announces that its global multi-site manufacturing resources – along with 24×7 tier one support teams and rapid response distribution services – are ready to be mobilized as North America’s carriers prepare for the high speed rollout of their trial and commercial LTE – Long Term Evolution – wireless services.

“We’ve been working closely with our carrier customers on developing the products, manufacturing resources and distribution logistics required for LTE technology to be slotted in at the cell tower top and all the way along the RF communications chain,” said Larry Heisler, RFS’ director of marketing and product management.

“Now that the ambitious plans of carriers to roll out the first commercial LTE deployments in North America in 2010 have been revealed, we can state with 100 percent confidence that we are fully prepared to support all of our carrier customers – both large and small – in their plans to roll out what is certain to be a highly attractive customer proposition in the wireless space,” he added.

According to Heisler, RFS is in pole position when it comes to having a proven track record in working reliably with its carrier clients on rapid network infrastructure rollouts and cell tower enhancements that have become the norm as networks have moved along the evolutionary trail from 2G to 3G technology, embracing 2.5 and 2.75G services along the way.

LTE, he explained, is going to undergo a much faster rollout in North America than was the case with 3G, driven – as it will be – by carrier and customer requirements.

Carriers, he says, will be looking for a rapid return on investment on their LTE licenses, while customers – especially in the business segment of the market – will be looking to LTE to help them mobilize the many applications they frequently use when tethered to high bandwidth wired networks.

RFS’ LTE technology, he went on to say, has undergone extensive trials in the global marketplace, driven by carriers pushing hard for real-world solutions to some of the technical problems that LTE has presented their engineers.

It is important to realize, he said, that LTE is the only wireless technology that can support unpaired Time Division Duplex (TDD) and paired Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) transmissions on the same base station.

Developing the base station and allied infrastructure to support both TDD and FDD at the same time, says Heisler – and to do so on a mass rollout basis on a relatively short time scale – is going to push the technology envelope very hard indeed in the next 12 months, he added. RFS is one of a few suppliers of end-to-end RF systems (antennas, feeders, TMAs, diplexers, triplexers, combiners, filters etc) than can help carriers in this task.

 The rewards for being first to market with a high capacity LTE network in North America will be immense, says Heisler.

 “LTE will enable the industry to meet business customer demands for a high bandwidth and low latency service that will work across North America,” he explained. Carrier support is the key

It’s against this technology backdrop that RFS is one of the few RF system suppliers that will be able to meet the phenomenal time and delivery constraints that North American carriers face with their LTE deployments.

The carriers, says Heisler, will be asked to meet a tidal wave of demand from business users and consumers who will be looking to achieve the same low-latency and high bandwidth service on a mobile basis as they enjoy at their desks and at home.

Achieving this level of coverage – and on a high capacity basis – in all scenarios, metro, urban and rural, will require base station upgrades and cell site enhancements on a scale never before seen in the wireless industry.

And RFS has the technology, system design, manufacturing and logistics required to support carriers in this difficult task. Alongside its impressive multi-site manufacturing and distribution logistics network, the company has pioneered the development of a breakthrough wideband diplexer technology that supports multi-band and multi-frequency transmissions which avoid the need for additional space at the cell tower top and on feeder runs.

For end-users, says Heisler, this means easy access to improved reception, both indoors and out, as a direct result of the rapid migration of the industry to LTE.

“Wireless technology has come a long way in the last two and half decades, and is set to make even more progress as the industry moves towards LTE technology,” he said.RFS, says Heisler, is ready and able to support carriers in their planning and preparation for what is certain to be a highly intensive period of network infrastructure installations and enhancements.

Meet with RFS at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 (Central Hall, Booth 4836).

 

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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RFS preps carriers for the rapid rollout of next generation 700MHz wireless technology

Released: March 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, has developed a range of breakthrough technologies that will help to meet the 700MHz wireless needs of carriers in a timely and highly cost-effective manner.

North American carriers, says Rodrigo Oliveira, RFS’ area product manager for Wireless Infrastructure Solutions, have spent billions of dollars acquiring licenses for LTE at 700MHz and are now keen to start generating healthy revenues from the technology.

“Even though carrier’s LTE licenses require them to achieve 40 percent coverage by 2013, we fully expect the actual rollouts to be a lot more aggressive than that, with commercial trials taking place later this year, ready for real-world deployments in 2010,” he said.

“These ambitions, however, will have to be tempered by the situation in many areas that cell site towers are fully loaded and there is no room for additional feeders or additional antennas. Without the new products that RFS has developed, carriers would be looking at having to build additional cell sites or rent additional tower space,” he added.

According to Oliveira, RFS has devised a suite of LTE migration products to diminish all of this cost and difficulty. These include a range of diplexers to share feeders, next generation multi-band/polarity antennas that can replace the old systems, and a family of high performance 700MHz tower mounted amplifiers with advanced filtering to reduce interference levels.

Central to this suite of LTE migration products is RFS’ ShareLite Diplexer range, which gives carriers access to the antennas and associated electronics that will support multi-band, and multi-frequency transmissions without physically overloading the cell tower.

“We have pioneered the development of a leading edge set of base station technologies – spearheaded by a range of multi-band diplexers that cover carrier’s needs, including 698-960/1710-2200MHz and 698-787/824-896MHz for North American LTE deployments,” said Oliveira.

The state-of-the-art technologies that RFS has developed support features such as near-zero insertion-loss, as well as a wide array of other advantages at the cell site tower top.

For the carriers, he explained, these new technologies will mean reduced capex and much less need for extra cell site towers, as well as no extra leasing fees for site owners, helping to keeping the antenna count as low as possible.

“For North American wireless users, these advances will translate to a more rapid 700MHz service rollout, allowing customers to enjoy high capacity and low latency performance across much longer distances than before – even into areas not previously within coverage,” he said, adding that 700MHz also propagates far deeper into buildings.

Flexible solutions for flexible deployment scenarios

Even though at least one major North American carrier has already confirmed plans to launch LTE at 700 MHz in a 2010 timeframe, Oliveira says that precise carrier deployment plans are still quite fluid, owing to the need to support – as seems quite likely – the expansion of LTE into the 850 and 1900MHz frequencies over time.

This means, he says, that carriers could see usage of wideband/dual-band base station architectures alongside existing products with new tower mounted amplifiers plus feeder sharing solutions being required.

RFS’ central offering in this regard, says the North America area product manager, is a 700MHz (UL 698-716/DL 728-746MHz) tower mounted amplifier with an Rx gain > 15 dB and a noise figure of less than 1.0 dB and minimal Rx bypass loss – plus a ground-breaking Tx insertion loss of under 0.4 dB.

The company also has a family of ShareLite Diplexers ready for multi-band usage, supporting 698-960MHz in the low, and 1710-2200MHz in the high frequency band.

With typical low-band insertion losses of 0.07dB and high-band values of 0.12dB, the ShareLite Diplexers feature, says Oliveira, the best insertion loss currently available in the market, along with the industry’s most compact and lightweight (3.1 pounds) design with this performance.

“The first 700MHz trial antenna – 2.0m, 65 degree, fixed electrical tilt – started shipping during the run-up to International CTIA Wireless 2009 and you will see a wide range of different 700MHz Base Station Antenna solutions becoming available over the next 12 months,” he said, adding that support for vertical plus cross-polarity antennas will be standard across the Optimizer series.

RFS’ approach with its 700MHz base station architecture, says Oliveira, is flexibility in terms of deployment scenarios.

This flexibility, he explained, extends to support for multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) technology, allowing carriers to solve the ongoing issues associated with multi-path interference by the simple expedient of sending and receiving data over more than one antenna.

This helps, he says, to increase network capacity, peak rates and, of course, coverage in all deployment scenarios.

Capacity will be the key

Regardless of how the battle for technical supremacy in 3G and 4G markets pan out, Oliveira says that backhaul capacity is going to be a headache for carriers.

Studies have shown, he explained, that carriers will need at least 100Mbps for full mobility and 1Gbps at wireless hotspots, so it is highly likely that LTE sites will need close to 1Gbps to satisfy customer demands for data-rich services.

It’s against this backdrop that RFS has developed a range of microwave backhaul technologies that easily support 1Gbps without the cost of fiber-based backhaul, which is really best suited to 2Gbps links and above, says Oliveira.

“On top of this, microwave backhaul is less costly and far quicker to install, which makes it ideal for the aggressive rollouts that North American carriers are planning on the 700MHz front,” he said.

“Our technologies – including advanced low-loss cabling solutions – are designed to support carriers in their quest to meet data-rich customer demands. Dual-polarized antennas, for example, double the capacity of the antenna system, while E-band microwave systems can support up to 600Mbps links over distances of around two miles,” he added.

The old adage that `time is money,’ Oliveira went on to say, will apply more than ever to 700MHz network deployments, and RFS is pleased to be leading the market with solutions that matter.

“It’s clear from what the industry has seen and heard at the Mobile World Congress back in February, that the networks have highly ambitious plans for an aggressive rollout of LTE at 700MHz in North America,” he said.

“We’re ready and able to support North American carriers in this regard, but with the important caveat that our technology allows full flexibility to support the various evolution scenarios that LTE is certain to undergo in the years ahead.  That flexibility translates to reduced capex and improved network coverage for carriers – a win-win situation for all concerned,” he added.

 Meet with RFS at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 (Central Hall, Booth 4836).

 

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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RFS pushes the diplexer technology envelope to assist in cellular longevity

Released: February 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, has developed a ground breaking wideband diplexer technology that will assist carriers as they migrate their cellular network infrastructures to LTE – Long Term Evolution.

As with previous diplexer and triplexer technology from RFS, the new wideband diplexer systems on show in Barcelona at GSMA Mobile World Congress are designed to enable feeder sharing of several systems on the same site.

Focusing at the highest technical performance standard, designed for easy installation and spearheaded by the ShareLite Diplexer range, the new RFS technology is a positive development for both carriers and end-users alike.

Carriers will get access to antennas and associated electronics that will support multi-band and multi-frequency transmissions without physically overloading the cell tower.

End-users, meanwhile, will get access to the many benefits of LTE, not least the possibility of much higher mobile broadband speeds than seen on 3G/HSPA-enabled systems.

David Kiesling, global product manager for Wireless Infrastructure Solutions with RFS, said that, whilst cellular has come a long way in the last two decades, LTE is set to propel wireless communications far further forward – and lot more rapidly than seen before – in just a few short years.

“The industry has gone about as far as it can with GSM networks operating at 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz. 3G services at 2100 MHz, meanwhile, have been a very useful progression, but the industry is already planning for LTE services which will operate at 2600 MHz in most of the world and 700 MHz in North America,” he said.

“In addition, and using a technology already undergoing tests in Australia, there are plans to re-use legacy GSM frequencies for LTE transmissions, allowing LTE signals to reach greater distances than 3G in urban and rural areas,” he added.

The use of GSM 1800 frequencies for LTE transmissions in particular, he went on to say, will enhance indoor signal propagation and ensure that in-building signal quality is more uniform than seen on 3G services.

According to Kiesling, it is clear from informal discussions that RFS has had with network customers planning to use LTE, that the world’s carriers are keen to generate a faster return on investment with LTE than they achieved with 3G.

This is clearly illustrated, he said, by the fact that, while North American carriers are required – under the terms of their licenses – to achieve 40 per cent coverage with LTE by 2013, there is every indication that they are planning to reach this target in a shorter timeframe.

Multi-band diplexers solve tower overload issues

It’s against this rapidly evolving backdrop that RFS has developed a leading edge set of base station technologies – spearheaded by its multi-band diplexers.

These units can slot neatly onto existing cell towers without adding any extra electronics and associated cabling nor any extra load on the cell tower structures.

Diplexers are devices that enable a single RF feeder cable to be shared by two different bands thus minimizing the required RF infrastructure by obviating the need for a second feeder.

The different varieties of diplexer that RFS has developed will cover carriers’ needs around the world, ranging from 698-960/1710-2200MHz and 698-787/824-896MHz for North American LTE deployments to versions supporting 698-960/2300-2700MHz and 1710-2200/2500-2700MHz for Rest-of-World LTE deployments in the 2600MHz waveband.

“For many carriers, 3G has been a logistical headache in terms of squeezing extra feeders, antennas and electronics on the top of already crowded cell towers, especially in dense urban areas. Our wideband range of diplexers won’t add to this array of systems.

“Instead, the new diplexer range will replace what would otherwise be multiple feeders with state-of-the-art technology that features near zero-insertion-loss (at most 0.1 dB) amongst a wide array of other advantages” said Kiesling, adding that RFS’ true multiband antennas are equipped with single Tx and Rx feeders, not multiple feeders as is normally the case where multiple antennas merely share the same radome.

 “The combination of true multi-band antennas and feeder-sharing diplexers is the elegant solution to cell tower congestion,” he said.

“For the carriers, this means reduced capex and much less need for extra cell site towers, plus no extra leasing fees to site owners, by keeping the antenna count to an absolute minimum. For carriers and their customers, this translates to more rapid LTE service rollouts, allowing mobile customers access to greatly enhanced mobile broadband speeds and improved quality of service,” he added.

Kiesling calls this a ‘win-win-win’ situation for all concerned, with RFS, its carriers and their customers, all enjoying the benefits that LTE brings to the cellular table.

“And given that the wideband diplexer technology we are showing at the GSMA World Congress also allows easy support for legacy technologies such as GSM and PCS, which are still widely used by fleet-tracking systems and consumers generally, users can look forward to being able to continue to use their legacy hardware for many years to come,” he said.

Photo can be downloaded here:  http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/pics/RFS0224_ShareLite_LTE_Diplexer.jpg

 

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0224

CELLFLEX Lite – new additions complete RFS’ proven aluminum transmission line technology range

Released: February 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, has boosted its range of cable solutions with the addition of several new CELLFLEX® Lite corrugated aluminum coaxial transmission line products including the ½ inch LCF12-50JL, the 1¼ inch LCFS114-50JL and the ultra flexible 1¼ inch UCF114-50JL.

The extension to this advanced range means that the industry leading series of lightweight corrugated aluminum cables is now complete with all popular sizes and applications being covered.

This latest set of additions to the family has been prompted by a resounding success in numerous project rollouts and ensures that RFS’ portfolio of corrugated aluminum outer conductor cables are now the most comprehensive in the world.

“The CELLFLEX Lite solutions have been proven in a number of 3G wireless scenarios – as well as 2G deployments – and continue the company’s  ‘single choice for multiple application’ cabling strategy,” said Bernd Furche global product manager for Transmission Lines with RFS, adding that these same solutions are ready for LTE applications.

“This means that a single range of accessories like connectors and grounding kits fit to all RFS cables including CELLFLEX low loss and ultra-flexible copper together with low loss and ultra-flexible CELLFLEX Lite – all of which share the exact same outer conductor profile,” he added.

According to Furche, using this approach ensures there is no risk of error in the field during installation and helps to reduce the required customer inventory levels. “For example, Any RFS 1¼ inch OMNIFIT connector will fit any 1¼ inch RFS transmission line product perfectly,” he explained.

RFS’ CELLFLEX Lite cables, he said, continue the success story of corrugated feeders, so avoiding the installation challenges introduced by other aluminum solutions being proposed or released.

CELLFLEX Lite was the world’s first corrugated aluminum transmission line and achieved critical acclaim when it was launched.  The CELLFLEX Lite range has now matured into a highly valuable range of advanced performance cabling solutions for a growing number of carriers and OEMs.

Furche says that the cable’s advanced performance, coupled with lightweight construction, have combined to make CELLFLEX Lite a preferred transmission solution for fast-track network rollouts.

CELLFLEX Lite features a foam-dielectric corrugated coaxial cable with an aluminum outer conductor and a copper inner that is now a complete portfolio, being available in all common sizes. Supporting an alternative price point and performance combination for establishing the base station-to-antenna RF link, CELLFLEX Lite continues to represent an important development in transmission line technology.

The technology’s robust construction and advanced electrical performance have propelled CELLFLEX Lite to become the next generation choice in RF transmission development.

Now available in low loss 1/2”, 7/8”, 11/4”, 15/8” and ultra-flexible 7/8” and 11/4” diameters, CELLFLEX Lite is the most comprehensive corrugated aluminum feeder range available on the world market and also the lightest of its kind. It also features non-kink easy to bend corrugated outer conductors throughout the range.

“CELLFLEX Lite was designed to offer wireless carriers a long-awaited alternative to copper transmission line with comparable electrical and mechanical performance. Aluminum, its chief component, is far less volatile in price than copper meaning that carriers can fix on a standard and not have to change strategy because of world commodity market prices,” said Furche.

“CELLFLEX Lite is a lightweight solution that assists carriers in their rapid roll-out of 3G – and soon LTE – wireless network infrastructures taking place around the world,” he said.

“With the rate of increase in wireless network deployments accelerating  in many countries, carriers are continually looking for alternative ways of delivering quality mobile services and coverage to users. CELLFLEX Lite meets these requirements in a timely and highly cost-effective manner,” he added.  

 

 

Photo can be downloaded here: http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/pics/RFS0223_CellflexLite_Omnifit.jpg

 

  

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0223

High performance and healthy RoI go hand in hand with RFS’ new Optimizer CELlite base station antenna

Released: February 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, is unveiling its new family of high-performance Optimizer CELlite base station antennas at the GSMA Mobile World Congress.

The series centers on a slim line dual-polarized range designed to complement RFS’ popular vertically polarized CELlite variant, providing carriers with an extremely stable and lightweight antenna solution.

“With integral support for all services between 806 and 960 MHz, the Optimizer CELlite antenna family exhibits the same superior performance seen in the rest of our Optimizer antenna range,” said David Kiesling, global product manager for Wireless Infrastructure Solutions at RFS.

“These features include upper side lobe suppression of typically better than 18dB across the entire frequency range, together with high gain, a six-degree downtilt and an impressive front-to-back ratio of typically 28dB,” he added.

According to Kiesling, the aim of the new base station antenna is to assist carriers when solving the headache of supporting multiple standards and multiple frequencies in today’s increasingly fast-moving standards-oriented industry.

No more simplistic usage models

The wireless industry, he explained, has moved on from the traditional tree-and-branch approach of base station installs, with microwave hop-linked minor base stations in rural areas parented on to primary base stations and then into the main carrier network.

The latest high user penetration cellular usage patterns, he says, have brought the end to that simplistic model, with a couple of 3G/HSPA-driven mobile broadband users now being capable of fully loading a minor `country’ base station and its relatively limited microwave backhaul in the main network.

This fast-evolving landscape now means that carriers must install flexible network capacity in even the most rural of areas, to capture incremental revenue from mobile broadband and, increasingly in many countries, mobile TV users.

“These extra revenues can mean the difference between a carrier making a modest return on investment (RoI) on their new network builds and giving them the extra profits they need to invest in new technologies such as Long Term Evolution (LTE), which carriers the world over are now preparing to trial,” he said.

The new Optimizer antenna suite features a robust micro stripline power feed system constructed from monolithic aluminum, in place of the traditional cabled feed system.

This, coupled with the antenna’s one-piece panel construction and a reduced number of weld joints, means the antennas are capable of supporting advanced Passive Intermodulation (PIM) performance, a feature that assists carriers in maximizing call quality and avoiding dropped calls, which Kiesling says is a crucial requirement in high-capacity networks.

“The new Optimizer CELlite antenna series also gives carriers new levels of deployment and operational flexibility, since it has been designed to accommodate the rapid roll-out of wireless networks in densely populated regions,” he explained.

“Its lightweight construction makes it quick and easy to install, while its advanced RF performance makes it ideal for providing coverage in high-capacity wireless networks,” he added.

Setting the scene for LTE’s introduction

Kiesling said that RFS is showing its latest range of CELlite Optimizer base station antennas in Barcelona, to help set the scene for the industry’s migration to LTE which is due to take place in the next few years.

High performance, he says, is now a key component in carrier’s strategy for what is certain to be an explosive growth period in network rollouts.

“Carriers must not lose sight of the fact, however, that there is still a need to support legacy 2G as well as 3G services for users, some of whom are using technology such as fleet tracking and telemetry systems that will rely on older cellular services until their financially useful lifetime ends in the middle part of the next decade. “Just as carriers need a healthy return on their investment, so do their end-users as well. This is why we are always mindful of the need to improve the more routine aspects of base station technologies,” he said.

 Photo can be downloaded here:  http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/pics/RFS0222_Optimizer_CELlite_Antenna.jpg

 

 

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0222

RFS Mobile TV antenna: compact, slim and lightweight features come as standard

Released: February 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, is unveiling its innovative UHF broadband MTV-4 antenna to the mobile industry in Barcelona. The MTV-4 is the latest addition to RFS’ comprehensive range of mobile TV antennas which includes the compact CTV series with 6dB gain; the ultra-slim ultra light-weight HU6 range of systems; and the SDV-4 wide frequency omni-directional unit.

Mobile TV technology is exciting broadcasters and carriers around the world, but standards vary between regions and even countries within regions.  RFS can help carriers generate valuable extra revenue streams from this still-evolving technology.

The RFS range now includes solutions that are visually unobtrusive and ultra-lightweight to meet the latest environmental and structural considerations and they are all flexible on both frequency and standards

According to Mick Bennett, RFS’ global product manager for Broadcast and Defense Systems, a wide range of cost and performance option solutions are needed to support global deployments of what will increasingly become a revenue and ARPU-enhancing technology. “RFS already has,” he says, “solutions for most countries, standards and applications.”

To meet the requirements of co-located cell-based wireless and mobile TV solutions, the RFS mobile TV antenna suite features a range of power and bandwidth options. Low-power options are essential to ensure that emissions remain within limits and co-sited cellular receivers are not blocked. RFS mobile TV antennas range from single channel, through multi-channel to full-band.

MTV-4: only 20kg with support for the complete UHF TV band

“Central to our strategy of enabling carriers in their rollout of mobile TV services is a range of lightweight antennas that now includes our new
MTV-4, a lightweight antenna system which supports the entire UHF TV band,” Bennett said.

He went on to say that, at only 20kg, the 140mm diameter MTV-4 is the smallest broadband antenna of its genre.

Electrically, physically and in terms of cost-effectiveness, he said, the MTV-4 stands alone in its class and, by accommodating input powers of up to 1kW with a gain of 6dB, the MTV-4 is fully UHF mobile TV broadband compliant.  This is made possible by the use of a single antenna supporting frequencies from 470 to 860MHz.

This combination of power and bandwidth makes it ideal for supporting multi-channel mobile TV operation. Moreover, says RFS, the unit’s small size and low drag profile provide a high wind speed rating and low wind load characteristics.

CTV: compact, 500W input and 6dB gain

The compact CTV series features center-fed co-linear antennas, with an impressive 500W input power rating and 6dB of signal gain.

The four antennas in the CTV series are, says Bennett, very suitable for multi-channel operation, and together support the full range of UHF mobile TV frequencies from 470 to 860MHz.

“The four antennas in the 500W CTV series cover the full range of UHF mobile TV frequencies. Both our CTV and MTV-4 antennas are ideal for deployment at mobile TV repeater stations, which are likely to be co-located with existing infrastructures such as mobile base stations,” he said.

“A central requirement for this is sufficient signal strength to provide good reception, balanced against power limits to avoid blocking co-sited cellular receivers. Just as important are antennas that are visually unobtrusive and ultra-lightweight to meet environmental and structural considerations,” he added.

HU6: ultra slim and compactness the order of the day

Weighing in at just 3.5Kg, the ultra-slim HU6 is one of the world’s most compact UHF omni-directional antennas. For single-channel networks, the HU6 offers an 8MHz channel and accommodates input powers of up to 300W.

“The HU6 is an excellent choice for single-channel networks,” said Bennett, adding that the technology has proven itself to be useful in a number of situations ever since the first trials of the antenna in Oxford, UK, back in 2005.

The UK DVB-H trial, says Bennett, was set up around the city of Oxford to investigate the commercial appeal of mobile TV and to see how the technology performed.

“At the time we supplied a low visual impact HU6 co-linear antenna for deployment at a low-power urban site. The trial, which broadcast on UHF channel E31, involved eight transmission sites and was a great success. Since then, the HU6 has proven itself to be a great addition to our range of mobile TV antenna,” he said.

SDV-4: omni-directional, 1kW input

The SDV-4, meanwhile, is a vertically polarized, omni-directional broadband antenna that supports the entire mobile TV UHF frequency range (470 to 800MHz), offers premium VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio) performance and accepts up to 1kW input power.

“Weighing 45kg, the SDV-4 series offers an extremely high-performance, cost-effective and low-power solution for deploying mobile TV services
co-located at multiple base stations,” said Bennett, adding that a higher gain/high power 2kW version of the antenna is also available.

All of these innovative products, says RFS’ global product manager for Broadcast and Defense Systems, can be deployed in a very wide range of countries.

“Perhaps more importantly though, as standards evolve and countries agree on which of the standards they will support, the antennas and associated cabling – as well as their electronics – can be modified to meet the new standards and requirements as they evolve, with minimal modifications being required,” he said. 

“It’s this high degree of flexibility, allied to the quality that RFS antenna products are renowned for around the world, that we are extremely proud of. We welcome carriers visiting our stand/booth at the GSMA World Congress event to discuss the latest in mobile TV antenna innovations that RFS can offer. ” he added.

Photo can be downloaded here: http://fs.turtleconsulting.co.uk/pics/RFS0221_MTV-4_Antenna.jpg

 

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

RFS0221

LTE – “Ready when you are” says RFS

Released: February 2009

RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), the wireless infrastructure specialist, is ready for the next great switchover in the wireless business – the migration to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

“More than any other wireless technology, LTE has the capability to change the face of communications as we know it. That’s why our research and development teams have expended considerable effort in the last few years preparing for this point in LTE’s development, when the first carriers are preparing for technology trials later this year,” said David Kiesling, global product manager for RFS Wireless Infrastructure Solutions.

“The message we are taking to our carrier customers – both old and new – at the GSMA World Congress is that we can help them in what is certain to be a revolution at the cell tower top. We can do this because our products offer an evolutionary path that keeps the real-estate changes to an absolute minimum,” he added.

According to Kiesling, the key question that carriers are asking leading suppliers like RFS is: `Will the technology that we install at the top of the cell tower today need to be changed in the next 12 to 18 months? And what is the lifespan of the LTE hardware and associated systems?’

And the answer, he says, is that RFS can help reduce the headache that carrier operations and planning managers are certain to face in the next few years as the industry evolves to an LTE ecosystem.

Forwards and backwards compatibility

One of the major issues facing today’s carriers says Kiesling, is how to support the introduction of LTE at the cell site with a minimum of extra real estate and yet ensure that support for legacy wireless technologies – as GSM is rapidly becoming – together with 3G services, is constantly available.

“Then, of course, there is the requirement to future-proof the antenna, diplexers and other base station systems, as end-users change the role that LTE technology plays in their lives,” he explained.

These changes, says RFS’ global product manager, are likely to involve the displacement of fixed-line broadband with mobile broadband, the possibility of home/office LTE-delivered ADSL solutions and – just to make life interesting – the arrival of femtocells into the transmission equation.

The LTE solutions that carriers install today, says Kiesling, must ensure the highest possible forwards and backwards-wireless capabilities, at the optimum cost, and so ensure that carriers are able to secure a reasonable return on their investment in as short a timeframe as possible.

“RFS’ LTE technology solutions can achieve all of these requirements, efficiently and cost-effectively,” he said.

RFS can help carriers solve technical issues

One of the biggest problems facing carriers as they prepare for trials of LTE technology later this year, or in 2010, will be how to support frequencies at the antenna ranging all the way from 1700 MHz to 2600 MHz.

This is achieved using RFS’ groundbreaking broad-band antenna technology by also using, as an example, an RFS LTE diplexer at the bottom supporting GSM 1800 and LTE 2600, with the signals combined onto the feeder and sent up into the broad-band antenna. On the receive side of the technology, the antenna can handle the complete wireless spectrum and then the relevant frequencies can be divided out at the base of the antenna.

From a real-estate perspective, says Kiesling, carriers can have the same antenna form factor and cable runs, but have two services operational. This is, he observes, the best solution from an equipment simplicity perspective.

This multi-band approach, he adds, also works for carriers that need support for quad-band operations at the cell tower.

“Traditionally, this would be achieved using separate antennas under a single radome (cover), however each antenna within the radome would still have its own Tx and Rx feeder connectors – meaning that either individual feeders would still be required or that diplexers and combiners would be needed at the bottom and top of the tower to share feeders.

“To support say 900, 1800, 2100 and now 2600 MHz using multiple arrays would lead to eight RF-connectors at the tower top. No carrier can realistically afford eight feeder cable runs per sector, explained Kiesling nor is there physically room for eight feeders times the number of sectors to run up most towers. “Using RFS multi-band antennas and our diplexer and triplexer technology, carriers can significantly reduce the number of feeders required, “he explained.

He went on to say that RFS is in fact developing a very exciting broadband antenna which covers the complete 1700 to 2600 MHz frequency range.  ”We are exhibiting a 2100/2600 MHz common connector dual band antenna at our booth at the GSMA event and will be discussing our LTE technology roadmap which includes other multiband antennas supporting LTE 2600 MHz,” he added. The roadmap includes a dual band broad-band antenna (824-960 MHz/1710-2700 MHz) with internal diplexers which allows a carrier to compress the eight feeder lines into two – the most efficient use of tower real estate ever.

RFS’ discussions with carriers suggest that the biggest technical hurdles to be faced with effective LTE deployments are in metropolitan (city) areas, specifically the interworking with legacy 2G (GSM) and 3G networks.

In the first phase of metropolitan deployment of LTE, Kiesling predicts that cell reselection (handoff) with a legacy 2G network will almost certainly be required, but real-time handover of a VoIP service between an LTE and a 2G network may not be supported or required at this time.

“Interworking with W-CDMA (2100/900MHz) networks, however, is going to be a high priority. This is especially true in situations where the legacy network is providing a high degree of service continuity in a metropolitan environment, or in areas at the edge of coverage,” he said.

“The bottom line with our LTE technologies on show here in Barcelona is that they will make all these technical compliance issues much easier,” he added.

 

RFS Company background

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.

RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.

For more information visit: http://www.rfsworld.com/

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