[LINK] Wireless advances could mean no more mobile towers

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Feb 15 02:47:30 AEDT 2011

>>>> Alcatel-Lucent will be at the show to demonstrate its "lightRadio 
>>>> cube", a cellular antenna about the size and shape of a Rubik's cube

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com (snip)

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: "lightRadio is a smart 
solution to a tough set of problems: high energy costs, the explosion of 
video on mobile, and connecting the unconnected." 

Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Promises Greener, Simpler, Lighter Networks: 

PARIS and LONDON, February 7, 2011 – Alcatel-Lucent today announced 
lightRadio™, a breakthrough in mobile and broadband infrastructure that 
streamlines, and radically simplifies, mobile networks.

Pioneered by Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent’s unique research and development 
arm, the new lightRadio system will dramatically reduce technical 
complexity, and power consumption, in the face of sharp traffic growth. 

This is accomplished by taking today’s base stations and massive cell 
site towers, typically the most expensive, power hungry, and difficult to 
maintain elements in the network, and radically shrinking and simplifying 

"To survive and thrive, service providers must evolve network designs, 
embrace small cell sites and all-IP architectures and replace traditional 
network designs with flexible cloud-like architectures that can truly 
meet the data demands of the future."

lightRadio represents a new architecture where the base station, 
typically located at the base of each cell tower, is broken into its 
components elements, and then distributed into both the antenna and 
throughout a cloud-like network. 

Today’s clutter of antennas serving 2G, 3G, and LTE systems are combined 
and shrunk into a single powerful, Bell Labs-pioneered multi frequency, 
multi standard Wideband Active Array Antenna that can be mounted on 
poles, the sides of buildings, or anywhere else there is power and a 
broadband connection.

Alcatel-Lucent’s new lightRadio product family, of which initial elements 
ready to begin customer trials in the second half 2011, provides the 
following benefits:

* Improves the environment: lightRadio reduces energy consumption of 
mobile networks by up to 50% over current radio access network equipment. 

As a point of reference, Bell Labs research estimates that base stations 
globally emit roughly 18,000,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

* Addresses digital divide: By reducing the cell site to just the 
antenna, and leveraging future advances in microwave backhaul and 
compression techniques, this technology will enable the easy creation of 
broadband coverage virtually anywhere there is power (electricity, sun, 
wind) by using microwave to connect back to the network. 

By moving former basestation components to a System on a Chip (SOC), 
lightRadio places processing where it fits best in the network – whether 
at the antenna or in the cloud.

The economics of radio networks are substantially improved by reducing 
the number and cost of fiber pairs required to support the traffic 
between the antenna and the centralized processing in the cloud.

Matching of load to demand through 'elastic’ controller capacity, 
delivered on sets of distributed and shared hardware platforms, will 
improve cost, availability, and performance of wireless networks.

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: "lightRadio is a smart 
solution to a tough set of problems: high energy costs, the explosion of 
video on mobile, and connecting the unconnected." 


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