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2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress: Gauging the Market

April 9, 2009
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As one of the first major global events of the year the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress was not only eagerly awaited for the technology and evolutionary clues that it would divulge, but also as a barometer of the impact of the global downturn on an industry that has had a recent history of dynamism, innovation and significant growth. According to the official figures, the organisers claim more than 47,000 visitors (including delegates, exhibitors, contractors and media) from 189 countries attended the four-day conference and exhibition at the Fira de Barcelona from 16 to 19 February, which compares with 55,000 visitors in 2008. The number of exhibiting companies remained the same at 1,300.

Bare figures can only tell a limited story. It is true that the show floor appeared quieter than in recent years, but there is always a great diversity of traffic from hall to hall with Hall 8 always being the busiest, followed by Hall 1, with the footfall in the others varying greatly. From those I talked to the consensus was that companies sent fewer personnel, but that the key people were attending and were keen to discuss business. The figures claim that the Congress attracted executives from the world's largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations, with 50 per cent of attendees holding C-level positions, including more than 2,800 CEOs.

Perceptions and Potential

The event has a longstanding reputation for being a dynamic showcase for the mobile industry, a hotspot for innovation and a springboard for new technologies, but was that still the case at a time when market confidence and perception are key factors? My perception was that although the event may have lacked the flamboyance of previous years and that the mood was more subdued there was no denying the continued determination to innovate and benefit from a market where the potential to profit from the right product at the right time remains substantial. There seemed to be a general recognition by companies that their efforts had to be focused and the right technological and trade alliances formed to drive forward and generate commercially viable offerings.

Innovation

Technologically the Congress remains a hotbed of ideas and innovation that sets the agenda for current initiatives and future developments. Significantly, WiMAX seems to have reached a plateau where it has been developed and is now at the stage where it is being tested to see if it is going to go into full scale manufacturing. However, its rival technology, Long Term Evolution (LTE), is where increasing emphasis is being focussed with development progressing at pace. In fact, the buzz this year surrounds 4G TD-LTE, a time division duplex (TDD) version of LTE, which is the next evolution for TD-SCDMA. Of course, there is particular interest in this technology due to its suitability for the Chinese market, but great play has been made as to its application globally.

MIMO and DigRF technologies were still to the fore as was femtocells. In fact, there was a dedicated FemtoZone in Hall 2 where the aim was to demonstrate increased market visibility, real standards progress and the first commercial launches. As well as being a showcase for the latest products a speaker programme offered an insight into the plans of operators and research on the business case for femtocells.

Technology on Show

Exhibitors from across the globe and spanning the whole spectrum of the mobile industry targeted the event to make key product announcements. Those particularly active in the microwave and RF arena were the test and measurement, femtocell, semiconductor and chipset manufacturers. Read on for a selection of the major new product announcements from some of the leaders in our industry. Apologies to any company that has not been mentioned.

Test and Measurement

For Agilent Technologies the show is a major launch pad for new products and this year was no exception. The company showcased its measurement solutions for LTE, TD-LTE, HSPA+, E-EDGE (EDGE Evolution), WiMAX™, UMA/GAN, 3GPP W-CDMA, GSM 3GPP LTE, femtocells, mobile business analytics and VoIP for MSS.

There was particular emphasis on new commercial test products for TD-LTE (also known as LTE TDD) in the form of powerful PC-based software for creating standards-based TD-LTE signals and vector signal analysis (VSA) software with TD-LTE modulation analysis capability. For example, the 3GPP LTE TDD Wireless Library (W1910/E8895) for Agilent’s SystemVue and Advanced Design System (ADS) works directly with the company’s MXA Signal Analyzer to help wireless-systems designers and verification engineers speed development of the evolving LTE TDD designs. It is a fully coded bit error ratio (BER) solution for the time division duplex version of 3GPP’s LTE standard using 2 by 2 and 4 by 4 MIMO technology. The solution allows fully coded BER measurements of a device under test, including simulation of channel impairments for multipath fading.

The N7625B Signal Studio for LTE TDD is a powerful, PC-based software application for creating standards-based TD-LTE signals using Agilent’s N5182A/62A MXG and E4438C ESG vector signal generators, and N5106A PXB MIMO receiver tester. The Signal Studio solution supports the 3GPP LTE TDD September 08 standard, offers multichannel capability for PDSCH, PHICH, PCFICH, PBCH, PDCCH, PUSCH, PUCCH, and has the ability to transmit DL and UL signals.

Also, the 89600 VSA software provides RF and baseband engineers with a comprehensive set of LTE TDD signal analysis tools, physical layer testing and troubleshooting of LTE transceivers and components. LTE TDD downlink (OFDMA), uplink (SC-FDMA) and MIMO analysis is a single option. This VSA software can be used with more than 30 Agilent products, including spectrum and signal analyzers, oscilloscopes and logic analyzers to make LTE measurements anywhere in the block diagram, from baseband to antenna, on digitized or analogue signals.

Significant too was the announcement of the first LTE real-time signal generation and channel emulation solution for base station test. The N5106A PXB MIMO receiver tester, with the N7624B Signal Studio for 3GPP LTE, now supports advanced real-time LTE testing with Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request (HARQ) feedback from the device under test. This enables closed-loop testing with dynamically changing LTE test signals, which is essential for measuring receiver performance as defined in the 3GPP LTE specification. To simulate realistic propagation conditions in a variety of different environments, the mandatory fading profiles defined in the eNB Performance Requirements or custom-defined fading profiles can be added to the real-time LTE signals along with Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN).

In association with Anite, Agilent demonstrated 3GPP LTE interoperability showing end-to-end streaming video with LTE UE devices from Signalion and Blue Wonder Communications. The demonstration featured LTE test equipment and devices that include the Agilent E6620A LTE wireless communications test set, Anite SAT LTE Protocol Development Toolset, Blue Wonder UE chipset and Signalion LTE UE simulator. Using these tools, LTE developers and their managers can test designs earlier and more completely, thereby shortening development cycles and accelerating time-to-market. As a key component of the LTE streaming video demonstration, the E6620A wireless communications test set provided a powerful, common hardware platform, integrating a 3GPP release 8-compliant protocol stack (jointly developed with Anite), for building scalable test solutions across the LTE UE R&D life cycle.

Other collaborations for Anite includes one with Azimuth Systems, which has resulted in the launch of a WiMAX Performance Tester, which combines a channel emulator and a base station emulator, allowing users to run conformance and bespoke test cases on subscriber stations under varying RF channel conditions. The product is the first development of its kind addressing WiMAX technology.

The WiMAX PT measures the device performance of test subscribers under varying radio frequency channel conditions, which results in detailed tests for locations such as high-rise buildings, downtown areas, and other challenging scenarios where WiMAX subscriber stations will be used. Test scenarios and channel conditions can be tested in a short amount of time with automated test scripts on the new PT, thus recognising the impact of RF environment, modulation, coding schemes, security and throughput on device design.

During the Mobile World Congress Anite and 4M Wireless demonstrated a number of solutions that will be essential in helping the mobile industry with the timely development and certification of LTE mobile devices. These demonstrations included end-to-end video streaming and most significantly, the first LTE protocol conformance tests that will form part of the industry’s LTE device certification programmes.

The video streaming demonstration illustrated the maturity of the Anite Development Toolset and includes full L2/L3 and NAS protocol layers for LTE, as well as taking the mobile through a full media call establishment procedure. It also demonstrated the performance and comprehensive features provided by the 4M Wireless LTE protocol solution. Anite’s Conformance Toolset provides rigorous signalling protocol testing and the demonstration with the 4M Wireless LTE UE protocol stack presented the first availability of conformance tests for LTE devices.

At Anritsu the MD8435A LTE UE Simulator for testing LTE base stations and networks took centre stage. It supports the 3GPP LTE standards and offers a flexible testing tool for base station vendors and network operators rolling-out LTE in 2010 and 2011. It offers easy protocol sequence testing, detailed L1/L2 tests, plus 3GPP base station performance tests including MIMO operation. In addition, it simplifies the complex testing area of error insertion tests, as well as 150 Mbps throughput tests. And, network operators can pre-verify protocol sequence evaluations and fault sequence checks before taking delivery of mobile terminals.

The company is also taking orders for its MD8430A Base Station Simulator supporting the 3GPP LTE standard from December 18, 2008. The first MD8430A rollout in September 2008 supported 3GPP specifications with data download speeds of faster than 100 Mbps and 2 by 2 MIMO tests, and when combined with the MD8480C, one MD8430A will soon support GSM to W-CDMA handover tests as well as 2 by 2 MIMO handover tests. In addition, Layer-3 messages can be created using TTCN3 and a GUI, and the soon-to-be released PTS and RTD software will support easy configuration of an automatic test environment incorporating a full line of analysis functions for efficient testing and fast development of LTE protocols.

Following rollout of the popular signal generator and signal analyzer supporting LTE wireless TRx tests, the 2009 roadmap includes release of PTS and RTD software supporting LTE, a fading simulator, UE simulator, and RF/protocol conformance test system, as well as extending MD8430A support for TDD.

Anritsu also released the MF6900A Fading Simulator with MIMO functions as part of its 3GPP LTE test solution portfolio. This solution will provide leading edge capability to designers of LTE terminals to help verify MIMO implementations, and to ensure the high data rate capabilities of 3GPP LTE are correctly realized in commercial devices. When combined with the MD8430A LTE Base Station Simulator, the MF6900A uses full digital processing to meet this need by outputting an LTE multi-path fading profile that faithfully emulates 2 by 2 MIMO, SISO, SIMO and MISO environments. In addition, close integration between the MF6900A and MD8430A offers a user-friendly set-up even for operators with no experience of complex fading test environments.

EB announced the availability of its Spatial Channel Modelling Tool for both the EB Propsim C8 and EB Propsim F8 radio channel emulators for Mobile WiMAX and 3GPP LTE. The Spatial Channel Modelling Tool supports both the use of SCM and SCME channel models and is suitable for testing a range of applications including mobile devices and base stations.

The tool is based on a geometry-based stochastic modelling method for system-level emulations between multiple base stations and multiple mobile stations. Performance metrics such as throughput and delay are measured over a large number of emulation runs, called ‘drops’, which consist of a predefined number of radio frames. During a drop, the channel experiences fast fading according to the movement of the terminals. The new tool allows users to accurately control and adjust the most crucial parameters affecting single link level and system level channel conditions including scenarios with multi-users, handoffs, interference and other MIMO antenna configurations.

The Spatial Channel Modelling Tool is designed to help handset, mobile terminal and base station developers reveal MIMO transceiver design errors and optimize their network level algorithms to perform maximum data throughputs in most channel conditions occurring in a field to ensure the best end-user experience possible.

Rohde & Schwarz is another test and measurement manufacturer that showcased a large portfolio of products. In particular the company is extending the frontiers of wireless communications test equipment with its R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester. The R&S CMW500 is claimed to be the first all-in-one solution on the market for every phase of development and production. Featuring a frequency range up to 6 GHz, the tester supports the following standards by means of specific feature sets: GSM/(E)GPRS, WCDMA/HSPA, UMTS LTE, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000® 1xRTT, CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO, Mobile WiMAXTM, WLAN, Bluetooth®, DVB-T and GPS.

To enable cutting-edge development of HSPA+ and UMTS LTE, a broad range of test capabilities are available and all functional layers of a wireless device — RF parameters, protocols and applications — can be tested with a single platform. Development engineers need a test instrument that allows in-depth functional analysis of RF and protocol layers and also handles sophisticated measuring tasks extending up to application tests. The multitechnology support of the R&S CMW500 includes, for example, all necessary handover and cell-selection scenarios across various standards. In production, on the other hand, the focus is on saving time and lowering costs. By applying the R&S Smart Alignment test concept, for example, the R&S CMW500 makes alignment up to ten times faster than with conventional methods.

Also highlighted was the R&S TS8980, where the base model consists of the R&S CMW500 wireless tester used together with a PC and the R&S CONTEST software. It delivers consistent RF tests on LTE-compatible mobile stations from development to certification. It is a scalable RF test system for the entire development process of LTE-compatible mobile stations and meets the existing test requirements for LTE developments in accordance with 3GPP Release 8.

It offers preconfigured test scenarios for general development tests, pre-compliance measurements and conformance tests. Depending on requirements, users can also adapt individual parameters of existing test scenarios or program complete test cases.

The company also debuted the first CDMA Certification Forum (CCF) validated test cases for MMS over CDMA2000®. Offered as a software update for the R&S CMU200 universal radio communication tester, the solution provides the market's first validated MMS test cases for CDMA2000®. Certification was granted in early 2009.

Completing Tektronix Communications' portfolio of test, monitoring and optimization solutions for LTE operators and network equipment manufacturers is K2Air probe, a new monitoring system supporting LTE networks with Uu Interface monitoring capabilities, which collects data via digital RF interfaces e.g. CPRI.

The probe provides deep dive insight into air interface performance and key eNodeB functionality that cannot be monitored on the LTE wireline interfaces. The probe is fully integrated with the company’s protocol monitoring solutions for performance test and monitoring in lab verification and live network-troubleshooting environments. It is claimed to provide seamless, fully correlated LTE wireless and wireline monitoring.

The K2Air probe supports promiscuous mode uplink and downlink monitoring of up to 300 UEs in parallel on the air interface in real time. It correlates this information with data on fixed LTE as well as legacy 2G and 3G interfaces, allowing end-to-end monitoring of network and network element performance. The high-load real-time capabilities of the probe, combined with the end-to-end monitoring capabilities offered by the NSA performance monitoring solution, provide significant advantages. The K2Air probe provides both network equipment manufacturers developing LTE products and network operators trialing and rolling out LTE technology with an effective, objective monitoring solution with the depth and breadth required for efficient LTE testing.

Chipsets and Semiconductors

Infineon Technologies announced that it has sampled its 2nd Generation LTE RF transceiver. The SMARTi™ LU is a single-chip 65 nm CMOS RF transceiver providing 2G/3G/LTE functionality with a DigRF digital baseband interface for highest data rates up to 150 Mbps in LTE networks. Additionally the company announced the 3rd Generation of its successful 3G RF transceiver family, SMARTi UE — the SMARTi UEmicro is optimized for lowest cost 3G designs.

The SMARTi LU is a highly integrated 2G/3G/LTE multi-mode RF transceiver compliant to 3GPP Rel.7 and Rel.8. It supports up to six 3G and LTE Bands simultaneously with Quad Band GSM/EDGE. Its features includes LTE FDD class 4 (up to 150 Mbps downlink, 50 Mbps uplink) MIMO Rx diversity (2Rx + 1Tx), HSPA+, HSPA, WCDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE. It is based on standard 65 nm CMOS technology provided by multiple semiconductor foundries.

The SMARTi UEmicro is a single chip 2G/3G CMOS RF transceiver for the low end segment of the 3G market. It is a cost down version of the SMARTi UE with a backward compatible hardware and software interface via DigRF v3.09. With the elimination of external LNAs and a simplified co-banded RF front-end without Rx filters SMARTi UEmicro is very low cost. It delivers exceptional RF performance for up to three of the globally used WCDMA bands plus Dual Band or Quad Band GSM/EDGE at lowest system cost. Customer sampling will start at the beginning of Q2 2009, with mass production planned for the end of 2009.

Infineon also unveiled its 3G ultra-low-cost (ULC) mobile communications chip. The new X-GOLD™110 is manufactured with a structure size of 65 nm and the chip lowers system costs (bill-of-material) for mobile phone manufacturers by 20 percent compared to its predecessor. Also, the X-GOLD110 is a ULC chip that includes an FM radio receiver in addition to a full range of telephony functionalities.

As usual RF Micro Devices did not disappoint with the volume and depth of announcements made at the show. First the company introduced the RF6460, its most highly integrated and scalable 3G/4G cellular front-end platform, which features an ultra-compact ‘converged’ multi-band, multimode architecture (2G/2.5G/3G/4G) that claims to be the industry’s only converged architecture capable of supporting up to nine cellular bands.

The RF6460 converged front-end platform is comprised of the RF6260 multi-band, multimode power amplifier module, the RF6360 antenna switch module and the RF6560 front-end power management integrated circuit. With the broadband, multimode characteristics of the RF6260 PA and the flexibility of the RF6560 power management IC, the RF6460 converged front-end platform delivers a scalable front end solution that simultaneously supports the implementation of up to five WCDMA/HSPA+/LTE bands – three high bands and two low bands – and all four bands of GSM/GPRS/EDGE in 3G/4G multimode mobile devices.

Also announced was the expansion of the company’s Wi-Fi product portfolio to include three new front-end modules: the RF5325, RF5345 and RF5725, which each contain a 2.4 GHz PA designed to optimize linearity while minimizing current consumption. Each FEM integrates an output power coupler, transmit (Tx) low pass filtering and a single-pole three-throw (SP3T) switch capable of switching between Wi-Fi receive (Rx), Wi-Fi Tx, and Bluetooth® Rx/Tx operations. The RF5345 and RF5725 also integrate a low noise amplifier (LNA) for RF architectures requiring additional Rx gain.

New too, is the RF720x family of WCDMA/HSPA+ PAs designed for 3G multimode devices implementing mode-specific, band-specific front-end architectures. The RF7200 (band 1), RF7206 (band 2), RF7203 (bands 3, 4, 9 or 10) and the RF7211 (band 11) are designed for single-band operation, while the RF7201 (bands 1/8), RF7202 (bands 2/5) and the RF7205 (bands 1/5) feature two band-specific PAs integrated in a single module package. The company also announced its entry into the market for cellular switch filter modules. The RF1194 and the RF1195 are designed for use in multi-band, multimode 3G handsets.

Finally, RFMD announced it is targeting the CDMA components market with the introduction of multiple new CDMA front-end products. In 2009, the company plans a major refresh of its CDMA product portfolio to include PAs, discrete switches and GPS LNA modules with integrated filters.

Skyworks Solutions introduced a family of Single and Dual Band WCDMA power amplifiers for universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) applications that integrate the directional coupler, significantly reducing the phone board footprint and bill-of-material costs.

The Intera™ portfolio now includes the: SKY77186 for Band I: 1920 to1980 MHz, SKY77187 for Band II: 1850 to1910 MHz, SKY77188 for Bands V and VI: 824 to 849 MHz, SKY77189 for Band VIII: 880 to 915 MHz and SKY77191 for Bands IV, IX and X: 1710 to1785 MHz. The five 3 by 3 mm solutions are fully matched, 10-pad surface mount modules. They meet stringent spectral linearity requirements of HSDPA data transmission with high PAE.

The two 4 by 5 mm Dual Band PA modules are the SKY77195 for Bands I and VIII and the SKY77196 for Bands II and V. The company’s integration techniques pack most of the external passive components into the modules, requiring only two external bypassing capacitors for the two bands compared to 10 to 14 passives typically required with two Single Band PA modules.

The company also introduced the industry’s broadest family of power amplifiers and front-end modules for LTE applications. This multi-band and multi-mode family of products, which now includes two new PA modules and four new FEMs, supports 13 frequency bands. The SKY77455, SKY77456, SKY77457 and SKY77458 compact front-end modules that support Bands I, IV/X, V/VI and VIII, respectively are fully matched and completely compliant for LTE, as well as HSDPA and WCDMA standards. These FEMs integrate the PA, interstage filter, input/output matching, power detection, and duplexer functionality in a small 4 by 7 mm form factor. The SKY77449 for Bands XIII and XIV, and the SKY77453 for Bands XII and XVII, are both fully matched PA modules developed for 4G LTE/EUTRAN standards. They integrate all active RF circuitry, including the input, interstage and output matching circuits and power detector functionality within a single 4 by 4 by 0.85 mm low-profile package.

TriQuint Semiconductor are hoping to be triumphant following the announcement of the TriQuint Unified Mobile Front-end (TRIUMF) Module™ family, convergence architecture for mobile device manufacturers designing next generation 3G/4G products. The family offers manufacturers a streamlined radio frequency footprint combining GSM, EDGE, WCDMA and HSPA transmit functionality into one module. It will enable manufacturers to use the converged module in place of multiple discrete modules, saving precious board space for features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth®, cameras, and FM radios.

The module family will support 3G and 4G LTE standards as well as GSM/GPRS/EDGE for voice and lower rate data and WCDMA/HSPA/LTE for high speed data. It will feature the traditional Quad Band GSM850/900/DCS1800/PCS1900 bands ‘unified’ with options for the 3GPP designated Bands 1 through 17 enabling worldwide WCDMA/HSPA/LTE coverage.

The TRIUMF Module family will work seamlessly in a variety of board configurations including 3G low-cost, middle tier and high-end smartphones, as well as 3G/4G data-cards and will be designed in close alignment with industry leading 3G chipset solutions and optimized towards FTA readiness. Through its design it will also offer long battery life, a reduced bill-of-materials and miniaturization of the RF system.

Femtocells

With femtocells having a high profile at this year’s Congress picoChip announced the PC8219, a complete baseband solution for eight-user WCDMA femtocells designed to run on its established PC202 processor chip. The PC8219 is a complete eight-user femtocell baseband implementation that is compliant with 3GPP Release 6 HSUPA and can support the new femto-specific features from Release 8.

It enables high-speed data, voice and multimedia services, effectively complementing the functions of an eight-line PBX for small enterprise use. It runs on a single PC202-10 picoArray device that includes an integrated ARM9 core, providing a cost-effective, fully programmable product that allows rapid customization, optimization and upgrades. The solution is suitable for all backhaul architectures, most importantly the new Iuh from 3GPP Release 8.

Keeping with the femtocell theme Lime Microsystems announced the availability of LMS6002, a multi-band multi-standard RF transceiver IC designed for femtocells and small cell base stations. The highly frequency agile transceiver operates at user-selectable frequencies between 375 MHz and 4 GHz and is suitable for 3G, WiMAX, and LTE standards.

The transceiver can be digitally configured to operate in the full range of frequency bands, with 16 user-selectable bandwidths of up to 28 MHz. This means that it can transmit and receive data across all WCDMA and CDMA bands, as well as those used or planned for WiMAX and LTE. This removes the need for individual transceiver chips for each of the different bands and allows a small cell base station to be reconfigured rapidly and simply.

The LMS6002 now incorporates a multiplicity of RF inputs and outputs to enable features such as GSM Listen Mode required for femtocell operation. It has a standard Serial Port Interface (SPI) for programming and includes provision for a full calibration function. Fine tuning has resulted in additional performance optimisations which should allow OEMs to use fewer peripheral components, further reducing bill of materials and costs for femtocells.

General

Antenova announced the addition of Brevis A10204 GPS SMD antenna to the gigaNOVA® range of surface mount antennas. Designed for ease of integration into small wireless devices, Brevis GPS antenna is suitable for a wide range of embedded GPS device applications such as mobile phones, personal navigation devices (PND), PDAs, personal trackers/safety devices, mobile internet devices (MID) and plug-in accessories.

The Brevis A10204 operates at 1,575 MHz and is designed for use in all GPS applications where small size and near omni-directional pattern is an advantage. It measures 3 by 22 by 3 mm3, is intended for surface mounting and requires minimal ground plane.

The company also showcased its gigaNOVA range of antenna solutions for 2.3 GHz, 2.4 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 5 GHz, GPS, GSM and ISM900 bands. gigaNOVA standard antennas are designed for easy integration into wireless devices for GPS, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi®, WiMAX™ and ZigBee® applications.

As a leading provider of high-capacity, LTE-ready wireless backhaul solutions Ceragon Networks introduced Mobile Architecture for Services Transport (MAST™) – a network architecture that is claimed to go beyond ‘pure transport’. MAST includes an interoperable ecosystem, enabling operators to profitably evolve mobile networks by using multiple backhaul and networking alternatives. Built around the company’s FibeAir® family of products, the system includes innovative and multi-functional network solutions from Ceragon partners. With MAST, operators can maximize the potential of existing networks, while benefiting from a clear and cost efficient transition path towards LTE-ready backhaul networks.

The system features a set of solutions that target transition in three main layers: Transport, Network and Service and supports a broad range of transport applications for access and aggregation backhaul. At the network layer, it supports diverse networking technologies including NG-SDH/SONET, Hybrid native TDM and native IP (Native2), Pseudowire, carrier-grade Ethernet and pure IP. In addition, MAST offers a comprehensive set of service tools to ensure end-to-end QoS and OA&M that help to further increase network efficiency and optimization.

Italian company Essentia presented the latest news about its Wifless™ ESS PN25x (SISO) and the Wifless™ ESS M3325x (MIMO) products lines. The new Wifless™ ESS M3325 and the Wifless ESS M3325L are carrier class high-end-performance 3 by 3 MIMO radio outdoor Wireless AP/Bridge/Router/Mesh Node operating on both ISM unlicensed and licensed bands in the 2.3 to 2.5 GHz and 4.9 to 5.9 GHz regions.

Based on OpenWifless™ ESS ProNODE the operating system integrates advanced IP dynamic routers, a policy router, an advanced firewall with broadcast and multicast filtering and a QoS and CoS manager with a full-featured bandwidth manager.

Mitsubishi Electric highlighted the MGF4921AM GaAs low-noise HEMT, which it started shipping at the end of January. Suitable for LNAs in satellite digital radio reception systems as well as for C-band direct broadcast satellite receivers it offers a typical associated gain of 13.0 dB at a frequency of 4 GHz and 18 dB at 2.4 GHz. The minimum noise figure is 0.35 dB at both 4 GHz and 2.4 GHz. This new GaAs HEMT, which is integrated into an industry standard 4-pin full-mould package, is particularly suitable for use in the first stage of low noise amplifiers for satellite signals requiring excellent low-noise characteristics in order to improve sensitivity.

Powerwave Technologies introduced its new Twin 900 MHz Tower Mounted Amplifier (TMA), which is designed to support customers with 900 GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and W-CDMA (UMTS) networks in the elimination of weak signals in coverage areas, which can lead to dropped calls or poor uplink data rates. It is also ideal for UMTS 900 operators planning to reuse exiting feeders for both GSM 900 and UMTS 900 to compensate for combining losses when combining GSM 900 and UMTS 900 on the same feeder.

Weighing less than 6 kg, the new Twin 900 MHz TMA consists of two full-band TMAs supporting coverage from 880 to 960 MHz enclosed in one compact housing. It is available in configurations that offer 12 dB gain and are AISG 2.0 and AISG 1.1 compatible; the AISG 1.1 version is fully field upgradeable to AISG 2.0. The product is also fully compatible with current alarm installations and the company plans to introduce a 16 dB gain version in Q2 2009.

Also highlighted was a new quad-port low broadband antenna. Supporting coverage from 806 to 960 MHz via two columns of cross polarized arrays enclosed within a single radome, the antenna can be used for a wide range of applications where four low band ports are needed, including: W-CDMA (UMTS) overlay, multi-pattern MIMO, air combining, and four-port receive diversity.

It is suitable for customers deploying both UMTS and GSM at the same frequency band, requiring a small form factor antenna to support both air interface standards. The antenna enables operators to provide UMTS 850/900 MHz coverage without affecting the existing GSM 900/850 MHz footprint. It also allows independent beam tilt for each column and can be equipped with one or two Remote Electrical Tilt (RET) motors.

The company also announced a new family of Advanced Train Repeaters addressing the need for seamless in-train wireless coverage. The repeaters are the only in-train offering on the market to leverage GPS technology for accurate mapping of base station locations to facilitate automatic reconfiguration of repeater parameters – critical to support uninterrupted wireless access while the train is in motion.

Spinner showcased its Mobile Network Combining System (MNCS), which is a future-orientated solution for the multiple utilisation of antennas in the general wireless network or for in-house networks. With system bandwidth ranging from 380 to 2,500 MHz the MNCS covers all frequency bands currently in use including CDMA2000, GSM900, GSM1800, UMTS, TETRA and WLAN and the technical specifications meet the 3GPP requirements.

The company uses suitable filter assemblies to ensure that the connected mobile communication signals are clearly decoupled, which eliminates mutual interference between the connected transceiver systems. Intermodulation values are low because the system uses exclusively passive components, while the modular system design allows modifications and extensions at any time.

Components for LTE were also showcased. In addition to Spinner’s well-known connectors and jumper cables the company offers a broad range of combiners, filters and splitters for the multiple use of the antenna infrastructure, with all components for LTE being suitable for installation indoors as well as on masts.

What Next?

As can be seen the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress demonstrated that despite the economic downturn mobile technology is making advances to serve customers with innovative products and services. There is no doubt that this year is not going to be easy and difficult decisions will have to be made. The next 12 months will be significant and it will be interesting to see just how the industry has coped and progressed when the Congress reconvenes in 2010. Microwave Journal will aim to keep you informed.

Recent Articles by Richard Mumford, International Editor, Microwave Journal

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