CommScope Inc., a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, has supplied the first active antennas in use in an LTE network field trial, a major step toward the promise of better, more cost-effective ways to transmit broadband signals to mobile customers using next generation networks.

CommScope’s new active antennas, part of the company’s expanding portfolio of solutions for 4G wireless networks, are installed as part of a multi-site LTE trial being conducted by a prominent North American wireless network operator. Active antennas are considered the next stage in the evolution of cellular site architecture, in which the radio is integrated into the antenna and the radio functionality is distributed across the antenna elements. This digital architecture reduces the need for certain cell site equipment, which can reduce energy consumption, site maintenance and leasing costs.

“We believe this trial is a significant step toward the eventual wide-spread deployment of active antenna solutions in LTE networks,” said Kevin Linehan, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for base station antennas, CommScope. “Through our 10-plus years of pioneering research and development on active antenna systems, combined with our vast experience in designing and developing advanced antenna and remote radio head systems for global operators, we think CommScope is uniquely positioned to help wireless operators experience the many benefits of the world’s first digital, antenna-integrated radio system.”

The CommScope antennas, featuring breakthrough antenna-embedded radio technology developed with technology partner Ubidyne, are designed to enable mobile operators to deliver optimal wireless coverage and quality of service to subscribers while reducing capital expense and operating expense. The antennas feature Ubidyne’s modular digital circuits that attach directly to individual antenna radiators, with unique electronic beam-forming features that increase network capacity. Previous testing in operator networks shows that active antennas deliver the highest level of integration possible and can offer significant savings in total cost of ownership, in addition to enhancing service performance.

Like its entire antenna portfolio, the CommScope active antennas deployed in the network trial have undergone rigorous testing for radio performance, safety and reliability at the company’s advanced antenna testing centers.

CommScope also offers a dynamic fiber optic transmission line solution for active antenna site architectures. Remote Fiber Feeder™ cable combines power conductors and fiber into a single high performance cable that delivers efficiency, capacity and savings for next generation networks. It is offered in single-mode or multi-mode configuration, with two to six fibers per component, offering built-in redundancy.

“CommScope has invested more than $1 billion in research and development over the past decade in order to help customers evolve to new technologies,” Linehan said. “Our active antenna and fiber feeder solutions are examples of how that investment results in valuable intellectual property and delivers tremendous benefits to our customers and the industry.”