In a major technology development for the mobile industry, Ooredoo has collaborated with CommScope to develop a new approach to building wireless networks, which will improve installation quality and on-going network performance and reduce deployment times, in an alliance that could have major benefits for operators around the world.

The two companies have developed what is believed to be the world’s first factory-assembled tower tops for base station remote radios, which are pre-assembled according to a single global design standard. The aim of the tower top development is to create and maintain a future-ready network that is radio vendor agnostic, and does not require significant on-site remote radio modifications for future upgrades.

It has become increasingly complex, time-consuming and expensive for operators to maintain existing cellular sites. Typically, the infrastructure had to be assembled on-site at the top of the tower, and the lack of a single tower top design standard has made each upgrade a challenging process.

Now Ooredoo and CommScope’s new tower top solution helps ensure that building cell sites is done right the first time. The pre-assembled tower tops provide greater network capacity, significantly reduces installation time and on-going electricity consumption, and frees-up valuable space at the top of the tower.

Paul Salmon, group chief technology officer, Ooredoo, said: "Ooredoo is embarking on a radical plan to upgrade network sites as part of our mission to stimulate human growth. Working with CommScope to develop a new tower top solution that is assembled in a factory will enable us to deliver a distinctly different approach to building and operating a wireless network. We believe this is a first for our industry, and it is a source of considerable pride that it was designed and developed within the region to serve our customers.”

The innovative compact design of the tower top solution enables enhanced network performance while reducing maintenance and labour expenses. By pre-assembling and pre-testing the tower tops in a quality controlled environment, there is less scope for problems in the construction phase, and the standardised design ensures identical tower top construction across all sites in all markets, making future upgrades simplified for the global Group. 

These new tower top solutions provide improved signal transmission over traditional cell sites, enabling Ooredoo to enhance the customer experience with better coverage and faster broadband data speeds.

Pre-assembly of the tower tops reduces the installation time by approximately 50 percent, leading to safer working conditions for installation staff and reduced network downtime for customers. In addition, by installing the radio equipment on tower tops instead of the typical large air-conditioned shelters, Ooredoo expects to halve electricity costs in a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution.

The tower top solution will become Ooredoo’s standard cell site design across its markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, in line with the company’s innovative network modernization strategy of upgrading or replacing 15,000 of its base stations over the coming years to deliver an ever-improving customer experience for mobile broadband.

As Ooredoo’s customers across its global footprint increasingly demand data, the new tower top solution will provide simplicity in optimising networks. Since the tower tops are vendor agnostic and support virtually all current frequency bands and technologies, Ooredoo’s operating companies will be able to seamlessly roll-out 3G and 4G LTE networks, and the next generation of communications technology.

The clever, standardized cell site design will be especially helpful for Ooredoo customers living in remote areas and rural communities, since upgrades and repairs will be executed faster and more efficiently.