An antenna integrated radio is a radio solution that is built on a very unique design that integrates the antenna with a radio unit. Integration of the antenna with the radio unit helps reduce energy consumption and installation time significantly. The time required to install an antenna integrated radio is less, since it has lower interconnections as compared to conventional site solution. This solution significantly reduces power consumption (up to 42%) largely due to reduced feeder loss and simplified cooling.
Demand for rapid network connectivity is rising owing to the growth in data traffic, due to strong penetration of smartphones around the globe. Increase in data traffic has led to the development of 4th generation (4G) connectivity. Rising demand for more data has created a challenge for telecom operators to maintain the cost of building and operation of network. Consequently, mobile base stations are being changed In order to deal with the situation. Commonly, a remote radio head or radio unit is utilized, as it reduces radio transmission loss.
This radio unit is currently being placed adjacent to an antenna on a building’s rooftop. Therefore, operators are facing a new challenge of securing more space for the installation of radio unit and antenna. Installation of Remote Radio Head (RRH) and antennas on a building rooftop or on a small tower in big cities has become quite difficult, both from a esthetics perspective and network development/building point of view. Therefore, an AIR was developed in order to solve this problem in a distributed cell site.
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In traditional cell sites, the antenna and the radio unit are connected through a long cable, which usually led to transmission loss. However, the problem of transmission loss has been completely eliminated by AIR, thereby resulting in energy saving. Furthermore, the challenge related to CPAEX (Capital expenditure) and Operational expenditure (OPEX) is also minimized. Antennas and the radio unit were installed separately in a traditional site structure, leading to considerably higher installation cost and space leasing costs; however, with an integrated solution, operators can easily reduce installation costs since only a single solution needs to be installed within the given space.