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What's New - And What It Can Do

This issue's selection of products and services includes a number highlighted at the recent CDMA International Conference by manufacturers from the world's biggest cdmaOne market-Korea.

Smart antenna system

Metawave's SpotLight software-controlled smart antenna system works with base stations from Motorola, Lucent Technologies and other leading vendors to increase cell site capacity by up to 40 per cent, says the company.

By allowing operators to add CDMA capacity on a site-by-site basis, SpotLight reduces capital expenditures through reduced cell splits and delayed deployment of additional CDMA carrier frequencies. Metawave says that SpotLight is the only capacity solution that gives operators control over traffic load leveling, the key to using CDMA capacity more efficiently. Using the system's proprietary Sector Synthesis technology, operators can configure cell sectorization patterns that shift a site's traffic load from an overtaxed sector to the more lightly loaded sectors. Metawave claims that by overcoming the inefficiencies of uneven traffic loading, SpotLight allows sites to carry more traffic and generate more revenue.

In addition to a software-defined, phased-array antenna, the SpotLight system consists of proprietary spectrum management hardware and a suite of ultralinear, multicarrier power amplifiers. SpotLight's LPAs are housed in a load-sharing matrix for improved power efficiency and reliability. Offering better watt/dollar performance than the base station power amplifiers they replace, SpotLight's LPAs give operators a scaleable, cost-effective solution for meeting increased power requirements as they expand CDMA service.

SpotLight's operation and maintenance functions are based on a PC-based configuration tool. The software allows engineers to adjust sector orientation pointing angles, beam width and gain settings, using capacity data collected by SpotLight to optimize sector configurations. Engineers can modify a cell's sector configuration based on the time of day or the day of the week, without climbing the tower for manual adjustments. A remote access feature is available.

Call processing protocol software

ISOTEL Research has brought out a complete portfolio of CDMA call processing protocol software in order to simplify mobile terminal development, such as: IS-95A; IS-95B; J-STD-008; ARIB STD-T53; AMPS dual mode and 800 and 900 bands. According to the company, typical wireless product applications include: handheld mobile phone; connected PDA's, intelligent network services; wireless local loop terminals and advanced paging and two-way messaging.

ISOTEL guarantees that its IS-95B call processing protocols have been thoroughly tested and conform to set standards. Among the benefits listed by ISOTEL are the exhaustive regression capabilities available which enable content enhancement without compromising software quality.

Whilst the portable software architecture allows platform independence in current and future designs, the company also is keen to emphasize that its chipset interface can accommodate most third party chipsets including DSP-C and LSI Logic. ISOTEL also says that its call processing protocol engines are able to be easily integrated with proprietary baseband and man-machine interface designs, allowing designers to focus their efforts on those aspects of their product that are unique in terms of cost/ performance trade-offs and product differentiation. In this way, it is suggested, time to market should be improved while development costs are contained. According to the company, an extra benefit is that small memory footprint and efficient use of CPU resources help keep the total costs of goods down.

Tunnel vision

European Antennas has developed a compact broadband antenna to combat signal disruption within road and rail tunnels, enabling system operators to have a cost-effective method of transmitting in problem areas. The new antenna covers the entire range from 400MHz to 2 GHz with 4 to 7 dBiC gain.

The antenna requires a point installation and is described as an effective and low-cost alternative to expensive leaky feeders. The antenna measures only 420mm diameter with circular rather than linear polarization, which, according to the company, gives demonstrably greater signal range in tunnels. To resist the corrosive pollution associated with road and rail tunnels the antenna has a lightweight, plated aluminium housing with rugged, glass fiber radome, which has been coated in tough polyurethane paint.

Directional panel antennas

Ace Technology has recently announced a range of dual polarized directional
panel antennas designed specifically for CDMA/TDMA cellular applications. The company emphasizes the suitability of models XDC-13-65 and XDG-13-65 for PCS base stations where space limitations, performance and aesthetic considerations are of great importance. Both these antennas utilize ± 45° polarization to achieve polarization diversity, which is considered to be a better alternative to past multiple antenna requirements. According to Ace Technology, the characteristics of each product include high efficiency, superior performance, excellent coverage capability and high reliability.

In addition, the company claims that its ACS-12-90 directional panel antenna provides superior front-to-back ratio and effective isolation from adjacent systems. This antenna is manufactured using A.S.A (Acrylic-Rubber Styrene Acrylonitrille) plastic, which provides a UV coating for protection against harmful radiation, corrosion from salt air and damage from freezing conditions. Lightweight aluminium reflectors, clamps and components have all been treated to minimize damage from corrosion. This product has been designed not only for CDMA/TDMA applications but is also available as a base station antenna for AMPS and GSM systems.

Performance comparison simulation

Among the test and measurements products on show at the recent CDMA International Congress in Korea were Addcom's mobile call simulators (MCS) for CDMA systems-MCS-III and MCS-IV. Both evaluate call processing capacity and system performance and provide simultaneous RF data logging and call generation test function in either a lab test or field test environment.

Whilst the MCS-III enables the user to collect RF parameter data across different CDMA service providers (PCS/cellular) for performance comparison testing, the MCS-IV offers the same capability but is able to collect data from an additional 24 mobile units-to a maximum of 40. According to Addcom, both simulators offer a number of advantages such as testing of bench marking and call processing capability, CDMA parameter and RF optimization, and equipment and manpower reduction. Also on display was the new Land Call Generator (LCG ) which can be used with both MCS-III and MCS-IV to evaluate the call processing capacity of the CDMA system. It has automatic local call generation and local call answer function to aid service quality assessment in the case of mobile-to-land call or land-to-mobile call.

Addcom has also introduced its CDMA Air Link Analysis System (CALAS) which is a post-processing tool for simultaneous forward and reverse air link data analysis of RF problems affecting CDMA mobile communications networks. CALAS allows the user to evaluate system performance relating to power control, handoff and forward/reverse link balance.

Open rack rectifier

Dongah Telecom has brought out its new open rack style digital cellular sys-
tem base station rectifier-the BRS-450. The product highlights include a minimized installation area, a system monitoring module, a power factor correction circuit and a DC 24/48 converter.

Dongah is keen to emphasize additional in-built protection features such as an over current limiting circuit, output over voltage protection circuit and a battery over discharge protection circuit. Also available are the LCPS and DMS4K, two new digital cellular system terminal rectifiers both of which incorporate thermal protection and input under and over voltage protection. The LCPS operates at a switching frequency of 100KHz and offers duplicate design, forced load sharing, power factor correction circuit and is powered by an internal battery.

The product highlights of the DMS4K include an office alarm monitor connection and access to additional field enhancements through simple plug-in mounting of a maximum of five extra rectifier units. It also has forced cooling and load sharing functions, a switching frequency of 100KHz and operates at temperatures from -20°C-+65°C.

RF field analyzer

Hung Chang has introduced the hand-held Protek 3201 designed for testing, installation and maintenance in RF field applications including such equipment as cellular phones, paging systems, cordless phones and antennas. The frequency range of the analyzer is from 100KHz to 2060 MHz, and it can measure narrowband FM (N-FM), wideband FM (W-FM), AM and single side band (SSB) modulated signals. Signal levels of up to 160 channels can be displayed simultaneously on its LCD. The device also offers a PLL tuning system for precise frequency measurement and a PC and printer interface.