The upgrade of mobile communication platforms to the fourth generation transmission standard, Long Term Evolution (LTE), is in full swing in North America. Major network operators in the USA and Canada have already launched their first broadband networks and will continue to roll out tens of thousands of mobile communication antennas over the coming months and years. Most operators rely on the latest solutions from HUBER+SUHNER – since January 2011, the company has been awarded tenders worth in excess of USD 100 million, which will become effective over the coming years.
Sprint, T-Mobile (USA), Bell Mobility, SaskTel and Telus (Canada) are telephone companies with 10 to 40 million subscribers each. They all want to guarantee their customers the fastest possible connections and are therefore upgrading their networks to the next-generation LTE standard at a record pace. T-Mobile alone, for example, will upgrade over 14,000 mobile antenna masts in the USA using HUBER+SUHNER solutions over the next 12 months, and Sprint plans to upgrade around 15,000 sites within three years. Several smaller mobile operators in the USA have also decided to expand their infrastructure to the fourth generation transmission standard using technology from Switzerland.
Leading FTTA technology
To ensure that their mobile communication networks are converted quickly and cost effectively, the North American phone giants and their infrastructure vendors like Ericsson or Nokia Siemens Network are relying on the most recent FTTA (Fiber to the Antenna) system solutions from the Swiss company HUBER+SUHNER. In FTTA technology, the send-receive electronics are installed near the antennas on the mast (remote radio heads – RRH). In previous installations, the send-receive electronics were housed in cabinets on the ground. FTTA technology therefore requires that RRHs be supplied with data as well as power. The “MASTERLINE extreme hybrid” cable systems combine multiple fiber optic and power cables. The Swiss systems therefore offer high-speed data transfer together with quick and easy installation. HUBER+SUHNER is currently the only company worldwide offering such a wide range of solutions for this rapidly growing market.
Radio frequency components
The Fiber Optics Division is not the only area at the company that will benefit from the large orders from North America. The Radio Frequency Division will deliver a very high number of jumper cables over the coming months to North America. They transmit radio frequency signals between the remote radio heads and mobile communication antennas. For the network upgrade this division also offers components that protect the sensitive electronics from power surges during lightning strikes and its so-called Smart DC Kits, developed to re-use installed radio frequency cables for supplying power to the remote radio heads.
The upgrade of mobile networks will take up speed across the world over the coming years and offer HUBER+SUHNER additional business opportunities. The Swiss company is already developing next-generation FTTA solutions, which will enable an even faster and more cost effective expansion and thereby underline the company’s position as a technological leader in the market of Fiber to the Antenna installations.