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David Williams
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David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
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Energy Optimization: More Bang for the Buck
Even before the global financial and ensuing economic crisis hit, the mobile industry was focused on reducing costs, with energy as a primary focus. Using energy more efficiently has become a key concern of mobile phone operators in developing and developed markets alike. CTOs want more bang for the bucks they are investing in energy to power their wireless systems. If energy optimization is not their number one priority, it is not far behind.

OEMs, vendors of subsystem components, and software design houses have invested much time and money in developing new power amplifier (PA) linearization and energy-efficiency-boosting techniques to keep pace with the increase of bits/hertz metrics in evolving wireless technologies. Their research has largely focused on the threefold challenge of increasing efficiency while maintaining high linearity and broadening the operating bandwidth.

A key first step to energy optimization is to reduce network equipment sites to as few as possible, while maintaining the desired coverage, capacity, and quality. It is important that the RF signal is kept as high as possible at the transmitter and receiver sides, in order to maximize the system value for both uplinks and downlinks. This performance improvement will increase the size of the cell, which, in turn, minimizes the number of base station sites required in the network.

Vendors will soon need to walk the fine line between investing millions in new energy-optimization technologies and offering enough innovation to satisfy not only their customers but also their own bottom line. Most operators are unwilling to pay significant premiums for greater efficiency. Yet competition to win or retain their business will force vendors to provide enhancements. The key question they will need to answer is: How much, and at what cost?

This report explores new and evolving technologies and techniques to boost power efficiency in key base-station components. It analyzes the key technical issues affecting these systems and evaluates the main market drivers and commercial implications. This report also profiles 10 leading suppliers of base-station components and systems and analyzes their efforts to improve energy efficiency in their own solutions.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents(uni0109_toc.pdf)
As the single largest consumer of power in the base station, the PA is the component most scrutinized for efficiency gains. Base stations use linear RF PAs to transmit signals with sufficient power to cover the target cell. Although their largely Doherty-based technology continues to evolve, other technologies must also be considered to increase efficiency significantly and meet future requirements for wideband systems. The ideal PA has a straight linear, one-to-one response. The following excerpt shows the input to output characteristics of a PA, as well as the linear PA response.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR); Andrew Wireless Solutions, a division of CommScope Inc. (NYSE: CTV); Axis Network Technology Ltd.; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.; Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE: NT); Nujira Ltd.; and Ubidyne GmbH.
Total pages: 23
To view reports you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, it can be obtained for free at the Adobe web site.
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