Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its November 2016 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar discusses the topic of "Coming: The Small Cell Invasion," which is a big part of the coming 5G tidal wave of information broadcasting. Anatech's business is to make certain that system and circuit designers have capable filters available to assure successful implementation.
Coming: The Small Cell Invasion
By Sam Benzacar
Full deployment of the fifth generation of cellular technology is years away, which depending on what prophet you believe will begin just after 2020 or a decade longer. If you've spend much time learning about 5G you've no doubt concluded as I have that implementing 5G will not be a trivial endeavor, and one of its essential enablers is the small cell.
This base station in miniature will be needed in enormous numbers, indoors and outdoors, almost everywhere to provide the lightning-fast data rates and low round-trip latency required by many applications including IoT devices. It's not far-fetched to think that pico and femto cells will become just another gadget sitting in most people's homes to provide just not cellular service but broadband and entertainment as well.
An obvious question, which hasn't escaped the attention of the engineers and scientists working to develop 5G, is how to keep interference from ruining the day. A variety remedies have already been developed that will play a major role, as will heterogeneous, soft-optimizing networks that autonomously make efficient use of resources and minimize interference.
However, call me old school, but three decades of solving interference problems have made me a confirmed skeptic on the topic of interference. That is, RF energy doesn't always play by the rules, so even the most well-thought-out interference approaches like those are no guarantee that all interference can be eliminated. Remember, user devices like smartphones and tablets will be sharing the spectrum with base stations, from macro to femto, as well as huge numbers of tiny, low-power IoT devices, and current services such as Wi-Fi as well as harmonics from other services. In short, keeping all these devices from interfering with each other is going to require, as always, RF and microwave filters. Every wireless device has integrated filters, but once all of these emitters are deployed, filters will still be needed to solve problems in actual operating environments that no one expected.
Solving problems like this has become a specialty at Anatech Electronics, having resolved issues brought to us by many distraught operators of commercial and military systems facing unanticipated interference in deployed systems. If this scenario sounds familiar and you need help, we're here to provide it, as we have for 26 years. So please call us at (973) 772-4242 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
600 MHz Auction: FCC Tries Again
The Federal Communications Commission just began the third stage of its 600-MHz incentive auction, this time using a reverse auction to unleash spectrum from over-the-air TV stations for use by the wireless industry. Stages one and two failed to come up with a financial solution amenable to broadcasters and wireless carriers. In the first effort, broadcasters wanted more than $86 billion for 126 MHz of spectrum but there was minimal bidding activity. The second time, TV broadcasters wanted $54 billion for 114 MHz of spectrum, but the plan suffered the same fate. This time, the TV stations are now being asked precisely how much money they'll accept for 108 MHz of spectrum that would be rejigged to provide 80 MHz of "clean" spectrum.
In-building Wireless Market Poised for Growth
MarketsandMarkets reports that the in-building wireless market was $4.83 billion in 2015 and expects annual growth resulting in a $16.71 billion market in 2020, with North America the largest in terms of revenue, and increasing market size in Asia Pacific over the period. ABI Research projects $9 billion by 2020, which while smaller is still a 100% increase by 2020. Sports venues, transport hubs, and health care facilities will be the leaders followed by retail and hospitality.
Best Routes to Smart City Deployment
A report from Nokia and Machina Research describes result of a study to determine the most routes to successful smart city deployments after reviewing 22 municipal strategies. It identifies three approaches that provide the best results. They are establishing a key application for which there is a clear and pressing need, building technology infrastructure that provides a wide range of smart applications and services, and launching multiple pilots at once to determine those with the best potential results. All approaches require transparent rules, policies and governance structures for how data will be used, eliminating inter-departmental silos for better coordination of initiatives, and showing consumers how they will benefit to gain broad acceptance.
Researchers Develop Radar-Based Image Recognition System
Researchers from Scotland's St. Andrews University have developed a machine called RadarCat using Google's Soli mini radar designed for mobile gesture control that can distinguish between objects in real time. The system combines machine-learning algorithms with energy returned to the radars to identify objects based on unique signal characteristics. The Google radar, developed under Project Soli, can recognize fine gestures such as rubbing two fingers together.
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About Anatech Electronics
Anatech Electronics, Inc. (AEI) specializes in the design and manufacture of standard and custom RF and microwave filters and other passive components and subsystems employed in commercial, industrial, and aerospace and applications. Products are available from an operating frequency range of 10 kHz to 30 GHz and include cavity, ceramic, crystal, LC, and surface acoustic wave (SAW), as well as power combiners/dividers, duplexers and diplexers, directional couplers, terminations, attenuators, circulators, EMI filters, and lightning arrestors. The company's custom products and capabilities are available at www.anatechelectronics.com.
Anatech Electronics, Inc.
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Posted November 25, 2016