The telecom technology is evolving from 2G,3G,4G and now toward 5G. In Earlier days, during the deployment MNO (Mobile Network Operator) was needed to install separate remote radio head (RRH), Power, Fiber , Feeder cable for each technology was making a huge footprint on the cell site tower. With the evolution of hardware, software and product realization supporting all technology (2G,3G,4G) in a single box, actually reduced the number of equipment installed at the cell tower.
But this is possible only for a new operator, the existing operator have already done a huge amount investment for implementing their 2G,3G,4G networks and for them it not easy to replace the hardware supporting all technology with single Box. Hence with the traditional cell site deployment which by design have separate power, Fiber , Feeder cables makes the network very complex at the cell tower.
Situation become more worse with Infra/Tower-sharing scenarios, situation becomes more complicated due to multi-tenancy & multi-technology. In a traditional BTS, which has about 6 runs of RF cable per technology; the number grows to 18 if you also add 3G and 4G sites. Considering traditional site sharing with 3 tenants and 2G/3G/4G, it have about 54 cable runs ! With such a wiring mess, the Site aesthetics are compromised, tower space gets cramped up and tower loading increases . O&M and fault resolution for such a cell site becomes a nightmare.
4G Deployments and Challenges
Most of the new roll outs are based on Split architecture where we have a RRH mounted on the tower connected to the Digital Baseband via CPRI cable. Site cabling continues to be challenging as it need run separate DC Power , CPRI cable to each RRH. Cable protection (from environmental or physical damage) is a challenge. CPRI needs to be armoured and power cables also requires protection. This new deployment architecture just replace the long feeder RF cables with the CPRI cables and still there is a jumble of cable as shown above picture. In case of tower-sharing, the cabling situation become more messy.
And the answer is yes, technology is challenging its self everyday and resulting in new innovations. Indeed, all cable running to tower top can be replace by a single cable. There is an innovative solution from company named “HELKAMA” .
This solution consists of a “HYBIRD CABLE” and an “INTEGRATED DIVIDER”. This Hybrid cable can replace all CPRI cables and power cables with one cable and Integrated Divider houses all power cables and optical jumpers.
What are Hybrid Cable?
- Hybrid cable, comprises power cables and signal cables (CPRI) into ONE SINGLE CABLE. It’s a hybrid cable consisting of Copper wires and optical fiber
- Traditionally fiber and copper have been built with separate cables for each generation of radios (2G/3G/4G…5G)
- With each technology upgrade, we need to have multiple cable pulls ,more cables, more logistics, more installation times !
- Hybrid cable is FUTURE-PROOF the same cable will support future technologies, like 4G/5G…
- All integrated at factory and PRE-ASSEMBLED results possible failure points
- No need for separate on site installable and mountable external distribution box
- Lighter in weight with Less wind load helps in sleaker & cheaper TOWER DESIGN, saves spaces inside monopole towers
It is an IP-66 based cable distribution box. All optical connections are available on a removable connection strip with standard ID connectors for easy identification. It also contains a power connections with standard connection strip. The complete solution is pre-installed & factory tested. Also comes with an option to pre-install the jumper cables (from divider to Antenna) and back cover forms the installation frame with provision of lift clamp.
It reduces number of cable variants a the cell site. As solution comes as pre-assembled , so no wastage of time for cable preparation, interconnection and labeling results faster site installation. The pre-testing of solution avoid no last minute surprises. No special tool is required at cell site for installation and logistics is very easy to manage as it has only two items. As per “HELKAMA” the entire cabling implementation at cell site takes just about 2 hours.