Same-Band Combining for Cell Size Optimization
The increase in demand for mobile capacity will continue into the foreseeable future driven by many use cases. This trend is requiring mobile network operators (MNOs), Neutral Hosts (NH), and 3rd Party Network Owners (3PO) to find novel ways to efficiently combine the 4G/5G NR technologies to overlay 3G systems currently in operation. There is an uptrend for RF components that allow these technologies to co-inhabit without costly upgrades of existing hardware and real-estate. Adding 4G or new 5G NR services to existing infrastructure using the combiner options discussed below allow for sharing infrastructure, ultimately reducing the cost to upgrade and buildout. The next two sections describe two combining schemes: the common symmetrical approach and the second being a novel asymmetrical method to allow for more coverage flexibility between the combined services. Both these options facilitate a quick deployment of the new technologies to existing sites.
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