Design Issues for Tower-Top Electronics and Remote Base Stations

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  • Author: Gary Breed
Smart antenna and MIMO (multiple input multiple ouput) technologies, along with a need for flexible base station locations, are driving an increase in the use of tower-top electronics and distributed base stations. The steerable beams of smart antennas and the additional antenna hardware for MIMO require additional RF power amplifiers and antenna control equipment. If these technologies can be implemented with the electronics located adjacent to the antennas, there can be big savings in system cost. Distributed base station systems have multiple RF/antenna installations, remotely located and fed from a single baseband electronics package. These new systems are needed to improve coverage and maximize capacity of 3G and 4G networks.