Called lightRadio, Alcatel-Lucent maintains that the technology will significantly reduce network technical complexity and contain power consumption and other operating costs. The technology entails shrinking and simplifying base stations and cell site towers, the most expensive, power hungry, and difficult to maintain elements in the network.
The new architecture breaks down the base station into its components elements and distributes them into both the antenna and throughout a cloud-like network. Additionally, 2G, 3G and LTE systems antennas are combined and shrunk into a single multi frequency, multi standard antenna.
Benefits include reduced energy consumption of mobile networks by up to 50%, with a similar impact on the total cost of ownership. Also, lightRadio enables small antennas to be placed almost anywhere. Eventually the technology will enable the creation of broadband coverage virtually anywhere there is power (electricity, sun, wind) by using microwave to connect back to the network.
Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: “lightRadio is a smart solution to a tough set of problems: high energy costs, the explosion of video on mobile, and connecting the unconnected.”
There’s more details of the system and components in the original press release, which is here. The initial elements of lightRadio will go on trial in the second half 2011. Apparently Alcatel-Lucent is in advanced planning with China Mobile and other carriers around the globe around co-creation and field trials.
Certainly interesting. There is no doubt that some breakthrough technologies are needed in communications, given the almost exponential growth in use, the power required to feed that demand and hence related emissions.
There is also a huge potential for such green ICT. According to Alcatel-Lucent, the total addressable opportunity for the multi-technology radio market, which lightRadio addresses, will be over 12bn Euros in 2014, representing more than 55% of the total wireless Radio Access Network market. The cumulative total addressable market will be over 100bn Euros from 2011-2018.