Commscope's power solution lets operators reuse existing cables

Commscope announced a new power solution for cell tower remote radio units (RRUs) that lets operators reuse the existing cables. The company said its PowerShift power supply is designed for LTE and beyond cell site architectures and will be available in first quarter 2016.

PowerShift power supply in a cabinet.
Source: Commscope

According to Mike Guerin, VP and GM of HELIAX products at CommScope, PowerShift allows operators to save money because it lets them reuse existing infrastructure like cables. "The main intent is that it addresses the fact that remote radio heads are at the top of the tower and not next to the power supply," Guerin said. "It allows operators to forgo using expensive fat copper cables up the tower. Instead they can use thinner wires and avoid the weight."

Reusing existing cables also helps cell site installers, because it reduces the complexity of the typical tower site, which is now dense with radios and antennas.

Commscope also said PowerShift helps operators reduce RF battery uptime by up to 35 percent. Guerin said that typically operators put the remote radio unit close to the antenna to decrease RF signal loss but when the RRU is separated from the baseband unit, it needs its own power -- typically between 300-600 watts. Guerin said with PowerShift the power cables deliver the energy from the bottom of the tower making it more efficient. "Everything is at the bottom of the tower," Guerin noted.

At the same time, PowerShift accounts for the potential line loss that can occur by not having the power supply next to the RRU by automatically delivering the most efficient voltage by using a technology developed by power supply experts at General Electric.

For more:
- See this press release

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