Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The tiny cube that could cut your cell phone bill

Interesting CNN Money article

It's called lightRadio, a Rubik's cube-sized device made by Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) that takes all of the components of a cell phone tower and compresses them down into a 2.3-inch block. Unlike today's cell towers and antennas, which are large, inefficient and expensive to maintain, lightRadio is tiny, capacious and power-sipping.
More Information for those that are curious from the Alcatel Lucent website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,348 Posts
Some things don't make sense.

When conceiving of lightRadio, Alcatel-Lucent's engineers stripped out all the heavy power equipment that controls modern cell towers, and moved them to centralized stations.
You still need power into the antenna. Also, transferring power from a a central site will incur transmission losses.

The lightRadio units also contain multi-generational antennas that can relay 2G, 3G and 4G network signals all from the same cube. That cuts down on interference and doubles the number of bits that can be sent through the air.
They have multiband, directional gain antennas in that box? Most cell sites use segments, which require at least 3 antenna arrays. Transmit and receive are often done on separate antennas too. So, you'd be looking at 6 antennas squeezed into that tiny box, to support a typical single band cell site.

After looking at the Alcatel article, it appears it's referring "metrocells", which would be comparable to microcells or picocells, which have long been used to support small areas, such as inside buildings or shadowed areas.

My first impression is that the CNN Money reporter is claiming more than is possible. According to the Alcatel site, that cube is closer to a WiFi access point, in that it's a low power device, intended to serve a small area. It augments the big towers, rather than replace them.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top