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Revolution in KPIs

Advantages for operators

RI's Super Antenna Systems™ provide multiple improvements in key performance indicators (KPIs) of cellular networks. Among the main advantages are significantly lower specific costs, such as site and network CAPEX and OPEX expressed in USD/km2; USD per minute of use (USD/MoU), customer (USD/customer), and gigabyte of data (USD/GB), including several times larger return on investment (ROI, NPV) and shortened payback times.

Coverage. In comparison to standard 17.5 dBi panel antennas, SAS phased-array antennas multiply site coverage 10–40 times. This coverage area increase is possible with maintaining the target signal level. For example, an LTE cell can have 64 QAM data rates throughout the whole cell (see Super LTE-A) instead of partial high-speed coverage in BTS near zones with standard antennas. Operators in higher-frequency bands (2170–2700 and 3400–3800 MHz) normally have 1/5th of per-site coverage compared to low frequencies (GSM 850/960 MHz). With Super Economical Coverage, high-frequency sites can outperform low-frequency sites through closing the coverage gap and increasing per-site coverage 5 times further, with the overall coverage area factor reaching 25, while providing excellent service indoors.

Capacity. Site traffic capacity can be multiplied 6–16 times with Super Capacity in relation to standard 3-sector panel antennas. This improvement is very beneficial for operators that have limited bandwidth. RI's SAS technology provides “free virtual spectrum” to operators, which is worth billions of dollars. SAS technology supports up to 1000 Erlang of GSM voice traffic and data transfer rates of 1000 Mbit/s per site over a coverage area of 200–2000 km2. Based on Super Efficient Towers, capacity is physically provided by 360 antenna panels, long-hop MW links, and up to 96 TRXs supporting 4 × MIMO for each of the 10 operators that can share a single Super Site Hotel at the same time.

Ecology. Super Antenna Systems can be fully powered by PV solar panels and wind power generators with a combined average power output of 25 kW — providing economical and 100% green sites, the first of a kind on the market. Potential ecological benefits are enormous. SAS solutions, introduced globally on three million existing and new sites, could save energy worth the output of 15 nuclear or thermal power stations, with dramatic reduction of CO2 emission.

Operator value proposition summary:

  1. Upgrade existing towers to Super Macro and move less profitable sites to cut OPEX.
  2. Install 10–40 times fewer greenfield sites by deploying Super Economical Coverage.
  3. For cities, take advantage of Super Micro and Super Capacity with multiple lobes.
  4. Become a market-leading cellular operator with the lowest OPEX for all site types.
  5. Owning a site hotel, operators can sell excess antenna capacity to other operators.
  6. Be a King of Coverage, winning roaming wars with signal quality and lower costs.
  7. Return to growth in revenue and profitability despite forecasts of declining ARPUs.
  8. Reduce loan-financed CAPEX by using RRHs and SAS™ for faster roll-outs.
  9. Become a pioneer in technology adoption by supporting MIMO 4/8 in LTE.

Example of cash flow from an upgraded site:

Assuming that one site is upgraded to six lobes by installing a SAS antenna on the existing tower at a total CAPEX of 37 700 USD, the upgrade results in coverage growth factor of 5.2, and capacity growth factor of 3.5. Before the upgrade, the site had 1200 subscribers spending 40 USD per month each, or a total monthly income of 48 000 USD. The upgraded site serves three times more traffic with 3600 customers at the ARPU of 40 USD, or 144 000 USD/month. The difference in monthly per-site revenue after the upgrade is 96 000 USD, meaning that the antenna CAPEX is paid back in just two weeks, contributing significantly to the net income and EBITDA. On the annual basis, the extra revenue amounts to 1.152 million USD per site.

The Robin Hood effect and EIRP

The Robin Hood effect is about taking excessive signal power from the near zone of a BTS and redistributing it more evenly throughout a cell. Applied for TV and radio broadcasting, this effect has been introduced by RI for coverage improvement in cellular networks. A standard antenna radiates more than 1000 times too much power to 5% of customers nearby, and too little power to 95% of customers in the fringe area, while the signal up in the sky is wasted. This results in a range of around 5 km per site for indoor GSM-960 voice coverage, as shown in the table:

Distance from
base station
Distribution of antenna radiated power
Standard antenna
16 / 12.5 dBi
RI SAS™ antenna
28.6 dBi
Robin Hood (ideal)
39.6 dBi
Total, from −90° up to +90°100%100%100%
0–2 km  60%    9%    1%
2–5 km  10%  35%    6%
5–20 km    4%  32%  90%
20 km and sky up to +90°  26%  24%    3%

On the other hand, an ideal Robin Hood or RI antenna takes the excessive signal from the near zone and focuses it vertically to customers spread out up to 25 km from a site, covering an area 25 times larger. The same signal focusing principle applies to the horizontal plane — by feeding 2, 4, or 8 rows of dipoles instead of a single row, we can focus the signal towards specific users and reduce interference with good side lobes. This approach results in 128, 256, or 512 dipoles per sector instead of only eight with standard panel antennas. Through this lobe shaping with more dipoles, signal is improved 32–64 times or by 15–18 dB.

Super Antenna Systems are safe for the environment. Their radiated power, measured as electric field strength (V/m) or power flux density (W/m2), is much lower than for standard anten­nas. At distances of more than 5 km, the field strength of SAS becomes attenuated by 1/4πR2 to very low values, while the signal is approximately 50 dB below the ICNIRP safety level of 10 W/m2 at distances of more than 10 m. RI antennas exceed the requirements of 3GPP for MCL that has to be at least 70 dB between a BTS antenna input port and a mobile omni­direc­tional antenna. For details of the Robin Hood effect in SAS, vertical gain, effective EIRP, and power flux density, please see Doc 101, Doc 110, RI's Rule # 2, and RI's Rule # 23.

New markets for system houses

Manufacturers of base stations can sell their equipment bundled with Super Antenna Systems into new markets that have been previously unattractive with standard antenna solutions. Such markets include rural and suburban regions that lack electricity, have no telecommunications infrastructure, feature low customer densities, or low ARPUs. With CAPEX savings of 70–90% and gains in KPIs, Super Antenna Systems make such markets profitable for BTS vendors.

Offering service level agreements (SLAs) to operators or renting out complete networks, system houses can reduce costs by switching to Super Antenna Systems. Client network operators will receive the same or better coverage, signal quality, and traffic capacity, while BTS vendors can become more competitive when bidding for new managed services or SLA deals.

Reduced digital divide for people

Communications are vital for people. Social connections and economic activities depend on timely and reliable information flow. Therefore, ubiquitous wireless services can provide new freedoms and opportunities for people who cannot afford existing communication solutions. Super Antenna Systems, together with low-cost handsets, can be deployed profitably in the most undeveloped and underserved regions of the world with low per-capita income, enabling large-scale remote services including e-learning, e-medicine, e-commerce, and e-government.

With Super Antenna Systems, customers everywhere can have indoor high-quality connections, without the need to get outside to make a call. Internet and cloud services can be delivered to more households and small businesses, nationwide. Economic activity will get a boost through faster information exchange, better access to services, explosive growth in remote home-based jobs, quicker response for emergency services, and proliferation of online payment systems.

Four financial claims of SAS™

  • Claim # 1: 0.20 USD / 250 MoU (GSM, FR) or 0.20 USD / 500 MoU (GSM, HR)
    This is operators' leased site cost for SET towers, SAS antennas, feed, MPX, MW long­hop
    with coverage area of 600 or 1200 km2 for GSM 1800 or 960 MHz @ −85 dBm signal.
  • Claim # 2: 1.00 USD / 30 GB of LTE data for all customers in served rural areas
    This is operators' leased site cost for SET towers, SAS antennas, feed, MPX, MW long­hop
    with coverage area of 100 or 600 km2 for full 64 QAM data rates @ −75 dBm signal.
  • Claim # 3: 100 USD / TRX / year in total full­-service site leasing cost for operators
    This is leased site cost with SET tower; hA = 102 m, GA = 30 dBi. Lower in suburban.
  • Claim # 4: Plus less than 0.20 USD/kWh in a 100% autonomous green ­site
    This is based on wind and solar power with batteries; average power is up to 25 / 50 kW.

Ten reasons to implement SAS™

  1. RI's unique “50 Golden Rules” cut RAN CAPEX and OPEX by 50–95%.
  2. Link budgets improved by 18–30 dB, 100% compliance with ICNIRP.
  3. Coverage area improvement of 10–40 times with 4–5 dB better QoS.
  4. Capacity gain 2–16 times, free virtual spectrum, future-proof designs.
  5. Multi-standard: GSM/EDGE, CDMA, UMTS, WiMAX, LTE; 380–3800 MHz.
  6. Higher-QoS country-wide indoor coverage for less than 100 USD/km2.
  7. Site ROI exceeds 240% at ARPU 4 USD, 100 MoU, 8 customers/km2.
  8. Eco sites with more than 100 times less W/km2, due to efficient components.
  9. Zero-energy sites: no CO2 emission, only wind and solar power; battery.
  10. Site hotels: 10 operators can share SAS™ sites with the same QoS,
    converting existing towers and masts “from steel to gold”.
© 2002–2012 Radio Innovation Sweden AB  |  Updated: 2012-02-05