LightRadio Helps Alcatel-Lucent. What Is This Technology?

Alcatel-Lucent is on the roll. It has moved to the number 2 in router business, topping Juniper Networks, according to research firm, Infnetics. It has won billion dollar contracts with Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel for their 4G networks. This nearly bankrupt Paris-based company has evolved since they hired CEO Ben Verwaayen from BT. He has delivered. Stock is up 117% this year and the outlook is bright.


So, what has helped this optimism because the turnaround engineering initiated by Ben that resulted to seamless integration of the US and French teams? The answer is largely LightRadio. A new technology that was invented by Alcatel-Lucent.


LightRadio™  is a new portfolio that will quickly expand network capacity, lower operating costs, reduce energy consumption and bring connectivity to everyone around the world.


Customers are already interested in working closely with Alcatel-Lucent to develop this powerful lightRadio technology. Alcatel-Lucent recently announced co-development with China Mobile, the biggest mobile operator by subscribers in the world. Research will include the evolution of mobile network architectures leveraging and integrating China Mobile’s Cloud-RAN and lightRadio.

Explosion in Mobile Data


Today, a growing number of users are accessing rich content and interactive applications over their mobile devices. This dramatic growth will continue – simultaneously increasing operating expenses and energy consumption.

The time to think about the future of the mobile network is now. lightRadio does just that – enabling a purpose-built, wireless broadband network that addresses cost, capacity and connectivity barriers.

A Network for the Next 30 Years


lightRadio is a flexible architecture that distributes intelligence throughout the network so that it can dynamically expand to meet growing demands.


This is accomplished by creating a new architecture where the base station, typically located at the base of each cell tower, is broken into its component elements and distributed through the network or ‘carrier cloud.’ Additionally the various cell tower antennas are combined and shrunk into a single powerful, Bell Labs-pioneered multi frequency, multi standard (2G, 3G, LTE) device that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection.


Leveraging Bell Labs innovations in active antenna technology and advanced CPRI compression and partnerships with Freescale and HP, Alcatel-Lucent is first in the industry to announce products in this space.


The lightRadio product family is comprised of the Wideband Active Array Antenna, the Multiband Remote Radio Head, the lightRadio Baseband Processing, the lightRadio Control, and end-to-end management using the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM). The product family depends on a number of breakthrough innovations and technologies from Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs research arm and ecosystem of companies.


Key Components of the New Architecture



Technology that can double capacity and decrease TCO


The benefits of lightRadio are dramatic:

  • Improves the environment: lightRadio reduces energy consumption of mobile networks by up to 50% over current radio access network equipment. (As a point of reference, Bell Labs research estimates that basestations globally emit roughly 18,000,000 metric tons of CO2 per year). Also, lightRadio provides an alternative to today’s jungle of large overcrowded cell site towers by enabling small antennas anywhere.
  • Addresses digital divide: By reducing the cell site to just the antenna and leveraging future advances in microwave backhaul and compression techniques, this technology will eventually enable the easy creation of broadband coverage virtually anywhere there is power (electricity, sun, wind) by using microwave to connect back to the network.
  • Offers major savings for operators: Thanks to lightRadio’s impact on site, energy, operations and maintenance costs; when combined with small cells and LTE, this new solution can lead to a reduction of total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile networks up to 50% (as a point of reference, Bell Labs estimates that TCO spent by mobile operators in mobile access in 2010 was 150 billion Euros).
  • Enhances quality for end users: by doubling macro capacity and reducing the cost per bit lightRadio opens up the possibility to offer new services and price points.

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