April 8, 2015 — Since it was announced at the Mobile World Congress a little more than a year ago, TE Connectivity’s CPRI Digital Interface Unit (CDIU) has been deployed in several types of venues from sporting to hospitality, mostly as upgrades to existing TE Connectivity RF-fed systems.
The first deployment was at Mizzou Arena, home of the University of Missouri Tigers, which was already using a Flexwave digital DAS. The second deployment was an upgrade of the DAS at Paul Brown Stadium where the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals play football. There were a couple of high-rise DAS upgrades in New York, including the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Additionally, a greenfield deployment was performed at Washington State University’s football stadium.
“It has been deployed commercially within a number of different venues with different carriers – all successfully,” John Spindler, director of product management, TE Connectivity, told AGL Small Cell Link. “These deployments proved that CPRI can be used in a large public venue with high user density, as well as an enterprise-type type of hotel environment.”
To upgrade an existing TE Connectivity DAS, all the remote radio heads and the accompanying attenuation panels are removed so the baseband signal goes directly into the Flexwave host unit. Digital RF cards in the host unit also need to be replaced with CDIU cards.
As a result, a DAS using a CPRI interface system features a substantial decrease in equipment costs and a considerable reduction in operation expenses over time. Additional cost savings come from less power use for equipment consumption and cooling, less building space and fiber use.
DAS, which is known for being more expensive than small cell solutions, may see an increase in potential target market, because of the cost savings made possible by CPRI.
“A lot of the major, high-end sporting venues have been built out, but there may be greenfield sites that did not come together in terms of dollars and cents using an RF feed that it will be more attractive with a CPRI feed,” Spindler said. “Older buildings that simply did not have enough space for RF-fed headend equipment may also see and opportunity with CPRI-fed DAS.”
The cost and performance features of a CPRI-fed DAS also make for a compelling case for upgrading existing DAS, as well, according to Spindler.
“Use of a CPRI interface allows for better uplink sensitivity and fewer sources of possible PIM versus a traditional RF- fed DAS,” he said. “We expect to see a significant ramp up of those types of deployments through the balance of the year.”