Alcatel Lucent has teamed up with Freescale and HP to launch LightRadio, a technology which they hope will replace traditional, bulkier and more power hungry cellular base station.
Rather than following a monolithic approach, LightRadio breaks the base station which is normally located at the base of each cell site tower into its basic elements and then either integrated with the antenna or dispersed in areas where power and a broadband connection is readily accessible.
LightRadio uses Bell-labs proprietary Wideband Active Array Antenna Or WA3, one that is compatible with 2G, 3G and LTE technology.
Hardware wise, the engineers at Alcatel Lucent have managed to squeeze the radio components, the diplexer, the radio, amplifier and passive cooling, into a 300g device about the size of a Rubik cube.
A Freescale system-on-chip runs the box and HP will provide with the virtualised processing platform that will allow allow the instracturcture to match the load to demand through, what HP calls, "elastic" controller capacity.
LightRadio is expected to cut the energy consumption of mobile networks by nearly half while reducing the total cost of ownership by a similar proportion,, which is estimated to stand at around 150 billion Euros.
More importantly, adopting LightRadio will improve capacity in crowded areas like cities and suburban sites by as much as 30 per cent.