Blue Danube delivers BeamCraft 600, its multi-band and multi-standard Massive MIMO systems

Blue Danube Systems, provider of wireless access solutions, introduced its second-generation 5G-ready massive MIMO system, the BeamCraft 600 series. An industry first, BeamCraft 600 supports simultaneous beamforming over multiple frequency bands and across multiple cellular standards, allowing operators to deliver increased capacity through a single compact system.

Leveraging embedded software extensible via cloud-based intelligence, BeamCraft systems can direct radio frequency (RF) beams where mobile traffic is high and unlike competing Massive MIMO products, they require no change to existing cell sites and are compatible with smartphones.

With mobile video driving ever increasing traffic demand, operators have needed to add more cell sites, acquire and deploy additional spectrum, and support multiple wireless standards resulting in more equipment per site and contributing to significant operating and capital expenditure increases.

BeamCraft 600 allows operators to gain an immediate capacity boost using existing network assets by replacing 3G/4G radio and antenna systems with a single unit thereby reducing the equipment on site – in some cases by as much as 66 percent. For operators with broad spectrum holdings, BeamCraft 600 can enable Massive MIMO deployment where it may not have even been possible before.

Based on Blue Danube’s HDAAS Hybrid Massive MIMO technology, the 96-element BeamCraft 600 supports up to two active mid bands using 16 software configurable beams, double the capacity of the company’s previous generation but still within the same lightweight 14-inch wide form factor. Additionally, an integrated passive low-band option is also available to further conserve antenna mount positions.

“Blue Danube’s portfolio of Massive MIMO products enables operators to flexibly customize RF energy to optimize capacity, coverage and cell edge performance.” said Mark Pinto, CEO and president of Blue Danube Systems. “Our 5G-ready architecture allows beam-based network management leading to virtualization of the network RF functions. By avoiding the rigidity imposed by other radio architectures, we are enabling a completely flexible RAN ecosystem.”

“With FDD representing at least 85 percent of the global commercial networks, mid band FDD Massive MIMO solutions will be critical as operators transition to 5G,” said Julian Bright, analyst at Ovum. “The vast majority of the world’s leading operators have multiple 3G and 4G LTE bands in this frequency range. Blue Danube’s multi-band solution offers a compelling upgrade option for current networks, unlocking the potential of operators’ most valuable FDD spectrum asset.”

Blue Danube has deployed active solutions in 3 mid bands to date (AWS, PCS, DCS) and will trial the multi-band BeamCraft 600 in second quarter of this year. Additional products supporting higher frequency bands including TDD will be available in second half of this year.

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