Japan’s First Field Test of an AAS with Agile Beam Control Technology
July 29, 2014
KDDI R&D Laboratories,Inc.
KDDI and KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. have conducted Japan’s first beam-forming technology field testing using an active antenna system (AAS)(*2) called Agile Beam Control. KDDI’s AAS(*1) with Agile Beam Control Technology enables flexible control of the direction and strength of transmission signals from a base station. The AAS is expected to reduce interference between base stations and to enable more comfortable communication environments.
An AAS is a base station antenna that has radio equipment built in to it. This boosts the communication coverage area, reduces power consumption and overall size and has lower construction costs compared to existing non-integrated antennas. Some of the advantages of AAS are expected to be even greater in higher frequencies such as the 3.5 GHz band. The AAS will be incorporated into 4th generation mobile communication systems or beyond.
KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. began developing an AAS that is as small as existing antennas in March 2012 and released their Agile Beam Control Technology, which can be controlled through the AISG(*3) interface, in March 2013. Four patent applications related to the AAS have already been filed. KDDI has been supporting the 3GPP, which is a standardization project of LTE, by submitting numerous contributions related to AAS.
KDDI and KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. started field testing of the AAS in Tochigi city in Tochigi prefecture. In the field test, it is used as a macro antenna in an environment consisting of a small cell base station inside a macro area. The field testing results showed that the download speed in the small cell area increased 1.6-fold by reducing interference from macro cell to the small cell compared to the existing antenna system. The test also confirmed that power consumption can be reduced 50%.
KDDI and KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. will continue with their research and development activities aimed at the creation of new technologies that will provide a better communication environment for the next generation communication system.
Figure 1. Architecture of AAS
*1: The AAS was developed cooperatively with KDDI, KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. and Denki Kogyo Co., Ltd.
*2: As of July 29th 2014, according to an investigation conducted by KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc.
*3: AISG (Antenna Interface Standard Group): International interface and protocol to control base station equipment including antennas.
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