The new architecture should also help operators lower management and maintenance costs; and cut the electricity bill and carbon dioxide emissions, according to Alcatel-Lucent. For example, centralizing part of the base station means maintenance staff won't have to visit every site when doing an upgrade. It also means operators won't have to negotiate and pay for space to put the equipment at every site.
The lightRadio concept is not going to become a reality overnight; it is Alcatel-Lucent's long-term strategy for mobile networks. The related products will be rolled out in commercial networks mobile networks over the next couple of years, and the full architecture will be ready by 2013, Sweldens said.
For example, trials of the cube technology will start later this year and become widely available in 2012.
Alcatel-Lucent is planning field trials of the lightRadio architecture with a number of large mobile operators, including China Mobile and Orange, according to a statement.
Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio approach will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona from Feb. 14 to Feb. 17.
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