50% lower carbon footprint with new Cell Tower

I've discussed the idea of container data centers along with cell towers.  Here is one excerpt that hints of a possibility with HP.

We’re not alone on this journey. We’re working closely with HP on cloud-like technologies and co-creating with Freescale on system-on-chip capabilities. And most importantly, we are co-creating this technology, together with our customers all around the world.

For more background, CNET News covers announcement by Alcatel Lucent on new cell towers.

Alcatel-Lucent shrinks cell tower technology

by Marguerite Reardon

  • Telecommunications infrastructure maker Alcatel-Lucent announced this week new technology that will help wireless carriers expand their networks to keep up with the explosive growth in mobile data.

The company announced this week a new compact cell phone antenna system called lightRadio, which incorporates radio technology and base station technology in a single box. The entire system, which can fit on a lamp post, is a fraction of the size of today's cellular equipment. Current cellular networks require massive and power-hungry cell phone towers that house the antennas with a separate base station at the bottom of those towers that control the antennas.

When carriers have needed to add capacity or improve coverage, they've had to deploy these massive cell site towers. Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio system, which will be ready for carrier trials later this year, allows carriers to deploy new cell sites much faster and less expensively than they have been able to do in the past. It also means that carriers can reduce the electricity used to power the cell phone towers and base stations.

According the company press release the new technology is 50% less carbon footprint.

Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive Officer of Alcatel-Lucent, said: “Today’s and tomorrow’s demands for coverage and capacity require a breakthrough in mobile communications.” 

He added: “lightRadio will signal the end of the basestation and the cell tower as we know it today.”

Governments and regulatory bodies are expected to welcome the technical development, which will help meet targets for universal broadband access by laying the foundation to address the so-called “digital divide.”

Other major benefits from lightRadio™ include:

•         Shrinking the carbon footprint of mobile networks by over 50%

•         Reducing the Total-Cost-of-Ownership of mobile operators by up to 50%

•         Improving end user services by significantly increasing bandwidth per user thanks to the deployment of small antennas everywhere

Here is a blog post with a few more details.

lightRadio has at its core an innovation that is a small cube—a cube invented by Bell Labs which combines a wideband active array antenna with fully software defined radio capability. This, less than 300 g cube, enables an active antenna as small as 2 watts to an array of typical cellular capacity (30-60 watts). It can be deployed in big and small antenna configurations, all-around the city. With this new antenna, base stations and large antenna towers, virtually disappear. Big or small cells, it is one continuum, for these cubes can be stacked to build a macro cell or used singularly in a beam formation for targeted coverage.

lightRadio makes networks significantly lighter, much simpler to deploy and cuts the cost of site rental  by 66%.  For our planet, we can reduce power by 51%. With this small element, connected to microwave, it is now feasible for people currently not served by mobile data, to have access.