CommScope Aims to Simplify Deployment of Indoor Cell Phone Coverage

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CommScope has shown off an indoor coverage service that it says can be installed by a company's own in house IT staff rather than relying on outside experts.

The ION-E brings together licensed wireless and power plus Gigabit Ethernet for WiFi into one unified wireless network that uses the standard IT structured cabling infrastructure common to most commercial buildings.

"Overstating the impact of the ION-E will be hard because this system solves so many challenges at once," said Morgan Kurk, senior vice president, Wireless, CommScope. "It combines the capability and flexibility of cloud RAN while making DAS simple and unifying the local area and wide area networks. This intelligent transport system can finally fulfill the promise of small cells."

The company said that ION-E simplifies implementation by using the structured cabling systems familiar to IT installers, along with providing a simple user interface for setup and configuration with minimal input.

The world lacks people who have RF design expertise. This limits the deployment of traditional distributed antenna system (DAS) networks at a time when deploying indoor networks within enterprise buildings is increasingly in demand. With the ION-E, CommScope has simplified and optimized a solution that empowers IT professionals to deploy these systems.

For example, adding network capacity to meet changing usage patterns is achieved with a simple click-and-drag. The ION-E self-detects and self-configures its components, while sending alarm notifications when it detects network issues.

"Simple, scalable and flexible -- those three words capture the essence of the ION-E," said Kurk. "IT people who are not as familiar with RF networks will find the equipment intuitive and simple while being able to scale the ION-E to any building and flexibly support any wireless technology."

The ION-E is currently available for operator trials in Europe with expected general availability in other regions in the second half of 2014.

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