Orange UK to trial Alca-Lu's lightRadio mini base station

Orange UK has confirmed it will be among the first to trial new base station technology developed by Alcatel-Lucent. Alcatel-Lucent said that the technology, called lightRadio, is a miniature base station that can cut operators' operating expenses as well as energy consumption by 50 per cent.

According to a Mobile Today report, Wim Sweldens, president of Alcatel-Lucent's wireless products division, said the new, cube-shaped lightRadio device will significantly reduce the overall size of base stations and lessen the visual impact of cellular masts.

He added that the device's small form-factor--it fits into the palm of the hand--meant it could be easily installed "pretty much anywhere," such as on buildings, telegraph poles, lampposts and other street furniture.

Commenting on the decision to test the device, Alain Maloberti, Orange's VP of netwvice president ork architecture and design,
told TechRadar, "Alcatel-Lucent's new vision and strategy of mobile broadband is quite exciting: the new wireless network architecture and innovative radio proposal will potentially help us to achieve significant operating cost savings and be better prepared for future challenges."

"We look forward to working closely with Alcatel-Lucent to explore and test this new approach," he said.

Alca-Lu's Sweldens added that the lightRadio base station could handle 2G, 3G and 4G network technologies, moving between them or doing all at the same time. "And with a click of a button it can address any mobile frequency used by any mobile operator anywhere in the world from 400 MHz to 4,000 MHz."

The technology, which will also bet trialled by Verizon Wireless and China Mobile, was been developed at Alca-Lu's R&D arm Bell Labs in conjunction with Freescale Semiconductor and HP. The base station is expected to become commercially available sometime next year.

For more:
- see this Mobile Today article
- see this TechRadar article

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