Alcatel-Lucent has come up with a pretty good way to redesign cellphone towers, which is the company’s new broadband base station solution, dubbed lightRadio. These 2.5-inch square boxes include the necessary antennas and can eliminate the need for cumbersome huts at the base of cellphone towers while improving capacity and reducing cost. These devices combine 2G, 3G and LTE antennas with a SoC (System on Chip), making it small enough to mount on a lamppost. The boxes are firmware upgradable and use “beam forming” to efficiently connect to wireless devices and the company claims that it can increase broadband capacity by 30 percent while reducing operating costs and CO2 emissions by half. The lightRadio boxes won’t be widely available until 2012, so we’ve still got another year or so to wait.
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