Wireless Base Stations

In radio communications, a base station is a wireless communications station installed at a fixed location and used to communicate as part of a push-to-talk two-way radio system, or a wireless telephone system such as cellular CDMA or GSM cell site. In professional two-way radio systems, a base station is used to maintain contact with a dispatch fleet of hand-held or mobile radios or to activate one-way paging receivers. The base station is one end of a communications link. The other end is a movable vehicle-mounted radio or walkie-talkie.

A wireless telephone base station communicates with a mobile or hand-held phone. As an example, in a wireless telephone system, the signals from one or more mobile telephones in an area are received at a nearby base station, which then connects the call to the land-line network. Other equipment is involved depending on the system architecture. Mobile telephone provider networks, such as European GSM networks, may involve carrier, microwave radio, and switching facilities to connect the call. In the case of a portable phone such as a US cordless phone, the connection is directly connected to a wired land line.

The base station is the core of RF wireless installations and it’s where you make the connections for your cables, antennas, transmitters and receivers. This is where most problems can occur that affect performance through component failures, wireless interference or incorrect installation or maintenance. The result can be unacceptable and costly downtime for your networks, and time-consuming work to fix the problem by your field techs.

Base Transceiver Station

The base transceiver station, or BTS, contains the equipment for transmitting and receiving radio signals (transceivers), antennas, and equipment for encrypting and decrypting communications with the base station controller (BSC). Typically a BTS for anything other than a picocell will have several transceivers (TRXs) which allow it to serve several different frequencies and different sectors of the cell. A BTS is controlled by a parent BSC via the base station control function (BCF).The BCF is implemented as a discrete unit or even incorporated in a TRX in compact base stations. The BCF provides an operations and maintenance (O&M) connection to the network management system (NMS), and manages operational states of each TRX, as well as software handling and alarm collection. The BTSs are equipped with radios that are able to modulate layer 1 of interface Um; for GSM 2G+ the modulation type is GMSK, while for EDGE-enabled networks it is GMSK and 8-PSK. Frequency hopping is often used to increase overall BTS performance; this involves the rapid switching of voice traffic between TRXs in a sector. A hopping sequence is followed by the TRXs and handsets using the sector. Several hopping sequences are available, and the sequence in use for a particular cell is continually broadcast by that cell so that it is known to the handsets.

Due to aesthetics issues in many communities base stations are now being disguised as trees so they blend into their environment.

Base Station Industrial Resources

Anritsu Master Users Group
The Master Users Group is a Community dedicated to providing training, technical support, networking opportunities and links to Site Master, Spectrum Master, Cell Master, UMTS Master, and BTS Master product development teams, along with other valuable information for Master Users and Certified Master Users. The Master Users Group is uniquely positioned to deliver technical, educational, and career resources to our members. Master Users have the strength in numbers to develop and deliver significant benefits to today’s telecom service providers, tower companies, and wireless professionals. The Master Users Group offers users an opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss problems, explore solutions and provide interaction with Anritsu executives, developers and application engineers. Members receive a quarterly newsletter and get email notifications of new software releases. Membership is free and the only qualification is a genuine interest in the effective use of Anritsu Site Master, Spectrum Master, Cell Master, UMTS Master, and BTS Master instruments.  www.us.anritsu.com/masters

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)
3GPP was created in December 1998 by the signing of the “The 3rd Generation Partnership Project Agreement”. Its original scope was to produce Technical Specifications and Technical Reports for a 3G Mobile System based on evolved GSM core networks and the radio access technologies that they support (i.e., Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) modes). The scope was subsequently amended to include the maintenance and development of the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) Technical Specifications and Technical Reports including evolved radio access technologies (e.g. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)).  www.3gpp.org

Third Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2)
3GPP2 is a collaborative third generation (3G) telecommunications specifications-setting project, comprising North American and Asian interests developing global specifications for ANSI/TIA/EIA-41 Cellular Radio telecommunication Intersystem Operations network evolution to 3G and global specifications for the radio transmission technologies (RTTs) supported by ANSI/TIA/EIA-41.  3GPP2 was born out of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) International Mobile Telecommunications “IMT-2000” initiative, covering high speed, broadband, and Internet Protocol (IP)-based mobile systems featuring network-to-network interconnection, feature/service transparency, global roaming and seamless services independent of location. IMT-2000 is intended to bring high-quality mobile multimedia telecommunications to a worldwide mass market by achieving the goals of increasing the speed and ease of wireless communications, responding to the problems faced by the increased demand to pass data via telecommunications, and providing “anytime, anywhere” services. www.3gpp2.org

3G Americas
3G Americas unites mobile operators and manufacturers in the Americas to provide a single voice to represent the GSM family of wireless technologies — GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and UMTS/HSDPA. 3G Americas is committed to working with regulatory bodies, technical standards bodies and other global wireless organizations in order to promote truly seamless interoperability and convergence. These relationships include Market Representation Partner for 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project), membership in CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunications Commission), collaborative working agreements with the GSM Association, UMTS Forum, and ASETA (Association of Telecommunications Enterprises of the Andean Community). www.3gamericas.org

CTIA-The Wireless Association
CTIA-The Wireless Association, is an international nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, representing all sectors of wireless communications: cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio. The organization represents service providers, manufacturers, wireless data and internet companies, as well as other contributors to the wireless universe. CTIA advocates on their behalf before the Executive Branch, the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, and state regulatory and legislative bodies. CTIA also coordinates the industry’s voluntary efforts to bring consumers a wide variety of choices and information regarding their wireless service, and supports important industry initiatives such as Wireless AMBER Alerts, and the “When it comes to Wireless, Safety is Your Call” safe driving public service announcement campaign. www.ctia.org

GSM Association (GSMA)
Founded in 1987, GSMA is a global trade association representing more than 750 GSM mobile phone operators across 219 countries and territories of the world. In addition, more than 210 (numbers taken from the online brochure) manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as associate members. The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association’s members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM connections — over 86% of the world’s mobile phone connections. www.gsmworld.com

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Mike is a finance industry executive with expertise in test, IT and avionics equipment acquisition, resale, residual valuation, leasing, renting and consignment.
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