Wireless Terminology2022-01-04T15:23:06-05:00
4G - 4G is the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology. 4G users see speeds of up to 100 Mbps, while 3G users see speeds of 14 Mbps.
5G - 5G is the fifth generation of broadband cellular network technology. 5G users see speeds of up to 10 Gbps, up to 100 times faster than 4G.
700 MHz - Wireless spectrum band used to transmit data and voice services. It uses frequencies 700 MHz.
800 MHz - Wireless spectrum band used to transmit data and voice services. It uses frequencies 800 MHz.
Access Network (AN) - One of three major components of a 5G system, defining all equipment within the access part of the 5G network infrastructure.
Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) - Wireless spectrum band used to transmit data and voice services. It uses frequencies 1700 MHz and 2100 MHz.
Backhaul - The transport network connecting the Radio Access Network (RAN) to the mobile core network. In a Distributed RAN (D-RAN) architecture, it connects the cell site to the core. In a Centralized-RAN (C-RAN) architecture, it connects the physical or virtual centralized/cloud 4G/5G Baseband Units (BBUs) to the 4G/5G core.
Base Transceiver Station (BTS) - Radio-frequency signal source device. Usually a high powered device connected to the operator’s network.
Baseband Unit (BBU) - A unit of the telecom systems that processes baseband signals and can be deployed in a distributed (D-RAN) or centralized/cloud (C-RAN) manner.
Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) - Devices that receive, boost and amplify over-the-air signals in both directions from tower to device and from device to tower.
C-Band - C-Band is the first frequency band allocated for commercial communications via satellites. Its notoriety elevated in February 2020 as the FCC assigned the 3.7-3.98 GHz C-Band frequencies for wireless usage which will assist US Carriers in deploying 5G networks.
Cell on Wheels (COW) - Cell on Wheels is a mobile cell tower on wheels, commonly on a trailer, that is ideal for temporary solutions such as outdoor private network testing, emergency scenarios, sporting and outdoor events.
Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) - Also sometimes referred to as Cloud-RAN, is a centralized, cloud computing architecture for radio access networks (RAN) which has increased flexibility and greater scalability.
Centralized Unit (CU) - CU is a 5G term to describe the centralized unit which facilitates Radio Resource Control (RRC) functions, data transfer, compression, ciphering, and integrity protection layers of the gNB.
Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) - CBRS refers to 150 MHz of spectrum in the range of 3550 MHz to 3700 MHz in the United States of America. As designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this radio service is agnostic to technology and shared amongst incumbent license holders, priority access license holders and general authorized access users.
Distributed Antenna System (DAS) - DAS is a network of antennas designed to provide coverage (wireless signals) to an area with little or no otherwise coverage. This could be inside a building or a small defined geographic region.
Distributed Unit (DU) - DU is a 5G term to describe the distributed unit which controls the RLC, MAC and parts of the PHY layer of the gNB. The DU is controlled by the Centralized Unit (CU) and is typically in close proximity to the radio unit (RU).
Downlink - Signal direction from tower to device.
Emergency Responder Radio Communications Systems (ERRCS) - ERRCS is a Public Safety, in-building solution for emergency responders to maintain radio communications during an incident.
Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN) - An Enterprise Radio Access Network is a cost effective method for connecting end-user devices to the cloud, and is an ideal indoor solution for delivering cellular services into medium and large buildings.
Evolved Packet Core (EPC) - EPC is a 4G LTE term referring to the a group of components in a flat architecture that's scalable and provides network control and user traffic delivery services.
Head End (HE) - Head End refers to the portion of the DAS (Distributed Antenna System) where service provider signals interface with the DAS and where these signals are distributed to the various antennas through either direct or remote amplifiers.
Indoor Distributed Antenna System (iDAS) - Distributed Antenna System (DAS) deployed in an indoor setting.
Internet of Things (IoT) - Describes the network of physical objects such as smart phones, smart home devices, fire alarms, security cameras, medical devices, manufacturing automation, and many other things.
Latency - Network latency is the time it takes for packets to travel through a network segment.
Long-Term Evolution (LTE) - Global network standard for 4G high speed data network.
Low-Band - The lower part of the electromagnetic spectrum used by cellular communications, generally comprising frequencies below 1GHz. These lower-frequency bands have been the most used to power 3G and 4G networks, and provide broader coverage, as they travel across great distances (lower free-space attenuation) and penetrate walls more easily. On the other hand, lower frequencies imply lower bandwidth a smaller capacity to carry data.
Mid-Band - The intermediate part of the electromagnetic spectrum used by cellular communications, generally comprising frequencies between 1GHz and 6GHz. Sitting in between the low band and millimeter wave spectrum, it offers a balanced compromise between coverage and bandwidth, and is seen as a key band to provide broad coverage of 5G services.
Millimeter Wave (MMW) - Also known as millimeter band, are extremely high frequency radio waves typically defined in the frequency range of 30 GHz to 300 GHz.
Mobile Network Operator (MNO) - Provides wireless service(s) to wireless users by owning or leasing all components to sell and deliver wireless services over licensed wireless spectrum. MNOs include wireless service providers, wireless carriers, cellular companies, or mobile network carriers.
Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) - Allows sending and receiving of more than one data signal on the same channel a the same time by using more than one antenna, thus improving the data rates between the transmitter and the receiver.
OnGo - OnGo® is the brand name for the 4G and 5G broadband technology used in shared-spectrum applications such as CBRS in the USA.
Open RAN (O-RAN) - A movement in the wireless industry that advocates for hardware and software disaggregation, openness, and interoperability in Radio Access Network (RAN) architectures, and acts towards the standardization of open interfaces to allow multi-vendor RAN environments. Open RAN is also a RAN reference architecture that leverages industry-wide standards, defined by organizations such as the O-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, IEEE, and others, to support the interoperability between different software and hardware vendors. It is particularly important for C-RAN architectures, and heavily accelerated by RAN virtualization, given the disaggregation and multiplication of vendors that come with it.
Outdoor Distributed Antenna System (oDAS) - DAS deployed in an outdoor setting.
Passive Intermodulation (PIM) - Interference generated by transmit signals when they encounter non-linear junctions or materials in the signal path.
Personal Communication Services (PCS) - Wireless spectrum band used to transmit data and voice services. It uses frequencies 1900 MHz.
Point of Interface (POI) - A Point of Interface (POI) in a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is component used to connect a service provider's signal to the DAS. POI's are available with a variety of features or capabilities and usually support an RF or optical handoff between the service provider and the DAS.
Private 5G - A wireless enterprise-dedicated network built using 5G cellular technology (such as 3GPP standards) rather than traditional wireless LAN technology (Wi-Fi).
Radio Access Network (RAN) - The radio access network (RAN) refers to a network of components, such as a base station, that connect an end-user device to the network core.
Radio frequency (RF) - The term RF, or Radio Frequency, refers to the transmission of information wirelessly using radio waves. There are many applications for RF technology. Some of the most common commercial applications are broadcast radio, TV, and cellular phones.
Radio Unit (RU) - RU is a 5G term to describe the radio unit. This is the actual transmitting and receiving radio for each cell.
Remote - DAS element which converts and amplifies the signal. The remote is typically located close to the antennas. Remote can also refer to the location this element is installed.
Small Cell - Radio Frequency source device that’s a low power alternative to the Base Transceiver Station (BTS). They can be directly connected to antennas or to a Distributed Antenna System (DAS).
Uplink - Signal direction from device to tower.
User Equipment (UE) - One of three major components of a mobile network, defining all user devices connected to the network, man and machine.
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