4G Americas Report Outlines RF Front-End Architecture Solutions
Spectrum harmonization is the most efficient way to optimize RF Front-End
October 09 2014
BELLEVUE, Wash. – 4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, today published a white paper focusing on the significant impact that the exponential growth of mobile data and the multiplication of spectrum bands has on a key area of mobile devices, the Radio Frequency (RF) Front-End. The paper titled, Wireless Handset RF Front-End Optimization, discusses the importance of an optimized RF Front-End design and architecture that must support new spectrum bands, as well as more RF features, without sacrificing performance of the device.
“There is a marriage of sorts between the optimized radio frequency design in a mobile device and the many spectrum bands that the device needs to support,” commented Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. “Getting the right combination of both of these elements can be very helpful to progress the mobile broadband industry throughout the Americas,” Pearson added. “The importance of harmonized spectrum in the Americas cannot be understated, as this will have a positive impact on wireless users.”
The Radio Frequency Front-End (RFFE) in User Equipment (UE) is made up of a number of key components: 1) the antennas and antenna tuners, 2) Band Select: filters, duplexers, diplexers, and switches used for frequency control, 3) Transmitters and RF Power Amplifiers (Tx/PA’s) and 4) Receivers and Low-Noise Amplifiers (Rx/LNAs). These components support the performance of a device and its ability to transmit and receive signals across spectrum bands. This paper focuses on the challenges and the opportunities with current RF Front-End designs in relation to consumers using more mobile data in both the uplink and downlink and demanding ubiquitous coverage, where the radio itself is becoming increasingly more challenging to design while achieving the smartphone form factor.
The evolution of mobile networks has driven changes in the RFFE in mobile devices:
- more base stations in a given area
- multiple antennas for each UE
- simultaneous operation on multiple frequencies or channels for each UE
- higher order modulation which requires a higher per-channel signal-to-noise ratio
- spectrum harmonization
Pearson added, “This paper is aimed at illustrating how changes in mobile networks affect the design of the RF Front-End, and the limitations and opportunities that these changes provide.”
About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of the 3GPP family of mobile broadband technologies, including LTE-Advanced, throughout the ecosystem’s networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the success of 3GPP technologies and their No. 1 place in the region. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org or www.facebook.com/4gamericas and www.twitter.com/4gamericas.
4G Americas’ Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Intel, Mavenir, Nokia, Openwave Mobility, Qualcomm, Rogers, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.