“Our portfolio positions us very well to offer a variety of solutions that address coverage and capacity challenges”

Date: Wed, 03/04/2009 - 19:12

Interview with Richard B. Parran, President of ADC´s Network Solutions Business Unit
“Our portfolio positions us very well to offer a variety of solutions that address coverage and capacity challenges” Richard B. Parran at MWC 2009

Richard (Dick) Parran was named President of ADC´s Network Solutions Business Unit in January 2009. In the role, Parran is responsible for the growth and development of the company global wireless coverage and capacity business.
Parran joined ADC in 1995 and previously served as President of ADC´s Professional Services Business Unit that offers a broad range of services to help network operators plan, deploy and maintain their networks. Before that, he was Vicepresident of Business Development with responsibility for leading the company´s mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and venture capital investment activities.
Prior to joining ADC, Parran, a 25-year of the telecommunications industry, held a number of management positions with companies such as Paragon Cable and Centel Corporation.
Parran holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering fron Duke University. He serves on the Board of Visitors at Duke University´s Pratt School of Engineering; is a board member of the ADC Foundation; and has been active in community non-profits and youth athletics.

Journalist: At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ADC announced that it all IP-RAN solutions portfolio had gained strong acceptance across global regions, applications, and customer types. Can you talk to us about this important announcement?

Parran: Absolutely.  Over the past year, ADC has made substantial progress expanding our business with new customers and in new markets throughout EMEA, APAC and Latin America.  Recently, we have announced several new customer deployments, such as STP - a neutral host, deploying FlexWave Prism to address microcellular network challenges in the central business district of Jakarta. 
We have continued to grow our market-leading active DAS business with deployments for a variety of industries and markets such as Parken Stadium in Denmark and Scania’s manufacturing facilities in Sweden.  We’ve also installed solutions in more than forty buildings in Nairobi, Kenya covering a variety of hospitality, business and residential facilities, and for big, capacity-strained events such as both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and the Raymond James Stadium for the Super Bowl.
Our perspective is that while the macro economy is impacting on our industry, the need for 2G-infill and 3G and 4G overlay has not gone away.  We believe our portfolio positions us very well to offer a variety of solutions that address coverage and capacity challenges in the most difficult of environments - indoors, on campuses, in the urban core where people are using their mobile devices.  Our precision coverage portfolio allows for prudent CAPEX investment for our customer base in these areas, delivering coverage and capacity in the sections of the network where they are increasingly essential to maintaining and capturing enterprise and consumer revenue.

Journalist: ADC also announced that its InterReach Fusion solves In-building coverage, capacity challenges. Can you go into more detail about the technology involved in this?

Parran: Yes.  InterReach Fusion is an indoor DAS solution.  The system takes the RF in from a source, which could be a local or remote base station or from an off-air repeater, and redistributes the service inside a building or a network of buildings.  Think of the architecture as an “RF sprinkler system” where the nodes are placed strategically around the building to ensure signal strength where it’s needed. 
The remote units can be mounted above ceiling tiles where the only thing visible is the small antenna unit about the size of a smoke detector.  Some antennas are even shaped like drop-ceiling tiles or can be painted to totally blend into the décor.
The system can support any combination or RF bands and is modulation or protocol agnostic.  We have systems that take the RF in and down convert it to an intermediate frequency, base band, or digitize it and then transport it over thin structured cable such as fiber, Ethernet or CATV cabling.  This is a huge advantage over alternative solutions that transport over large coax.  Our system maintains a better noise figure or integrity, can travel longer distances, and its infrastructure is just less difficult and less expensive to work with.
Our DAS can also be designed to support one service provider or multiple service providers.  Whatever that may be, the signals simulcast at all of the remote node or antenna locations within the building—just like a stereo sound system in your home.
Installing a DAS system ensures a consistent quality of mobile service and keeps the handsets power down, allowing users to use their device longer without the need for a charge.

Journalist: FlexWave Prism delivers campus and metro cellular coverage. Can you to extend this?

Parran: ADC’s been in the DAS business for over twelve years and has industry-leading, patented technology that digitizes the RF to offer superior signal quality and flexibility in delivering service for customers worldwide. FlexWave Prism is our latest generation of outdoor DAS. 
This new solution is primarily used for RF coverage and capacity distribution in urban areas where traditional macro network architecture is not effective because of urban canyons and tunnelling.  For these applications, the Prism system often works with a base station hotel (BST) architecture.  A BTS hotel means that the radios can all be centralized in one location, which saves the operator(s) cost in real estate and the management of that real estate (everything from HVAC to staffing).  The RF “feeds” the Prism system; the Prism system then takes the RF and converts the analog signal to digital, transporting it to the network of remote nodes placed at or near street-level around the city center.
This architecture supports the need for smaller cells that are increasingly needed as carriers roll-out 4G services.
Like our in-building DAS, the Prism system is modulation agnostic and can accommodate a variety of frequencies in a single system.  Thus, a single system could support a service provider that has 2G, 3G, and 4G needs or multiple providers or a neutral host managing the service on the operator’s behalf. 
One of the most intriguing functions of the Prism is its ability to manage the simulcast configuration.  Through the solution’s management system, a carrier can allocate capacity resources amid changing take rates for new and legacy services or as needs change in the coverage area.
The benefits of the outdoor DAS architecture are also realized in tunnels and subways, along roadsides or coastal areas, and in suburban areas and other places that are either too costly or time consuming, or where it is prohibited to build a cell site.  The university campus is a perfect example of where the Prism can deliver wireless access in and around buildings without the need for towers or infrastructure that will disrupt the aesthetics of the property.

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