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Why Does Spectral Efficiency Matter? Thomas Cheng & Antti Keintola, Blue Danube Systems July 23, 2018

When we decide on an internet service provider we mainly care about monthly price and service speed. For example, in the US an internet service provider offers 150 Mbps for $55/month and 250 Mbps for $69/month. The more you pay, the faster service you’ll get. This is not necessarily true for the mobile internet service as the speed of wireless cellular service cannot be guaranteed. The speed depends on how far a user is from the cell tower, indoors or outdoors, wireless spectrum bandwidth, and how many other users are sharing the service at the same time. The wireless internet speed clearly matters to consumers and many of us have seen TV commercials talking about how one cellular network is better than another. Companies such as RootMetrics, Ookla and others have also made it easy to understand and compare mobile network performance. In this blog, we will discuss the factors affecting wireless internet speeds: signal quality, wireless spectrum bandwidth and mobile traffic demand or load, using a simple analogy and then extend the discussion to show how a mobile network operator can improve network performance and measure the improvement using the existing Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Read More

Is TM9 a Prerequisite for 3D Beamforming? Thomas Cheng, Blue Danube Systems June 11, 2018

Recently there has been a lot of buzz on a new LTE mode called TM9 and how it is related to User Specific (UE) 3D beamforming. 3D beamforming is the ability to form and direct antenna patterns in both vertical and horizontal directions to each UE or device.  Let us first explore what TM9 is, and why people often mistaken it as a prerequisite for 3D beamforming, a prelude to Massive MIMO deployment.

What is TM9?

TM9 (Transmission Mode 9) is a standard transmission mode defined by 3GPP.  This transmission mode can greatly improve the data transmission to mobile phones by creating beams specific to each UE. This is accomplished by high resolution channel sounding and feedback enabled by TM9 transmission mode.  TM9-capable UEs report high resolution channel status to the network which is then used to form dedicated beams for data transmission to the targeted UE. Typical deployment with passive antennas can only form beams in the Azimuth plane called 2D-beamforming. Active antenna systems implemented as a planar array allows beams to be shaped in both Azimuth and Elevation plane. This is called 3D-beamforming. 3D-beamforming allows UEs to be better targeted thus improving the reliability of the link with higher Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR). Read More

Massive Expectations for Massive MIMO Antti Keintola, Blue Danube Systems May 23, 2018

Ever growing data consumption is a major challenge for mobile network operators. While more and more consumers are transferring more and more data, higher data speeds required for good quality video streaming and advanced online applications are becoming harder to achieve.

Radio frequency spectrum is a scarce and often expensive resource, and along with cellular equipment sites, they certainly are the most important assets to the mobile network operators. Using these assets as efficiently as possible enables mobile network operators to deliver better service and experience to their customers.

Traditionally, the industry’s standard response to capacity demand is to introduce new technologies and new frequency bands. While 5G promises higher data rates, lower response times and higher capacity, it also requires mobile network operators to invest in new network infrastructure and acquire new, potentially expensive spectrum. Furthermore, consumers will need to upgrade their mobile phones to new models. In other words, the whole ecosystem needs to be uplifted to reap the benefits of 5G, and that can take several years. Read More

Cellular Network Performance vs Complexity Chris Ng & Mihai Banu, Blue Danube Systems February 22, 2018

Fundamental Tradeoffs in the Design of Cellular

The evolution of wide-area cellular networks has been a tug of war between connecting more users and providing more services on one side and managing costs on the other side. One of the most important factors on the side of users and services is the degrees of freedom of the network, i.e., the maximum simultaneous streams of information transmitted or received in the network. Cellular systems have witnessed a steady increase in the network degrees of freedom from spatial reuse, new allocation of spectrum, and the use of multiple antennas otherwise known as MIMO. The other side is cost effectiveness. To make the wide-area network economically viable, a critical hallmark of cellular architecture is the strategically centralized management of complexity. A macro cellular base station is designed to serve many users and thereby justifies the relatively high capital and operating costs. Small cells are another approach to increase the network degrees of freedom; however, their high operating expenses (e.g., backhaul, site acquisition/rent and equipment maintenance) remain an obstacle to wide market adoption. 
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Open vRAN Ecosystem – Enabling a Better Mobile Architecture Bob Everson, Cisco September 12, 2018

We launched the Open vRAN Ecosystem in February of this year with a vision to accelerate the viability and adoption of open virtualized RAN (vRAN) solutions and ensure their extension into a broader network architecture. We’ve had a busy six months architecting and building solutions, executing operator demos and trials, helping to define open interfaces and management, building business models to compare costs of various solutions, partnering with the UK government to help address the digital divide with 5G, and much more. There’s more to come on many of those items. In this update we’ll focus primarily on our activities around this week’s MWC Americas show in Los Angeles. Read More

Reducing Cell Edge Interference with Massive MIMO Thomas Cheng, Product Manager, Blue Danube and Paul Denisowski, Application Engineer, Rohde & Schwarz September 10, 2018

Improving user experience for today’s LTE and future 5G networks

One of the biggest challenges faced by network operators is a phenomenon known as Cell Edge Interference, which occurs where adjacent cell towers direct radio frequencies (RF) across their target areas and those RF signals overlap with signals from other cell towers. At the cell edge, end user performance is significantly and negatively impacted. Moreover, because of the density of tower distribution in some areas, cell edge interference can impact as much as 30% of the total area covered by the cell towers in a cluster. That means that users are experiencing reduced network performance in third of the area covered. Read More

Equipment vendors focus on smaller antennas for 5G Martha DeGrasse February 18, 2018

Everything we hear about 5G sounds big: massive MIMO, gigabits per second, terabytes of data. Network operators know they need to support all this without commensurate increases in the size of wireless equipment. That’s why they’re focused on hardware solutions that enable new technologies in smaller form factors. Read More

EE Times Silicon 60: Startups to Watch Silicon 60 v18.0 Peter Clarke November 14, 2017

It has been a year since EE Times produced a version 17.1 of the Silicon 60.

And whereas IoT was flavor of the year in 2016 then in 2017 it is machine learning and open-source hardware. It has also been revealed that venture capitalists have returned to investing in hardware startups — and that tends to mean big money — preparing to ride the next wave of computational architecture and performance.

Many of these startup companies aspire to be the next Intel or ARM — even as Intel and ARM are heading up the food chain towards the subsystem and system. Read More

Shentel MIMO Trial Yields Up to 5x Wireless Bandwidth Boost Joan Engebretson February 19, 2017

A new technology known as massive MIMO has the potential to help urban and rural wireless carriers substantially improve the performance of current mobile infrastructure through an antenna change.

In a recent Shentel MIMO trial in Woodstock, Va, the regional wireless carrier saw massive MIMO technology yield bandwidth gains of up to 20 times for video traffic and up to five times for traffic overall without increasing power requirements, according to Blue Danube Systems, the massive MIMO developer whose technology was used in the trials. AT&T is an investor in Blue Danube Systems and also participated in a similar trial in St. Paul, Minn. Read More

AT&T, ShenTel trial FDD massive MIMO Kelly Hill February 16, 2017

AT&T and Shenandoah Telecommunications are both testing FDD massive multiple input-multiple output systems from Blue Danube Systems.

Blue Danube CEO Mark Pinto said that the tests represent the first commercial trials of FDD massive MIMO and that the two sites supported more than 10 terabytes of data over a three-month period. Read More

Blue Danube completes ‘industry-first’ massive MIMO trials Colin Gibbs February 16, 2017

Blue Danube Systems said it has completed the first commercial trials of its massive MIMO technology in licensed FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) LTE spectrum with AT&T and Shentel.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company—which was recognized as a member of the 2016 Fierce 15—said the tests were performed using an antenna “for advanced 3D beamforming,” which is designed to focus signal energy as needed. Carriers can use the technology to better serve high-demand areas, the company said, minimizing interference problems. Read More

LTE with “massive MIMO” shows 5x throughput Peter Clarke February 16, 2017

Blue Danube (Santa Clara, Calif.) is on a mission to boost the capacity of LTE wireless communications by the use of beam forming to support more sectors around a basestation. This could, in theory, provide much greater spectrum re-use and capacity, without going to higher frequencies and higher complexity of 5G communications. The trials have demonstrated a 20X increase in dynamic throughput for enhanced video user experience the company said. Read More

Blue Danube Reveals FDD Massive MIMO Trials with AT&T, Shentel Diana Goovaerts February 16, 2017

Mobile wireless access solutions company Blue Danube on Thursday revealed it has been running commercial trials of its new massive MIMO system on licensed frequency division duplex (FDD) LTE spectrum in collaboration with AT&T and Sprint subsidiary Shenandoah Telecommunications (Shentel).

Blue Danube claimed the trials mark the first commercial test of an FDD Massive MIMO system for deployment in current LTE networks. Read More

AT&T, Shentel Test Blue Danube MIMO February 16, 2017

SANTA CLARA, Calif.– Blue Danube Systems, a provider of mobile wireless access solutions, today announced that it has completed first commercial trials of its Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system in licensed FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) LTE spectrum. These trials were conducted using Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 active antenna product for advanced 3D beamforming, which is capable of delivering a record 160W of transmit power for a Massive MIMO system. Based on its underlying High Definition Active Antenna System (HDAAS) technology, the 96 element BeamCraft 500 can intelligently and seamlessly focus signal energy where it is needed, allowing wireless carriers to better serve high demand areas and minimize interference zones. Read More

Antenna Evolution Towards 5G September 24, 2018 — September 27, 2018

Exploring Massive MIMO, Beam Steering and Advanced Antenna Systems

Join IWPC members in Paris to share views on the potential for 5G antenna deployment on legacy sites, new vertical market requirements, Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected technology use-cases.  Join Blue Danube on September 25 at 4:00 pm when Dr. Mihai Banu will be discussing,  “Lessons Learned from Commercial Deployment with Multi-site Cluster of RF Coherent Massive MIMO Antennas.”

MWC Americas September 12, 2018 — September 14, 2018

On September 12-14, the mobile world will connect in Los Angeles, CA for the second annual MWC Americas. Please see Blue Danube’s coherent Massive MIMO solution in the Cisco meeting space, S2.303B and the RFS meeting room, W2.512 A&B.  To schedule meetings contact info@bluedanube.com.

IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, Santa Clara Valley Chapter August 8, 2018

Join the IEEE SCV CAS at 7:00pm at Cypress Semiconductors to hear Dr. Mihai Banu, CTO of Blue Danube Systems, discussing “Massive MIMO Active Antenna Arrays for Advanced Wireless Applications.” You can also attend the live broadcast via Zoom conference.  You do not need to be an IEEE member to attend.


IEEE 5G World Forum July 9, 2018 — July 11, 2018

IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, is hosting the 1st Annual IEEE 5G World Forum (5GWF’18) July 9-11, 2018 in Santa Clara, CA. This unique event is designed to examine key critical 5G innovations across technologies that will alter the research and application space of the future.  Join Blue Danube on July 10 when Dr. Mihai Banu will be discussing, “Phased Array Based Massive MIMO systems for sub-6 GHz Bands:  Benefits and Challenges.

Brooklyn 5G Summit 2018 April 24, 2018 — April 27, 2018

The Brooklyn 5G Summit was the very first get-together of the industry on 5G starting back in 2014 and has been spearheading innovation in 5G New Radio and 5G architecture. The 2018 Summit showcases the latest progress in North Americas as one of the lead markets for 5G and encourages the 5G ecosystem by supporting companies small and large to exhibit their latest innovations and receive a broad range of perspectives from academia and industry associations.  See Blue Danube’s latest Massive MIMO innovations in the exhibit hall.



Mobile World Congress 2018 February 26, 2018 — March 1, 2018

Please join Blue Danube in Barcelona from February 26 through March 1 for Mobile World Congress 2018, the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry. Come see us in Hall 2 at hospitality stand 2L10 or contact info@bluedanube.com to schedule a time to meet with us.

IWPC Workshop Antenna Innovation & Evolution November 7, 2017 — November 9, 2017

The IWPC Antenna Innovation & Evolution is an interactive workshop to discuss and debate massive MIMO trials and experiments carried out by BT and Bristol University enabling far field array characterization, multi-element handset performance as well as experiments to improve the understanding of the massive MIMO radio channel under mobile conditions.  Join Blue Danube on November 7 at 3:40pm when Dr. Mihai Banu will be discussing, “Using Sub-6 GHz Full Complexity Hybrid Massive MIMO Technology for 4.5G and 5G.”


CCA Annual Convention October 25, 2017 — October 27, 2017

This year marks CCA’s silver anniversary. Unlike any other mobile industry event, CCA’s 2017 Annual Convention brings together heavy hitters and decision makers from competitive mobile carriers, vendors and service providers to exchange ideas, discuss challenges and share business strategies. Visit Blue Danube in booth #223 or contact info@bluedanube.com to schedule a time to meet with us.


MWC Americas 2017 September 12, 2017 — September 14, 2017

MWC Americas will debut September 12-14, 2017 in San Francisco at the Moscone Center and will be the premier mobile industry event for the Americas. Please join Blue Danube in the Benchmark Electronics booth in North Hall, booth #N1348.

Brooklyn 5G Summit April 19, 2017 — April 22, 2017

Nokia and the NYU WIRELESS research center are jointly organizing the fourth Brooklyn 5G Summit in Brooklyn, NY to be held on April 19-21, 2017.  The 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit brings together mobile industry R&D leaders in business, government, and academia to explore the future of 5G wireless.  Join Blue Danube on April 21 for a presentation on 3D beamforming technologies.  Dr. Mihai Banu will be covering “HDAAS:  An Efficient Massive MIMO Technology ” at 2:30pm.




Richardson, TX – October 8, 2018 – Mavenir, focused on transforming mobile network economics for communications service providers (CSPs), is announcing an Open RAN partner ecosystem that provides more options and makes it easy for operators to deploy an innovative, flexible Cloud-based Open RAN solution.   Mavenir will act as the End-to-End systems integrator simplifying the engagement for operators and creating an offering that is on par with the traditional, hardware centric proprietary vendors.

Ecosystem partners include MTI, Tecore Networks, Baicells, NEC, AceAxis, KMW, Benetel, CommScope, Blue Danube Systems and Airrays.

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Blue Danube Systems First to Demonstrate Benefits of FDD Massive MIMO in Clustered Multi-Sector Deployments

2X capacity improvement achieved over entire coverage area, eliminating edge interference as a major barrier to large scale network adoption


SANTA CLARA, Calif. –February 22nd, 2018 Blue Danube Systems, a provider of intelligent wireless access solutions that help mobile operators address the challenge of explosive data growth, today announced it has successfully expanded the commercial deployment of its massive MIMO solution to multiple clustered cell sites, demonstrating total capacity improvements for directly adjoining sectors on existing LTE networks using current smartphones.

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Blue Danube Systems Joins xRAN Forum as a Massive MIMO System Supplier Fully Committed to Open Interfaces

Brings Unique Experience with FDD Network Deployments and Multi-Site RF Optimization


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – February 22, 2018 Blue Danube Systems, a provider of intelligent wireless access solutions that help mobile operators address the challenge of explosive data growth, today announced that it has joined the xRAN Forum (www.xran.org). The xRAN Forum was formed by several leading global mobile operators to develop, standardize and promote an open alternative to the traditionally closed, hardware-based RAN (Radio Access Network) architecture.

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Blue Danube Systems Collaborates with Rohde & Schwarz to Accelerate Massive MIMO Commercial Deployments

Rohde & Schwarz QualiPoc Android platform enables comprehensive characterization of mobile data and video performance gains from Blue Danube’s BeamCraft™ 500 Massive MIMO system in multiple FDD LTE networks


Columbia, MD, February 22, 2018 – Rohde & Schwarz and Blue Danube Systems announced today that the Rohde & Schwarz QualiPoc smartphone-based mobile network optimization platform was recently used to characterize performance at multiple commercial LTE deployments of Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 advanced massive MIMO system. Built on its High Definition Active Antenna System (HDAAS™) technology, BeamCraft products dramatically improve data capacity of existing LTE networks by dynamically directing radio frequency (RF) beams where mobile traffic is highest and enhancing user experience on today’s smartphones. Through the unique level of control of its 96 active antenna elements, the BeamCraft 500 provides ultra-sharp RF energy control, enabling unprecedented resolution of hotspots and optimization of cell edges.

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RFS and Blue Danube Systems Announce First Active Passive Antenna (APA)

Combines Massive MIMO mid-band and passive low band

MUNICH AND SANTA CLARA, Calif. –February 21, 2018 – RFS and Blue Danube have demonstrated the first Active Passive Antenna (APA) that combines a 96 element Hybrid Massive MIMO antenna for mid band frequencies (1700-2300 MHz) and a low band passive antenna for low band frequencies (600-900 MHz). Outdoor testing results confirm APA performance is uncompromised by the integration.  Several variants have been tested, with gains over 23 dBi gain in the mid band active antenna and 17 dBi in the low band passive antenna. The first commercial system trial will begin in March. Read More

Blue Danube Systems Delivers Revolutionary Breakthrough with Industry’s First Multi-Band and Multi-Standard Massive MIMO Systems

BeamCraft™ 600 enables 5G performance on today’s LTE networks and smartphones while minimizing deployment constraints and operational costs for mobile operators

 SANTA CLARA, Calif. – February 8, 2018 Blue Danube Systems, a provider of intelligent wireless access solutions that help mobile operators address the challenge of explosive data growth, today introduced its second-generation 5G-ready Massive MIMO system, the BeamCraft™ 600 series. An industry first, BeamCraft 600 supports simultaneous beamforming over multiple frequency bands and across multiple cellular standards, allowing operators to deliver increased capacity through a single compact system. Read More

Blue Danube Systems Introduces BeamPlanner™ Optimization Software and Expands Leadership in FDD Massive MIMO Commercial Engagements

The Company also expands executive team after recent Series-C round led by Silver Lake

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –September 11, 2017 Blue Danube Systems, a provider of mobile wireless access solutions that significantly and cost-effectively increase network capacity and enhance quality of service, today announced the release of BeamPlanner™, a software platform used in conjunction with the company’s BeamCraft™ active antenna systems that enables wireless carriers to optimize RF patterns to improve cell capacity and coverage based on siting conditions and dynamic user distributions.Read More

Blue Danube Selects MaxLinear Clock Jitter Cleaner Product for Massive MIMO Wireless Systems

MaxLinear’s new PM7531 provides ultra-low jitter clock that enhances system performance for BeamCraft™ product

BARCELONA – Feb. 27, 2017 – MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for the connected home and wired and wireless infrastructure markets, today announced that Blue Danube has selected its PM7531 as the high-accuracy clock in BeamCraft™, its next-generation massive MIMO product. Read More

Blue Danube Systems Announces Industry’s First FDD LTE Massive MIMO Commercial Trials with Shentel and AT&T

Demonstrates 20X increase in dynamic throughput for enhanced video user experience

Santa Clara, Calif. – February 16, 2017Blue Danube Systems, a provider of mobile wireless access solutions that significantly and cost-effectively increase network capacity, today announced that it has completed first commercial trials of its Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system in licensed FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) LTE spectrum. These trials were conducted using Blue Danube’s BeamCraft™ 500 active antenna product for advanced 3D beamforming, which is capable of delivering a record 160W of transmit power for a Massive MIMO system. Based on its underlying High Definition Active Antenna System (HDAAS™) technology, the 96 element BeamCraft 500 can intelligently and seamlessly focus signal energy where it is needed, allowing wireless carriers to better serve high demand areas and minimize interference zones. Read More

Blue Danube Systems Announces Appointment of Senior Technology Executive to Board of Directors

Santa Clara, Calif. – January 18, 2017Blue Danube Systems, a provider of mobile wireless access solutions that significantly and cost-effectively increase network capacity, today announced that Nick Adamo has been named to the Blue Danube Systems Board of Directors.  Adamo recently retired after serving 21 years at Cisco Systems where in his last role he was Senior Vice President of the Global Service Provider segment, a division responsible for $12 billion in annual sales to telecom operators worldwide.

Adamo brings a deep working knowledge of the networking industry’s business and technology architectures, along with experience from both Enterprise and Service Provider segments to his role on the Blue Danube board.  He acted as the executive sponsor for some of Cisco’s top customers and partners, fostering strategic relationships, guiding business and technology discussions and identifying new opportunities for shared success. Read More