Common terms & acronyms used in wireless industry
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Backhaul - The part of the network responsible for transporting communication data between the baseband unit (BBU) and the core network. Connects smaller outlying networks with the core network. Backhaul was often proprietary in earlier cellular generations but is moving to ethernet in 5G.
Base Station Network Emulator - A tool for simulating protocol and network traffic in a test environment. Works in concert with UE emulation and channel emulation to provide an end-to-end system for testing and measuring 5G network performance at scale.
BBU - Baseband Unit - A component of the base station. Equipment which handles radio communications and radio control processing functions. The baseband unit converts data into a digital signal and sends it on to the remote radio head (RRH), which then converts it into an analog signal. In a C-RAN architecture, the baseband unit is usually geographically separated from the radio head.
BDA - Bi-Directional Amplifier - BDA’s boost wireless cellular signals and are commonly used as part of over-the-air DAS systems deployed in smaller venues
Beam Acquisition - The process of discovering and connecting with UEs. This process is substantially changing in 5G with the deployment of highly directional antenna arrays and beamforming techniques.
Beam Steering - A set of techniques used to focus the direction and shape of a radiation pattern. In wireless communications, beam steering changes the direction of the signal and narrows the width of the transmitted signal, typically by manipulating relative phase and amplitude shifts of the signal through an array of multiple antenna elements.
Beamforming - The method of applying relative phase and amplitude shifts to each antenna element to shape and provide discrete control of the direction of a transmitted beam. Beamforming requires communication channel feedback to implement real-time control of the beam.
BTS - Base Transceiver Station - A high power radio-frequency station deployed by carriers for iDAS and oDAS installations
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