For a wireless cellular network to achieve its full operating potential, each sector within the network must perform up to its design standard. Reducing Passive Intermodulation (PIM) is a key component of maintaining an efficient network.
When this does not occur, the economic impact to the service provider can be substantial:
To achieve the full operating potential of each node in the network, each Radio Frequency (RF) component and interconnection of RF path components must be properly installed, verified and maintained to insure optimum performance over time.
Viewed from the RF perspective, to maximize performance, it is essential that:
There are more components than ever in the RF path; each additional component is another potential source of signal degradation. All of these components contribute to INCREASING system Insertion Loss and REDUCING the overall Return Loss value, which simply stated means “The system performance is getting worse”.
Wireless operators have invested a lot of money into 3G and 4G networks and will continue to do so for the next generation of technologies. These investments are often overlaid on the existing network, utilizing existing tower equipment such as coaxial feeder cable, filters and base station antennas.
Operators are increasingly taking steps to avoid potential signal degradation that can result from overlays, especially when adding new frequency bands. Passive Intermodulation (PIM), being one of the causes of signal degradation, is enough of an issue today that many operators are deploying PIM testing equipment to the field to confirm PIM performance of the site.
The net result? The incidence and cost of PIM is no longer simply a nuisance, it is a critical threat to network efficiency, channel capacity, and bottom line profit.
Get certified to avoid these issues with the SP6160 course at the CommScope Infrastructure Academy, or view our other courses in our eBook here to better understand the passive infrastructure that underpins your network.