As telecommunications companies look to keep pace with both a rapidly changing market and ever-expanding consumer needs, software defined radio (SDR) systems are increasingly in the spotlight for their simplicity and flexibility.

To find out how one of these systems works and what benefits it has to offer operators, we reached out to Per Vices COO Brandon Malatest to chat about the company’s Crimson SDR unit.

Wireless Week: What are some use cases Crimson is best suited for?

Brandon Malatest: The use cases are as flexible as software. Crimson was designed to provide as much flexibility for multiple functionality. We have noticed the key features and applications most of our customers are using revolve around setting up their own diverse networks for LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth and other protocols operating between DC and 6GHz. In addition, customers are using the low latency features of Crimson in their networks for improved performance. Other use cases include laboratory equipment to test various new products and protocols.

Wireless Week: What advantages does Crimson offer over other SDR systems?

Malatest: Crimson has several unique advantages over other platforms including:
- four receive and four transmit radio chains, each independently configurable
- dual 10Gbps backhaul allowing a substantial amount of information to be passed between Crimson and other equipment
- operating frequency of DC to 6GHz
- over 1200MHz of instantaneous RF bandwidth
- customizable; Per Vices offers tailored solutions to meet the customer’s needs

Wireless Week: What kind of impact do you think a product like Crimson will have on the telecommunications industry? How can carriers benefit from employing Crimson?

Malatest: The impact could be dramatic as it will allow a number of benefits to be achieved. The biggest would likely revolve around the cost benefits from using Crimson as the IDU to not only reduce the equipment cost but concurrently increasing the functionality and network capability; expanding for operation of not just LTE but other frequencies and protocols.

Wireless Week: Do you believe SDR systems like Crimson will remain relevant as the industry moves on from 4G to 5G in the coming years? If so, how?

Malatest: Absolutely. Crimson is designed to be flexible and an application agnostic platform. As the transition moves from 4G to 5G, the only update required for Crimson would be on the software/firmware level. Crimson uses a field programmable gate array (FPGA) based architecture which ensures the platform can be reconfigured based on the user’s needs without the need of changing or replacing the hardware.