new frequency bands (e.g. 700, 800, 1400MHz) become available, operators need
to review the smartest ways to upgrade their wireless network, especially when
it comes to deploying new spectrum across base station antennas.
while the radio frequency (RF) domain is changing quickly, it’s better to plan
this network modernization carefully to maximize benefits while minimizing
costs in the long term.
I’ve outlined five steps that mobile network providers
can take when selecting new antennas:
Step 1: Understand the radio
It’s critical to understand the current and future
frequency bands that the operator is planning to use (at least for the next five
years) and when these bands will be available. This information serves as a
guide for BSA selection.
Step 2: Add technologies to
the frequency matrix
Next, we need to link technologies to the
listed frequency bands, taking into consideration the technology generation,
MIMO order, used features (e.g. beam steering) and radio module types (single
RAN, separated radio, dual radio band, etc.).
Step 3: Use combiners
Combiners are mainly used to reduce the number of
running cables/jumpers and share two, three or four frequency
bands/technologies on the same antenna ports. Using combiners will drive the
operator to share the same e-tilt setting with all combined branches.
Next go back to the frequency matrix and add your
combiners. By completing this step, the
total number of needed RF ports is identified.
Step 4: Check your current
Check your network inventory, warehouse and installed
antennas. Do your antennas support all
mentioned frequency bands or only some of them?
How many antennas are needed to cover all these bands and ports?
Try to have two or three options. For example:
- Option1: new 22port (6xLB + 8xHB + 8xBeamSteering).
- Option2: Using 2 existing antennas: 14port (6xLB + 8xHB) and 8port
- Option3: New 6port antenna (2xLB + 4xHB) beside the existing 8port (4xLB+4xHB)
and 8port (8xBeamSteering).
Step 5: Categorize with tower
Based on your tower structures and their load
capability, you will categorize your sites and select the best antenna solution
- New sites & weak structures sites: will use new 22port antenna.
- Medium structure sites: 2 existing antennas will be used: 14port with
- Heavy duty structures sites: new 6port with
existing 8port and 8port (beam steering) antennas will be used.
This should provide a blueprint for deployment. If you have questions or would like support
from CommScope, please get in touch.