As mobile data traffic continues to rise, there are three main ways to expand network capacity:
- Increasing network densification
- Adding spectrum
- Enhancing spectral efficiency through technology upgrades
The second and third options are more costly, so wireless operators, if feasible, first lean towards densifying their networks.
In mature networks, network densification is achievable through a number of techniques, mostly by adding small cells or splitting macro sites into more sectors. Sector splitting is easier to implement; however, it can introduce new interference risks as a result of sector overlap. One solution to managing sector overlap comes in the form of multibeam antennas.
CommScope’s multibeam antennas broadcast multiple beams from one antenna with unique beam forming and beam shaping capabilities enabling engineers to finely craft their sectors. These capabilities improve noise suppression between sectors, limiting the risk of interference. Multibeam antennas add instantaneous, cost-efficient capacity to macro sites in a minimized overlap pattern design.
But like with any network solution, there are some challenges and concerns with the deployment of multibeam antennas. To address these concerns and offer solutions, CommScope offers a new white paper titled “Multibeam antennas planning—limitations and solutions.” In it you will find more detailed discussions about the technical challenges of using multibeam antennas for sector splitting, such as:
- Planning tips for minimizing coverage gaps
- Addressing physical cell identity (PCI) planning issues in LTE
- Overcoming neighbor lists’ limitations
If you want your own copy of the white paper, click here to download it. If you have any additional questions, leave me a comment, and I’ll gladly reply.