RF Engineers Gush Over Multi-beam Antennas

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb Philip Sorrells July 15, 2013

CommScope is not the only company excited about multi-beam antennas. A couple of RF engineers at AT&T are pretty excited about multi-beams, too, as seen in this video about an installation at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. They talk about how a “boutique vendor” helped them develop a 5-beam antenna that greatly improves network capacity. The engineers are excited about how useful multi-beam antenna technology is for staying ahead of the data consumption curve. You can tell how much they enjoy implementing solutions to meet their network’s and customers’ needs.

We enjoy solving network challenges at CommScope, too. And we are definitely excited about multi-beam antennas. In fact we were so excited that we acquired a multi-beam antenna technology leader called Argus Technologies back in 2011. Our complete multi-beam antenna line now includes what we believe is the first 18-Beam antenna in the industry, which packs two rows of nine beams in the 1710–2170 MHz range. We also offer five beam models in the 698–894 MHz and 1710–2170 MHz ranges. And we offer twin beam, ultra wideband and SmartBeam antenna lines as well.

But what is so great about multi-beam base station antennas? We refer to the capability that multi-beams offer to RF engineers as “sector sculpting.” What we mean is that the unique beam forming and beam shaping capabilities of multi-beam antennas allow engineers to finely craft their sectors. Sector sculpting improves noise suppression between sectors, which limits interference, increases the number of accessible subscriber channels, boosts network capacity and strengthens coverage. Because they are so finely tuned to deliver precise antenna patterns from one unit, multi-beam antennas enable operators to boost capacity as their sites. That’s the important part. Multi-beam antennas enable more data traffic, which is what subscribers and operators both want.

Does anyone else have experience implementing multi-beam antennas at a cell site? What kind of experience was that and do you have any feedback? Let me know by leaving a comment.

About the Author

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb

Philip Sorrells

Philip Sorrells is vice president of strategic marketing for CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. He is responsible for marketing strategy, linking key trends in the industry into marketing strategies for telecommunications networks.  Mr. Sorrells has 20 years of experience in the telecom industry with Allen Telecom, Andrew Corporation and CommScope, having spent 10 years prior with Texas Instruments. He has led the wireless industry in adopting many antenna system innovations—including remote electrical tilt (RET) technology for network optimization—and pioneering the concept of “agile networks,” which formed the basis for current initiatives in self-organizing networks. Mr. Sorrells has three patents related to antenna systems and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Texas Tech University.