Most mobile operators have standard sets of antenna models, which served
them well in the past and are supposed to help them prepare for the future. Radio
frequency (RF) planning teams are already familiar with their specs and the
procurement department is proud of their pre-negotiated discounted prices. So
CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope's Mohamed Nadder Hamdy gives you three reasons to update your antenna shopping list.
The Need for Ultra-Wide Band Antennas
Back in 2015, during the ITU World Radio Conference
(WRC-15), a number of new bands had been allocated for use in mobile networks.
These include the television UHF 2nd digital dividend (700MHz), the satellite
L-band (1400MHz) and C-band (3500MHz). Similarly,
in North America, new spectrum had been auctioned in the 600MHz range.
If you operate in a country where new bands
are expected to become available, considering an ultra-wide band antenna
alternative leads to a longer-term capital expenditure (CapEx) investment.
The Need for Less Antennas and More Ports
As we modernize our radio access networks (RANs)
with more bands, more technologies and higher MIMO schemes, the number of
legacy antennas continues to build up. Shared and rented civil infrastructure operating
expenses (OpEx) costs skyrocket exponentially while owned towers hit their
maximum wind loads’ capacities.
Field deployments have shown each advanced multi-band
antenna replacing on average 3 to 4 legacy ones, with improved performance. To
fit different markets, CommScope has developed a number of standard arrays
platforms. For example, the platform II in figure, is equipped with two low
band arrays for 4x4 MIMO support on the low bands. The platforms can be further
customized in gain and in number of ports, by internal diplexing, as needed.
If you are using shared civil infrastructure
or facing tower wind loading limitations, consider advanced multi band antennas
with a matching platform.
The Need for Lower PIM and Smaller Connectors
Adding more bands and ports increases passive
Intermodulation (PIM) risks. PIM becomes a major concern when it falls into the
operational uplink range, immediately killing cells’ capacities. The increase
in ports counts also adds challenges to installation technicians: the
in-between connectors’ space becomes too tight for properly torqueing 7-16 DIN
connectors in place, resulting in even more passive intermodulation (PIM) risks.
Modern antennas are equipped with smaller and higher PIM rated 4.3-10
connectors. The small size allows integrating more ports on the antennas bottom
plate and adds quick ‘snap on’ and ‘hand tightening’ options besides the
traditional ‘screw on’ as shown in picture.
If your standard antennas use 7-16 DIN
connectors, consider upgrading to the 4.3-10 models in future orders. Hybrid
jumpers exist enabling connections to traditional 7-16 connectors radios.
Still having doubts with your future proof antenna
selection choices? Contact us and our experts will be there to support in
selecting the optimal platform and evolution plans. Happy shopping.