We discuss the current challenges, solutions and emerging technologies
Antennas are the wires of the wireless world. They are the last stop for a signal on its way from a transmitter and the point of entry for a signal coming home to a receiver. A wireless network can be built with the world’s latest high-performance radio technology and best fiber optic backbone, but the network will only perform as good as the antennas used to send and receive the signals from the radio. A poor quality, poor performing antenna will cripple overall performance and bring the high-performance radios to their knees. Without good antennas, wireless is just less.
But not all antennas are created equal. The right antenna can make the difference between a wireless system that delivers on expectations, and one that falls flat. When designing any wireless system, the antennas must be carefully chosen to fulfill system requirements and the demands of end users. Many additional factors must also be considered, from RF performance to installation requirements to site aesthetics to total cost of ownership.
In this report, we will examine a few different site antenna solutions, with a primary focus on small cell site antennas including cannister antennas and RF lens multi-beam antennas. Before we begin that discussion, we will examine the differences between macro cells and small cells and what those differences mean when selecting antennas.