Originally published by Fierce Wireless
Author: Monica Alleven
CommScope is introducing new 3.5 GHz-capable antennas for macro and small cells, serving customers in the U.S. and in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
The company said that customers deploying newly licensed spectrum bands will be able to increase capacity in existing LTE networks and prepare for future 5G networks with its new 3.5 GHz-capable base station antennas.
Generally speaking, the small cell products are focused on the U.S. market, which is preparing to launch the Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) band at 3.5 GHz, while the macro cell products are focused on markets outside the U.S.
Because these are passive products, no FCC approval is required, a spokesperson said in response to a query from FierceWirelessTech.
Mobile operators are one of the primary customer segments for these products, but neutral hosts, such as tower companies that set up sites and lease them to mobile operators, represent another class of customer.
CommScope, which has been well-known in the wireless infrastructure space for years, entered newer territory when it ran against Google and Federated Wireless in the Spectrum Access System (SAS) arena last year. By September, it had made a name for itself by winning AT&T’s business as its SAS administrator.
With these new antenna products, CommScope said it’s opening up avenues of capacity for operators that are getting overburdened on their networks.
Here are a few key attributes of the new antennas:
- Support for 3.5 GHz for macro cell and outdoor small cell deployments with a variety of single band and multiband options available, including beamforming
- Enabling spectral efficiencies with carrier aggregation, higher-order MIMO, interference management and beamtilt capabilities
- “Future-ready” as part of the path to 5G and compatible with LTE and earlier radio technologies
“There are limited number of RF products, including base station antennas, combiners, and tower mounted amplifiers, available to the market for 3.5 GHz bands,” said Iain Gillott, president of iGR, in a press release. “3.5 GHz-capable base station antennas and RF path equipment for macro cell upgrades and outdoor small cell deployments will be critical for operators that are strained on network capacity.”
CommScope said additional antennas and combiners for multiband will be available in the coming months.