Modern Antenna Strategy: Vital, Overlooked Impact

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Knowing where and when to densify or extend coverage and with which spectral assets to meet varying traffic load conditions will make or break your ability to serve this decade’s advanced 5G use cases.

All the while, ambitions for network expansion must be weighed carefully against cost of investment, as well as strict deployment considerations, site energy consumption and site footprint.

It’s like an extreme game of chess. One that’s played out multi-dimensionally, where your opponent’s material continuously change rank and position at will.

It’s widely known that spectrally efficient radio technologies such as multi-band carrier aggregation, spectrum sharing, and Massive MIMO play a pivotal role in unlocking required 5G coverage and capacity peak rate. However, there is another hero in this story, one whose impact is decisive in delivering cost- and energy-efficient 5G performance buildout. 

Step forward, the antenna system. As one of the most performance-defining parts of the modern network, antenna systems make a measurable impact on network quality, energy consumption, site footprint and overall total cost of ownership (TCO). So, like chess, strategy is everything.

Here are the seven strategic tenets that will be key to sustaining an efficient and performant antenna rollout for 5G and beyond.

  • Tenet 1: Unveiling imperceptible innovation for unparalleled multi-band capabilities: The revolutionary ‘invisible radiator’ technology integrated into multi-band solutions is pivotal in addressing the performance and network efficiency needs of the upcoming generation. This cutting-edge technology achieves beam efficiency gains of up to 85 percent.
  • Tenet 2: Energy-efficient antenna systems are not only crucial for meeting emission targets but also decisive for enhancing network and business performance: Low-loss multi-band antenna systems play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions, supporting ongoing network densification and expansion. Moreover, they significantly contribute to lowering site energy costs.
  • Tenet 3: Optimal antenna performance as a key differentiator for network quality: Crafting a high-performance antenna is akin to designing an aircraft, incorporating computational fluid dynamics and rigorous environmental testing to elevate structural, mechanical, and electrical performance to new levels.
  • Tenet 4: Long-term value proposition outweighs initial cost considerations for antenna systems: A successful antenna strategy should extend beyond mere capital expenditures (CAPEX) and prioritize factors such as sustained performance, energy efficiency, deployment flexibility, low failure rates, and other enduring values.
  • Tenet 5: Multi-layer services are essential for unlocking the complete 5G experience: Embracing multi-layer 5G is imperative to realize the full potential of the 5G experience. Service providers can achieve the necessary spectral efficiency, site resource optimization, and space savings through integrated and interleaved antenna technologies, including the crucial Massive MIMO.
  • Tenet 6: Transformation of site design through compact antennas: Shrinking the size of antenna equipment significantly impacts both existing sites and new dense urban hotspots, enabling enhanced coverage and capacity. This often necessitates a fresh approach to site deployment, with innovative solutions taking center stage.
  • Tenet 7: Elevating coverage and capacity through advanced signaling performance: Multi-antenna technologies, such as beamforming, null forming, and spatial multiplexing, are indispensable for delivering optimal 5G coverage and capacity. However, service providers must carefully balance these techniques to achieve the desired results.

Much like an intricate game of chess played out in multiple dimensions, the success of a modern 5G mobile network hinges on a well-thought-out antenna strategy. The opponent in this multi-dimensional game constantly shifts, demanding adaptability and precision.

Just as strategy is paramount in chess, the seven strategic tenets outlined here are crucial for sustaining an efficient and performant antenna rollout for 5G and beyond. Ericsson, a leader in antenna solutions, is at the forefront of this strategic evolution, pioneering innovative technologies that enable a more efficient and cost-effective 5G performance buildout.

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