CommScope has launched what it claims is one of the most significant innovations in Andrew Solutions microwave antenna technology. The Sentinal microwave antenna is designed to address three of the greatest challenges facing wireless network operators – rapidly increasing data traffic, spectrum scarcity and return on network investment.
Sentinel is engineered for performance to maximize the use of wireless spectrum, while withstanding heavy demands in data growth. CommScope said that customers can be sure that the technology powering their solution won’t become obsolete before or soon after deployment.
An improvement in radiation pattern helps squeeze more out of available spectrum and typically yields 40% higher link density. CommScope said the result is more capacity moving traffic between cell sites and the core network, helping lessen strain on the network and preventing impacts to performance. Higher radio modulation schemes can be used and Sentinel can also minimize interference in the network.
In addition, the company said that every component of the Sentinel solution is geared towards saving customers money. It points out that the price tag for a backhaul microwave antenna is really only part of the total overall cost of ownership – nearly 70% of the money spent on backhaul actually comes after the purchase. Sentinel allows smaller antennas to be deployed, which may provide savings in capital and operational expenses.
Bulkier-sized antennas drive up operating expenses due to larger tower space leasing and zoning considerations. Installations also are typically more complex and with greater maintenance requirements, which can increase the likelihood of longer network downtime. Sentinel’s small footprint makes installation easy and keeps maintenance costs low. The antenna is further designed to be lightweight yet durable, so it can endure winds as strong as 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour).
‘Wireless network operators are facing serious issues related to network capacity and with the rollout of LTE, traffic growth projections are expected to climb,’ said Paul Bell, senior vice president of Microwave Antennas, CommScope. ‘There’s so much that needs to be factored into an effective backhaul solution, but it all comes down to performance and long-term costs. In creating Sentinel, as with all our other backhaul solutions, we wanted to give our customers the best of both worlds and something that would support them today and in the years ahead.’
Terrestrial microwave antennas produce highly directional beams typically used in point-to-point microwave systems. CommScope manufactures a full line of terrestrial microwave antennas for applications such as fixed-line telecommunications networks, broadband wireless, wireless infrastructure and television broadcasting. Its Andrew microwave antennas provide a cost-effective solution for all terrestrial microwave systems operating at frequencies between 3.5 GHz and 80 GHz and in sizes from 8 in. (0.2 m) to 15 ft. (4.6 m) in diameter.