Alpha Wireless’ latest product is expected to create a buzz in wireless markets across the globe as it delivers a high-quality solution for 3.5 GHz, CBRS, and 5G.
The AW3711 is a 4-port panel antenna that delivers a narrow 33-degree Azimuth beam designed for the 3.5GHz band. This provides operators with an extremely cost-effective way to increase site capacity.
Typically, a cell site will have three 65° sectors covering 360°. Replacing these with six 33° sectors can theoretically double the site capacity. This is the process of sectorisation by way of adding new sectors to an existing cell site.
Of course, sectorisation will require more radios to support the additional antennas but compared to other methods of increasing capacity such as, building new sites or adding new frequency spectrum, this can be a much cheaper solution.
One of the side effects of reducing the Azimuth beamwidth of an antenna is the presence of sidelobes that occur off the main Azimuth beam. These represent signals being emitted in unwanted directions off the main beam and into adjacent sectors. Unwanted signals (or interference) can prevent signal reception particularly when adjacent sectors use the same frequency.
Alpha Wireless Global Director Solution Development Martin Barrett says “a particularly attractive feature of the AW3711 is that it minimises sidelobe interference. This means that the AW3711 antenna can be used to cost effectively increase capacity while ensuring sidelobe-interference is kept to an outright minimum”.
Its four ports enable MIMO functions, 2T4R or 4T4R, and integrated RET enables elevation tilt optimisation.
The 3.5GHz band is gaining traction across global markets and Barrett says the AW3711 is already generating wide interest from operators using this method to improve capacity.
“In the US, we’re also anticipating a surge in demand with the launch of CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service). As a 3.5GHz-dedicated product, the AW3711 provides an excellent solution for this new venture and it can be widely used by WISPs and MNOs where higher capacity sites are required.”