Using a radio’s integrated antenna is convenient, but it will require a largersite count, and will only offer mediocre network performance.
The careful choice of antennas improves network performance while decreasing overall capital investment. Using a radio’s built-in antenna is an easy option, but more careful network planning shows an external antenna can reduce overall site count and significantly improve the experience of mobile network users.
In this paper, the InfoVista networking planning tool is used to build two small cell networks in an identical downtown area, one using the radio’s integrated antenna, and the other using a carefully chosen high performance external antenna. A site count reduction of 20%+ is gained using the external antenna, and data rate improvements of up to 20% across the network are achieved even when using the lower site count.