New White Paper: Antennas Improve 3.5GHz Network Performance

Apr 28, 2021 | CBRS

It’s no secret that 3.5GHz is the hottest new telecommunications topic. The numbers show it: global investment in LTE and 5G NR RAN infrastructure operating in shared and unlicensed spectrum is expected to reach $1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

Established operators and new carriers alike are looking for ways to close the digital divide, delivering high-speed broadband to previously underserved populations. Rural areas are prime targets and increasing demands in urban areas are motivating operators to capitalize on solutions for faster, higher-performance connectivity.

Fixed wireless service, especially in the 3.5 GHz spectrum, is exploding for several reasons:

  • It costs a fraction of wireline options to install
  • Newly available spectrum is favorable to fixed wireless
  • Consumer demand is surging
  • Government funding is available, such as CAF II, RDOF and the CARES Act in the U.S.

Knowledge is Power

New technology promises to deliver new functionality, new services, new opportunity. But along with that comes a learning curve. It is expected, but it can also be expensive. Miscalculated decisions on a large network build can strain budgets and profits in the short and long term.

Choosing appropriate antennas with the right characteristics can save your build budget, your profitability and your all-important customer experience.

Choose Antennas that Reduce Side Lobe Interference

In a densely packed RF environment, antenna side lobe energy can spill over, overlap with neighboring sectors, and severely reduce customer download speeds. Geographic barriers – mountains, trees and buildings – and interference from other carriers can likewise impact service levels.

Choosing antennas that reduce side lobes and engineering for other interference issues during the build can save on initial and ongoing costs. It can also make a huge difference in the service your customers experience. When customers are happy, they keep their service. When they are not getting the service they’re promised, they look elsewhere and that erodes your customer base and profitability.

Adjust Antenna Beam Width

Typical 3.5 GHz network builds use a three-sector, 65-degree antenna design. Yet the resulting overlap area can reduce CINR levels and consequently erode download speeds for customers.

Instead, choose a high-performance, 33-degree beamwidth, six-sector antenna with optimized azimuth and elevation side lobe suppression. This gives you the best of both worlds – the ability to serve more users from a single node at the service levels customers expect.

Choose an Experienced Partner

You don’t have to go it alone. Choosing an antenna partner with experience building 4G and 5G networks in the 3.5 GHz spectrum saves you time and money on your budget and helps you avoid costly mistakes.

Alpha Wireless Advises, Designs and Delivers

Alpha Wireless has been innovating and building antennas in the 3.5 GHz space globally for more than 15 years. We’ve seen…and solved…a multitude of difficult network issues. We have a broad range of antenna styles that are adaptable to the most complex network environment. If we don’t have an antenna that fits your application, we’ll build it within your schedule.

Alpha Wireless antennas improved network performance for Australian, Canadian and Irish operators. Get the white paper



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