A Chat Between Cellnex and Alpha Wireless
Colin Cunningham, Managing Director of Cellnex Ireland and Fergal Lawlor, CEO of Alpha Wireless, took a few minutes in the Alpha Wireless manufacturing facility for to discuss the Alpha Wireless Tri-Sector Antenna Platform.
The conversation was about how the Alpha Wireless Tri-Sector antenna platform is providing neutral host Cellnex with the ability to serve multiple operators from a single streetworks pole and providing cost and concealment advantages.
Cellnex Deployed AW3836 in Dublin for H3
Colin, we talked about the AW3836 Tri-Sector antenna Cellnex has deployed in Dublin for H3. It has a very compact form factor. We use our patented technology that interleaves mid-band arrays on either side of the low bands, so it shares the same platform or ground plane, enabling us to shrink the diameter.
Down at the bottom, we have the 5G arrays. That’s 8T8R on the 5G, so with this modular design, we can replace that 5G module with another set or double stack these to keep the modular design. This configuration enables us to keep the form factor at a 360 mm diameter. It’s a seamless transition on the poles we’re deploying.
What we’ve done is create more capability in a smaller space in the antenna. The big breakthrough is our Frequency Transparent Dipole Technology™ (FTDT) which enables different frequency bands to share the same arrays.
Economies of Scale with a Two-Operator Solution
What’s the impact, Fergal, if I want to do a two-operator solution? Does this antenna give us a better chance with your new technology?
The two-operator solution you’re using for the Get Connected program is two of these double-stacked, so that gives each operator six ports per sector. You can go a bit more than that by putting up another stack or adding 5G.
Alpha Wireless Patented FTDT Technology Makes the Difference
Have you seen this type of technology anywhere else in the world? You have a patent on this, right?
Yes, we have a patent on this technology.
Some of our competitors are wrapping three standard panel antennas around a pole and putting a shroud around it. In that case, the diameter is between seven and eight hundred millimeters. We design our antennas to be Tri-Sectors. This whole platform we designed ensures we can fit everything into the 360 mm form factor without compromising performance.
That is what Alpha Wireless is passionate about – keeping the form factor and developing all the time. We can really make a difference; it’s an advantage we bring. Our team has worked on these for several years, so it’s been a long time under development.
Concealment Resolves Planning and Zoning Requirements
Still, we’re all about concealing the solutions and making sure our customers can put antennas where they need them without huge objections from the communities.
You must see a big opportunity with many sites. This challenge is not something new; it is something that’s happening in different parts of the world. We’re doing something in Ireland for the first time, but all the sites delivered over the last 10-15 years – I’m sure there’s a big opportunity to enhance those sites and upgrade them with this new technology.
Yes, that is a huge opportunity. There is also an opportunity to bring these antennas into places without sites and locations where you couldn’t build something before. Small cells experience the same challenges. As you start deploying in built-up areas, the concealed solution is very important.
Can you now apply this new design approach to all your antennas?
Yes. We typically do these on the canister-type antennas for small cells and macro streetworks solutions. They’re the main two, but we also use this technology for standard macro panels. We haven’t gone to the same effort to shrink these down because it’s not such a requirement.
Cost Benefits to the Operator from FTDT Antennas
What is the benefit to the operator in terms of cost? The capabilities are much better, but is the cost per unit better?
Yes. It allows us to drive the cost down. We’ve modularized the platform to start using the same components on multiple antennas, which helps drive our manufacturing costs down for a better cost to customers.
In our case, if we can take this approach and apply it to a new site with the capability for two operators, potentially at the same cost as one, you’re driving the opportunity for the operators to roll out more sites. Yes, so it’s really good.
Want to Know More?
Alpha Wireless is constantly innovating in response to market changes. We’d be happy to discuss your challenges and how Alpha Wireless Tri-Sector antennas can help you increase capacity and performance and keep costs down. Contact one of our antenna experts today.
If you’d like to know more about Alpha Wireless Tri-Sector antenna solutions:
- Our Tri-Sector Solutions: https://alphawireless.com/macro-concealed-tri-sector-solutions/
- AW3836 Tri-Sector Antenna: AW3836 Tri-Sector antenna
- Our FTDT Technology: Frequency Transparent Dipole Technology™ (FTDT)