The Opportunities and Challenges of LTE Unlicensed in 5 GHz
David Witkowski, Executive Director, Wireless Communications Initiative
In 1998, the Federal Communications Commission established the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure or U-NII 5 GHz bands. These are used primarily for Wi-Fi networks in homes, offices, hotels, airports, and other public spaces and also consumer devices. U-NII is also used by wireless Internet Service Providers, linking public safety radio sites, and for monitoring and critical infrastructure such as gas/oil pipelines.

MMD March 2014

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Band Reject Filter Series
Higher frequency band reject (notch) filters are designed to operate over the frequency range of .01 to 28 GHz. These filters are characterized by having the reverse properties of band pass filters and are offered in multiple topologies. Available in compact sizes.
RLC Electronics

SP6T RF Switch
JSW6-33DR+ is a medium power reflective SP6T RF switch, with reflective short on output ports in the off condition. Made using Silicon-on-Insulator process, it has very high IP3, a built-in CMOS driver and negative voltage generator.

Group Delay Equalized Bandpass Filter
Part number 2903 is a group delayed equalized elliptic type bandpass filter that has a typical 1 dB bandwidth of 94 MHz and a typical 60 dB bandwidth of 171 MHz. Insertion loss is <2 dB and group delay variation from 110 to 170 MHz is <3nsec.
KR Electronics

Absorptive Low Pass Filter
Model AF9350 is a UHF, low pass filter that covers the 10 to 500 MHz band and has an average power rating of 400W CW. It incurs a rejection of 45 dB minimum at the 750 to 3000 MHz band, and power rating of 25W CW from 501 to 5000 MHz.

LTE Band 14 Ceramic Duplexer
This high performance LTE ceramic duplexer was designed and built for use in public safety communication and commercial cellular applications. It operates in Band 14 and offers low insertion loss and high isolation to enable clear communications in the LTE network.
Networks International

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October 2012

Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas Develops New Multi-Beam Hub Base Station Antenna for Ultra Fast MIMO
By Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas

A new Multi-Beam Hub Base Station antenna, model number MBA6-3.5DS45/2045, has been developed by Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas to enable MIMO (multiple input multiple output) radio system operators to meet their goal of 1Gbps/km2 anywhere within a cell

Designed for high speed MIMO 4G (and beyond) urban access for backhaul, this was originally a European Union funded project that has become a finished and available multi-beam antenna with additional military and security beneficial applications.

By removing barriers to next-generation network deployment, this multi-narrow-beam antenna allows for a dramatic increase in capacity over existing communication systems. It provides an essential component enabling an improvement to the overall infrastructure capacity density of the current mobile network by an order of magnitude (10x). Projected deployment for this hub base station antenna system is for it to communicate with a network of “below-rooftop” access base stations using existing structures. The system strategy with these access base stations will allow self-backhauling.

Image Pattern 1: Typical measured elevation pattern for each of the 6 beams within the array

This multi-beam antenna has 90º coverage (a 90º arc) utilising six individual narrow beam patterns, each with a half power beamwidth of 15º. MIMO capability is provided with +/-45º polarisation in each of the six 15º sectors.

The advantage of this format is that a narrow beam can create high density coverage within a specific narrow area, allowing for a high level of frequency re-use whilst being far more efficient than installing 6 separate narrow beam directional antennas. By positioning four multi-beam antennas in a square formation, complete 360º coverage is achieved as this provides 24 dual-polarised beams. The current system benefits from meeting ETSI specification for multi-beam antennas (EN 302 326-3 V.1.1.2) and provides low side-lobe levels for greater system efficiency.

For security and military applications, the technology can be scaled to cover other frequency bands, with applications such as communications to multiple mobile platforms (ground or airborne). This system has the benefit of providing higher gain over a wider angle than a single sector antenna. Communications are more secure and less prone to intercept and jamming than wide beam or Omni antennas.

The antenna measures only 586mm (23") high x 456mm (17.95") wide x 76mm (3") deep, making it extremely compact given that it provides 2 x 6 beams each with 17dBi peak gain. For dense urban deployment, this compact m.ulti-beam antenna will reduce wind-load on towers and the cost of installation compared with conventional alternatives.

Image Pattern 2: Measured azimuth patterns for the 6 x 15º beams showing how little degradation of gain there is across the set of patterns. Note each beam has two polarizations (+/-45º)

The antenna element comprises a single cross-dipole assembly operating at a centre frequency of 3.5GHz interlocked in a configuration which provides a slant dual polar beam. Eight sets of these assemblies are fed in phase through a stripline feed to create the single 110˚ sector antenna which forms the basis for the array. There are 8 sector antennas in the complete assembly.

In order for the 6 (x2 polarisations) narrow beams to be formed to cover the 90º arc, two 8x8 Butler matrix beam forming devices are used to feed the separate ports of each antenna element. By a mechanism of fixed phase shifters and couplers, the Butler matrices provide defined sets of phases into each of the 8 internal antenna elements which results in two sets of 6 skewed beams. (The two outer ones covering +/-60º are not currently used).

Within the new unit the Butler matrix devices are fully integrated into the antenna, eliminating the need for 16 phased-matched cables, making for a much more efficient and cost-effective antenna.

In this antenna the down-tilt is a nominal 2º across the band of interest, i.e. 3.4 – 3.6GHz with an elevation beamwidth of 10˚ to the half-power point.

About Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas, Newmarket
European Antennas Ltd, trading as Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas, is a British company based near Newmarket, Suffolk. They are specialists in the design and development of high quality antennas used for defence, security, satellite and commercial communication systems. More than 60% of production is exported. Antenna development projects are undertaken.

About Cobham
Cobham specialises in meeting the demand for data, connectivity and bandwidth in defence, security and commercial environments. Offering a technically diverse and innovative range of technologies and services, the Group protects lives and livelihoods, responding to customer needs with agility that differentiates it. The most important thing we build is trust. Employing more than 10,000 people on five continents, the Group has customers and partners in over 100 countries.

For technical queries on the Multi- Beam Antenna:

Head of Business Development
Malcolm Ware
+44 1638 732172

Cobham Antenna Systems
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Uncertain Times for DefenseWill OpenRFM Shake Up the Microwave Industry?
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Throughout the history of the RF and microwave industry there has never been a form factor standardizing the electromechanical, software, control plane, and thermal interfaces used by integrated microwave assemblies (IMAs) employed in defense systems. Rather, every system has been built to meet the requirements of a specific system, which may be but probably isn’t compatible with any other system. It’s simply the way the industry has always responded to requests from subcontractors that in turn must meet the physical, electrical, and RF requirements of prime contractors. Read More...

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