Beamforming Antenna Supports 3.5 GHz Band Applications for LTE & 5G

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems for wireless infrastructure, today announced the release of a new 8-port TDD beamforming antenna for the 3.5 GHz band (3300-3800 MHz). The ability to support 3.5 GHz applications is pivotal as operators around the world seek to accommodate growing LTE demand, deploy new small cells, and prepare for the imminent rollout of 5G.

The 3.5 GHz band is presently licensed in many countries and under auction in others. Operators in Europe and the Middle East, Asia and South America, for example, are looking to this frequency to increase LTE network capacity in densely populated urban areas. In the U.S., leading operators are establishing the necessary framework to make the 3.5 GHz band suitable for sharing in order to deploy base stations utilizing low-power and high-power small cells. Furthermore, the 3.5 GHz band is poised to be the ideal mid-band spectrum for the eventual worldwide rollout of 5G networks.

The 3.5 GHz band will play a critical role in the evolution of wireless networks and RFS plans to deliver innovative products that will allow their customers to make the most of this frequency band in order to maximize LTE network capacity today and prepare for 5G tomorrow. This new antenna is the first in a multi-phased roadmap for providing future-proof technologies for 3.5GHz frequencies.

The newest TDD antenna from RFS provides an ideal solution using four columns for flexible use in MIMO Beamforming applications in the 3.5 GHz band. 

Key features include:

  • Multiple individual beam control (Unit Beam)
  • Single high-powered beam option (Broadcast Beam)
  • Beam steering flexibility (Service Beam)
  • Integrated, field-replaceable AISG-compliant RET motor
  • Robust, UV-resistant ASA radome for high long-term heat resistance
  • Calibration port functionality for precise steering performance
  • Variable electrical down tilt 2-10 degrees

RFS will expand its product portfolio in 2018 with the introduction of an ultra-wideband antenna supporting up to 4.2 GHz. This extension will allow operators to reuse the 4.2 GHz band, currently used for broadband access, for LTE. This next step of RFS’ 3.5 GHz strategy will also help operators overcome the challenge of insufficient installation space as they transition from 4G to 5G by integrating the 3.5 GHz beam forming functionality into the legacy multi-broadband antenna supporting low (694-960 MHz), mid (1400-2400 MHz) and high bands (1695-2690 MHz). This will allow the operators to efficiently use the available space on the site towers.