The 5G world is almost upon us and with it will come new applications such as virtual reality, augmented reality, self-driving cars, digital healthcare, robotics, and massive use of the Internet of Things (IoT), all of which will affect our daily lives. However, to achieve these capabilities, there are still numerous technical and economic challenges facing the industry that must be solved. Massive multiple input multiple output (mMIMO) antenna and radios systems are a key enabler of the Advanced LTE (4.9G) and 5G ecosystem. While these systems will be used for both small cell and macro sites, one of the challenges for mobile network operator(MNOs) is how to deploy these systems on already crowded and constrained macro sites.
RFS is developing Active-Passive Antenna (APA) systems that address this challenge. APAs are systems in which mMIMO systems and the passive antennas used in 4G systems are tightly integrated through shared electronics, radio frequency (RF) components and chassis. RFS featured a prototype APA at this year's MWC Barcelona event in February.