The global epidemic has created a new norm that continues to lead to a lasting change in the practice of remote work-anywhere (WFA). As a result, reliable access to high-speed Internet, video streaming, and online conferencing is no longer just a ‘nice-stay’ capability. Connection to this new one is now essential ‘Tele-everything’ A world where work, healthcare, education, shopping, entertainment and social interaction are all online.
Furthermore, as the WFA movement expands population centers and work to smaller towns, peripheral suburbs, and rural communities, so too will advanced digital access extend beyond urban areas. This population transfer will only increase the urgency to repair the digital divide, as in rural areas across the American Midwest, where considerable time and money has already been spent. Investment.
Ongoing transformation across digital platforms – across all aspects of our daily lives – is driving a growing demand for ever-on hyper-connectivity. And as network operators everywhere try to build mobile and stable wireless capabilities to meet this insatiable demand for data, the race to dominate the 5G market continues.
The rapid growth of commercial installations has encouraged the growing adoption of 5G, and as consumers become more familiar with the next generation of technology, so does the expectation of quality of experience (QoE). However, improved QoE delivery requires concentration of network topologies outside of urban areas, which is proving challenging for many network operators.
Often, plans to create macro cell sites fail to get approval from local authorities, as traditional panel antenna arrays are considered too ugly. This leaves many effective site locations seemingly out of reach, especially in the suburbs. Similarly, although small cells can provide sufficient reach and power in dense urban areas, this method is not possible to enable extensive coverage in suburban and rural communities due to time and cost constraints.
As a result, the evolution from 4G to 5G is accelerating an evolution of macro cell site planning and design. Network operators need to consolidate coverage at a faster pace, at the same time considering the changing regulations surrounding tower installation. Today’s operators and infrastructure hosts are looking for innovative new ways to ensure uninterrupted coverage and capability with more sophisticated integrated antenna designs.
Out of disguise
Moving away from large panel antennas, mobile and fixed wireless network operators are increasingly adopting integrated and encrypted solutions such as multi-band, tri-sector canister antennas. With a very thin profile, Canister antennas offer a seamless, aesthetically pleasing design that helps speed up and simplify the process of securing site permits, allowing new services to be launched more quickly. But in contrast to a common hidden versatile solution, the tri-sector canister antenna that supports high-gain, multiple frequency bands offer wide, sectoral coverage to better accommodate more complex converted 4G and 5G networks and still maintain a small footprint.
As network operators try to find new site locations that bring coverage to customers, we are seeing more innovative antenna designs placed in public right of way locations. With a versatile design and small size factor, tri-sector canister antennas can be mounted on poles and roofs, or integrated with municipal infrastructure such as street lights, stoplights and public waste bins.
Among the available dual-sector and tri-sector canister designs, which support multiple frequency bands, not only streamline planning and zoning, they also reduce the number of antennas required per site. Enabling a small footprint, the multi-band, tri-sector canister antenna provides a fast and efficient way to expand mobile coverage and power in suburban as well as rural communities to bridge the digital divide.
In addition to reducing capital and operating costs per site, multi-band canister antennas allow two or more operators to easily co-locate in a small footprint. The promise of cost savings makes this method attractive to legacy network operators who have invested heavily in new spectrum licenses, but it is also an effective way for greenfield operators who do not have the infrastructure to enter the lucrative 5G market.
As the cost of creating ubiquitous 5G coverage continues to rise, more and more network operators are moving away from sharing towers and infrastructure on their own sites to a neutral host model. In fact, multi-band, tri-sector canister antennas are increasingly being adopted by neutral hosts to offer shared sites to multiple network operators, as well as to directly connect municipalities to their communities.
For example, the leading neutral host provider Selnex Ireland They have recently deployed multi-band, tri-sector canister antennas to meet the network rollout needs of their customers. Selnex is building new 4G / 5G, multi-operator, neutral hosting sites to bring enhanced coverage and capabilities to the ‘dead zone’ or ‘mobile black-spot’ that traditionally presents the challenge of deployment in both rural and suburban communities across Ireland. Similarly, the leading Irish operator Of They have also expanded to Ireland’s largest 5G mobile network as well as installed tri-sector antenna solutions.
No more stains.
As the majority of the population relies on seamless connectivity in their daily lives, both at work and at home, digital transformation is accelerating 5G expansion and rapidly changing the telecom infrastructure. As QoE expectations rise, network operators face an increasing urgency to overcome the underlying challenges of 5G buildouts and to close coverage gaps that can lead to poor network performance.
The growing interest in neutral site host models is helping network operators cope with the economic pressures of creating coverage, which has made it commercially viable to quickly get 5G services on the market at a time of growing connection demand. And innovative new integrated antenna designs allow both operators and neutral host providers to expand 5G coverage and capabilities even as they shrink their cell site footprint and costs.