Specialist Antenna Solutions is pleased to introduce its new addition to its marine antenna portfolio. The WIFI2B9 antenna from SCAN is a dual band 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz WiFi marine omni-directional antenna.
Based on a shorter and lightweight design, the WIFI2B9 is a high quality professional maritime use antenna enabling access to WLAN services across both wireless bands.
Marine antennas from SCAN can be purchased via the Connex Webshop.
Specialist Antenna Solutions is pleased to have started distributing EMWave antennas to the European market. With some unique antenna solution for the wireless market, EMWave is an exciting and innovative new partner for SAS and it complements our unique range of antenna and RF products that currently reside in our portfolio.
Of particular interest is the LTE Poly Pro antenna, now available via the Connex webshop, a flexible LTE low profile antenna that is more resistant to impacts and shocks than standard whip and rigid antennas.
Also noteworthy is the GPS/GLONASS Timing antenna, a robust 32 dBi gain dual filtering antenna designed for continuous outdoor deployment. Do check out our full GPS antenna portfolio.
For more information on EMWave antennas, please contact us or you can visit their website at www.emwaveinc.com.
Specialist Antenna Solutions is running a marine antenna sale on its popular Cell918 Mariner antenna. Realised for GSM and 3G applications, covering a frequency range for 880 MHz to 2170 MHz, this antenna is available at a special price of £15 GBP per unit via our Connex Webshop.
The Cell918 Mariner antenna is one of an expanding range of marine antennas available from Specialist Antennas including the UHF4G operating at LTE frequencies as well as UHF and WiFi models.
Our range can be purchased online at our Connex webshop or contact us if you require something more specific for marine applications.
Marine antennas from Scan are also available with various marine mounting options including rail, mast and deck mount kits.
Specialist Antennas is pleased to introduce a LTE 450 low profile magnetic antenna. The 450-LP-Mag is based on the TRAB4503 from Laird and is coupled with a robust chrome magnetic mount to offer a rugged low profile magnetic antenna solution for LTE 450.
This antenna operates at the UHF 450-470 MHz frequency band and should be mounted onto a metal surface or groundplane.
A LTE 450 low profile magnetic antenna is ideally suited to industrial vehicles, forest machinery and transit applications where customers do not want to drill a hole in the skin of the vehicle.
A 4G/LTE version is available, please visit the LTE-HIGAIN-MAG page for more information.
In this article we will try to help you make the correct LTE antenna choices whilst keeping the terminology as simple as possible and try minimise the use of technical language and acronyms.
What is 4G or LTE?
In brief, although technically different, the terms 4G and LTE are used interchangeably by many to describe licenced cellular network services that offer both voice and high speed data. Worldwide, local operators have a licence from a national government to run a wireless network based on 4G and LTE technology and offer access to this network to users. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to these services as LTE services from now on.
Why would you use a LTE antenna?
The reason to use a LTE antenna is that without an antenna a LTE enabled device will not connect to a network. Many devices such as mobile phones already have LTE antennas integrated and do not require an external antenna. However many routers, modems, access points and LTE enabled systems simply have one or two LTE antenna connectors on the device and rely on the user or installer to select the correct antenna. In some cases, the antenna(s) supplied with the router or device are inadequate for the application so a better and higher performance antenna is required.
Can I just use any old antenna?
We don’t want to start drawing tenuous analogies, but in simple terms the quality of the antenna is as crucial to the success of a LTE wireless system as quality tyres are critical to the road handling of a car. Ergo if the true specification of the LTE antenna is sub-standard, then this will severely impact wireless performance and reduce download speeds. Using the correct type of antenna from a reliable manufacturer is an effective way to help preserve wireless performance.
My router, modem or device has two LTE connectors. What do I need?
With LTE services, many new routers and access devices have two LTE antenna connectors on the back. By using two antenna ports simultaneously, the download speeds to the user can be increased. In very simple terms, this is using two antennas at the same time, a technology called MIMO (multiple in multiple out). The LTE antenna choices for MIMO are either use one separate antenna for each port or use a MIMO antenna which has two antenna ports. Using a MIMO antenna means that the installer does not have to install two antennas, one MIMO antenna with two antennas ports does the job. If your router or device has two antenna ports available, then it is recommended that you use (connect up) both ports with an antenna to maximise wireless performance.
If your modem, router or device has one single LTE antenna connector, then connecting a single port LTE antenna is the way to go. Then the best idea is to purchase a LTE with a single antenna connector such as the HGO-4G-LTE or the SMP-4G-LTE antenna.
Do I need an omni-directional or a directional antenna?
Firstly, let’s clarify the difference between an omni-directional and directional antenna. An omni antenna radiates in every direction (imagine a ceiling mounted light bulb in your lounge for example). A directional antenna radiates in one direction (imagine a beam from a torch that illuminates in one direction only). The omni antenna can pick up signals from LTE masts in every direction. The directional antenna, however, has to be pointed at a LTE mast to be able to pick up a signal (think of the traditional TV antenna on your roof). Typically, directional antennas offer higher performance as typically they have higher gain, but they need to be installed correctly, i.e. pointing at the local mast, otherwise they will not work. Omni antennas typically have lower gain, but installation is very easy and often they can “see” more than one local LTE mast so thereby offer some redundancy if one LTE mast is offline.
If you are on the very edge of the network coverage and you absolutely know where your local LTE mast is, then a directional LTE antenna could be a good choice for you. Otherwise it is probably worth going with an omni antenna for ease of installation and due to the fact that it could see more than one local mast.
An example from our portfolio of a LTE MIMO omni antenna is the LMO7270 antenna.
It can be purchased online via the Connex webshop.
An example from our portfolio of a LTE MIMO directional antenna is the SMP-4G-MIMO antenna which can be purchased from the Connex webshop.
Does my antenna have the correct frequency for my LTE installation?
LTE frequencies do vary from country to country. In most countries in Europe LTE operates between 790-2690 MHz and many LTE antennas support these bands. Our advertised LTE antennas all support these frequencies. Some countries in Europe also offer 450 MHz LTE – there are some specific antennas that address the 450 MHz band such as the VLP4, the LMO4547 or the UWB45727 antenna, but most LTE antennas do not support 450 MHz. For North America you will also need the 690-790 MHz band, many antennas support these frequencies, but you will need to check the formal specification to be sure.
For our industrial installation, we need a covert or low profile antenna. What do we need to know?
For low profile installations, there are a number of LTE antenna choices in the market. Most however, due to the nature of low profile technology, need to mounted onto a metal surface (known as a groundplane) to radiate effectively. Low profile LTE antennas can be magnetic, tape or through-hole mount. Solutions such as the SmartDisc or AllDisc antennas are through mount and typically require a groundplane whilst magnetic mount antennas (check out the LTE-HIGAIN-MAG) by definition a designed to mount onto a metal surface. There are antennas available that can mount on non-metal surfaces, but they are typically not as low profile as the others. Please contact us if you feel you need specific advice on this.
I have seen a LTE antenna with 35 dBi gain. Is this the best choice?
There are a number of suppliers at the low end of the market who are advertising antenna products with spurious specification claims. Even with a big multi element directional antenna (in the style of a traditional TV antenna) called a Yagi, it would be unusual to see gain figures for LTE at more than 12 dBi and many users do not want a huge yagi antenna in their installation. If you stick with reputable manufacturers who warrant their specifications then you know what you are getting. For an external omni antenna if the gain is somewhere between 3 and 6 dBi then this is realistic. For a directional panel type antenna if the gain is between 5 and 10 dBi this is also realistic. Unfortunately there are sensationalist claims about antenna performance in the market so it makes sense to stick with known antenna brands. Our suppliers such as Sirio, Laird, EAD, PCTEL, Smarteq and SCAN are reputable brands you can rely on.
What RF cables do I need?
Some external LTE antennas are bundled with coaxial cable as standard. In some ways this can make life simple, however in many cases the standard cable length might not be appropriate for the installation. For example, an antenna might be bundled with 5M integrated cable when the installation requires 15M. The choice of cable should really depend on the length needed. For up to 10M BWL195 cable may be more than adequate. Beyond that to 15M, a thicker 6mm diameter cable such as RF240 is required. For 20 or 25M, a 10mm diameter cable such as RF400 would be more appropriate. For any cable length above 5M for your installation, if you unsure please contact us for advise and we’ll recommend the correct cable for you. We can pre-terminate these with the correct connectors to save you from purchasing crimp tools and saving you time.
I need a LTE terminal antenna for my device. What do you suggest?
Firstly, you have to determine what LTE antenna connector is on your device. Often it is a connector called SMA and is the female version. If you are not sure, check out this blog post that has a connector guide on the 10 most common RF connectors for wireless. Apart from the connector, you will need to know the orientation for the antenna. Does it need to be exiting vertical from the device or horizontally. Useful in this instance is a multi-position antenna such as the WTR7270 antenna which can lock in the horizontal or vertical position depending on the application.
My LTE antenna choices are quite wide. What should I focus on?
To select your antenna, you need to consider the signal strength at the location of installation. If the signal strength is OK, then probably an omni antenna will be OK, if it is weak then maybe a directional antenna might be more suited. Also consider where you will have “line of sight” to the mast, high up on a roof or a pole will often give you best chance of the antenna “seeing the mast”. Try to avoid installing the antenna where it has to radiate through a thick wall, insulated roof or if there is another building or wall very close by!!
You will also need to think about how you will mount the antenna – wall, pole, surface-mount (and whether your desired antenna supports that mounting method), the shortest cable run available to you to avoid signal losses across the coaxial cable. Also focus on an antenna solution from a reputable manufacturer so you can rely on build quality and performance.
Thank you for taking the time to read some our considerations regarding your LTE antenna choices. We hope they will assist you selecting the correct antenna. If you require further assistance, please feel free to contact us.
The SMP LTE directional MIMO antenna from Sirio is a compact, outdoor antenna with two 4G/LTE antenna elements ideally suited to 4G access applications to connect to a 4G router with two antenna ports.
Housed in a robust UV-resistant ABS enclosure, the SMP-MIMO antenna is fed by two SMA-Male pigtails as standard and can be coupled with customised low-loss jumper cables to provide a tailor-made solution. This antenna can be wall or pole mounted and is supplied with brackets to accommodate both mounting methods.
For customers in Europe, the SMP-MIMO antenna can be ordered via the Connex webshop. Alternatively for a single port LTE directional antenna, the SMP-4G-LTE is an excellent solution. Once again this can be purchased via the Connex webshop. For customers outside Europe or for volume pricing, please contact us.
Specialist Antennas is your source for quality LTE antennas from leading antenna manufacturers. With a range of LTE 4G antennas covering panel antennas, low profile, high gain omnis as well as blade, flexible internal and magnetic solutions, SAS works with brands such as Sirio, Smarteq, PCTEL, Laird and EAD to offer a comprehensive portfolio to meet each and every antenna requirement.
Outdoor antennas include the SMP 4G and 4G MIMO panel antennas as well as the HGO-4G-LTE high gain omni. Combined with the EAD LMO7270 MIMO omni antenna, the solutions can be customised with customer-specific cable lengths and jumper cables to suit.
The SmartDisc and AllDisc are low profile and dome antennas for 4G applications and the CMO antenna is a LTE MIMO puck antenna. The CMG is a LTE MIMO puck antenna with GNSS capability. The LTE-HIGAIN-MAG is a roubst magnetic mounted LTE antenna supplied with a high pull strength magnetic mount for durability.
For mobile antennas we can offer the IP67 SmartBlade antenna or the L-Mag magnetic mobile antenna. For indoor DAS and ceiling mount applications the PIM-160-ICM antenna from PCTEL is an interesting solution.
These are just highlights of our antenna offering demonstrating that SAS is your source for quality LTE antennas.
The new VLP4 low profile UHF antenna from EAD is an innovative and attractive solution for combining UHF and LTE frequency bands. The antenna is supplied under a robust ABS radome and the first model covers the 450-470 MHz UHF and 700-2700 4G/LTE frequencies. Offering 2 dBi gain at 450-470 MHz and 2/4 dBi on 4G/LTE bands, the VLP4 facilities mobile UHF/LTE connectivity for transit applications.
Fed by a cable underneath, the VLP4 is primarily designed for metal vehicle roofs and flat metal surfaces as it needs a groundplane to operate effectively.
The antenna can be configured to address other frequency combinations. Please contact Specialist Antennas for more details or use the antenna configurator on the EAD website.
We focus here on 4 outdoor antennas for 4G LTE access offering robust performance and build quality.
For 4G/LTE access applications, users typically need two things from an antenna. Reliable RF performance and long-lasting build quality. The four antennas that we present today meet these two requirements. We have suggested two SISO (single antenna port) antennas and two MIMO (two antenna element) antennas. The type you require will depend on your router, terminal, modem or access point and whether it has one or two LTE antenna ports/connectors.
Starting with the SISO (single antenna port) antennas, we have two excellent options. For an omni-directional antenna, we would recommend the HGO-4G-LTE antenna and for the directional antenna we would suggest the SMP-4G-LTE antenna. Both antennas are high gain antennas in their class. The HGO-4G-LTE offers 5-6 dBi gain across the bands in a blade style form factor and is omni-directional which means it radiates all directionals. The SMP-4G-LTE is directional and radiates in one direction and offers higher gain of 7-9 dBi gain in a very compact form factor. Both antennas are manufactured by Sirio and stock by Specialist Antennas in the UK. Both these antennas can be purchased via the Connex webshop.
We have two options for the MIMO (dual antenna port) antennas. The LMO7270 from EAD is a dual polarised outdoor omni-directional antenna offer a combination of a compact footprint with robust performance. It can be wall or pole (or indeed non-metal enclosure mounted) and is suitable for both outdoor and leisure marine applications. The SMP-MIMO from Sirio is a directional antenna similar to the SISO version, but this one has two antenna elements. With a gain of 5-8 dBi, the SMP-MIMO offers great functionality in a compact package. The LMO7270 and the SMP-MIMO can be purchased via the Connex webshop.
For more information on these 4 outdoor antennas for 4G LTE access, feel free to download the product specifications from our website or contact us for any further requests.
Specialist Antennas is now stocking a new WiFi low profile permanent mount antenna from Laird. The TRAB2400/49003 is a black, robust, low profile dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) WLAN antenna designed for mounting onto a metal surface such as a vehicle roof, cabinet or enclosure.
It mounts via a N-Female connector underneath and is held in place by a locking nut. We are stocking the version with the black radome. Please contact us if you require the white version.
Customers in Europe can purchase this antenna via our Connex webshop.
For a covert 2.4 GHz antenna, take a look at the HUSH antenna.
For a puck style antenna, take a look at the EAD CPW antenna.