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Intelligent antennas - an emerging technology

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1 Author(s)
Bachman, H.L. ; Hazeltine Corp., Greenlawn, NY, USA

Cellular communications systems performance can be improved through the application of novel antenna techniques. Such improvements may be necessary to enhance coverage in buildings and for portable hand-held units, to extend cell-site range and coverage at reduced infrastructure cost, and to increase the capacity of existing cell sites. Often, these benefits can be made available at a fraction of the cost of new cell sites. Improvements in range and coverage can be achieved with intelligent multibeam antenna systems that provide greater antenna gain and discrimination against interference. Range extension is achieved by increasing available signal-to-noise ratio. Range improvements for intelligent antenna systems, when compared to the performance of conventional sector antennas, have been demonstrated to exceed 40%. Increased capacity can be achieved when the signal-to-interference level is improved through digital signal processing techniques that place the desired signals in or near the narrower main beam of the multibeam antenna and place interferers into the pattern sidelobes and/or nulls. Computer simulation, using terrain-based propagation models and a real cellular system lay-down, predicts greater than 6-dB improvement in signal-to-interference for multibeam antennas when compared to sector antennas. This improvement has been corroborated by measurement, and can nearly double capacity while maintaining the same quality of service

Published in:

Southcon/96. Conference Record

Date of Conference:

25-27 Jun 1996