Directional antenna reduces roll-out costs for mobile services infrastructure


Antenova today releases its first product - a sectored antenna which reduces roll-out costs, improves accuracy and is supplied in tiny 'bolt-on' format for easy basestation retrofit.

Antenova announces a multi-directional basestation antenna offering a high performance and cost saving solution to support the emerging mobile location-based services market.

This antenna is designed to divide the space around it into three equal radial sectors, thereby minimising the effects of multi-path and co-channel interference and providing higher accuracy, which can be exploited by position sensing technologies such as enhanced observed time difference, and angle of arrival.

The LMU antenna represents the first commercial release of Antenova's breakthrough smart antenna technology for the wireless industry.

The antenna unit comprises three separate antennas, each providing an angular coverage of 120 degrees. RF switching electronics are also incorporated into the unit allowing the unit to be operated via a single RF feed cable carrying the RF signal, control and power supply.

In conjunction with the enhanced accuracy, operators and basestation OEMs now have the option of offering easy retrofit solutions, and reducing the number of monitoring nodes required in a network - speeding and simplifying infrastructure upgrades to support the roll-out of location-based services.

The initial version of Antenova's antenna - designated the LMU antenna - is designed specifically for use in GSM 1800 MHz networks. Variants are also planned for 1900 MHz, 900/1800MHz and 850/1900 MHz dual-band operation, or for CDMA and TDMA networks. In addition, antennas with fewer or more angular sectors can be provided on request.

The use of Antenova's novel antenna elements allows the whole multi-segment antenna to be provided in a very small form factor. The unobtrusive three-segment LMU antenna comes in a compact size, which makes it easy to retrofit to an operator's existing basestation infrastructure. Moreover, the antenna is not detuned by the proximity of large metal structures, providing further mounting flexibility.

The antenna is currently being trialed by Cambridge Positioning Systems, the developers of the Enhanced Observed Time Difference (E-OTD) method of position location.

Established in 1999, Antenova owns the intellectual property to a directional and steerable antenna for wireless communications.

The technology significantly increases performance, whilst dramatically reducing size and power consumption, by providing a completely solid-state solution for controlling transmission direction. Based on new materials and principles of operation, it enables designers to greatly enhance performance at the higher frequency bands that are coming into use with international standards such as Bluetooth and 3G.

Because the antenna is electronically steerable, it allows the capacity of communications networks to be multiplied by means of spatial multiplexing - transmitting in specific segments rather than radially - making the huge prices paid for 3G frequency spectrum much better value. The company is backed by the venture arm of the telecommunications consultancy Analysys, Cambridge Gateway, Nippon Investment Fund, Quester, Renate Nixdorf GmbH and TTP Ventures.

  • Antenova is a Cambridge-based company commercialising a revolutionary directional smart antenna technology which increases the capacity and performance of wireless networks. There is no phased array or signal processing, the technology is a completely solid-state solution, which is inherently directional.

    Antenova's antennas

    * Small, efficient with flexible bandwidth.

    * Directional and electronically steerable or switchable.

    * Dual polarisation and dual/tri band.

    * Capable of being packed closely together without cross-coupling.

    They offer angular, spatial or polarisation diversity in a small space, all without breaking the laws of physics (or Wheeler's limits of antenna performance).

    Based on new materials and principles of operation, the technology enables wireless terminal and basestation designers to shrink antenna size dramatically, and greatly enhance performance. Because the antenna is electronically steerable, it allows mobile operators to multiply the capacity of their networks by employing spatial multiplexing - making the huge investments in acquiring 3G frequency spectrum much better value.

    Applications include: 2G and 3G handsets and basestations, Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, DECT.

    The company is run by a team with strong experience of establishing and managing successful high technology ventures. With strong financial backing, a significant IP portfolio, state-of-the-art development lab and a well defined plan to commercialise the antennas, the future looks bright.



    Antenova contacts:

    Vicki Ward

    Antenova Ltd, Tunbridge Court, Tunbridge Lane

    Bottisham, Cambridge

    CB5 9DU, UK

    t: +44 (0)1223 810616

    f: +44 (0)1223 810650

    Barrie Nicholson


    t: +44 (0) 1258 840999
  • To read more information, click here.

    It's the antenna that makes it wireless...

    Antenova Ltd