Monday, 18 November 2013

High gain or low profile?....... 4G/LTE antennas on the move

Broadband access on the move is becoming a way of life.... from WiFi access in cafes, on buses and trains to having a hotspot in the car so the family can access web-based services on the move - the demand for mobile broadband moves onwards and upwards!  And the whilst quality of the broadband service is not just down to signal quality (network capacity also counts!!!), a stable, reliable connection is a significant element of wireless broadband service - and key component of this should be the use of a quality 4G antenna.

For roof-mount applications for 4G, LTE, and multiband (includes 3G, GSM and cellular frequencies) services, the choices typically are either a magnetic or a permanent mount antenna. In addition, one must factor in antenna frequency,  gain, size, robustness, durability, cable quality and connector type. Over the last few years, I must have seen hundreds of vehicle mount antennas from tape mount to stud mount, magnetic mount to collar mount, from collinear whips to planar inverted F (PIFA) based antennas with wide variations in performance.

For most typical applications, here are some of my thoughts on what to look for when selecting a 4G roof-mount antenna:

1. Frequency suitability - is the antenna suitable for all 4G, LTE, 3G and GSM frequency bands? In Europe, 4G services are typically running in a range of frequency bands from 790 MHz to 2700 MHz, so any antenna selected should be able to operate effectively in this range.

2. Antenna gain - does the antenna offer a suitable gain figure? The larger the gain the more chance the antenna has of improving your signal, though one should exercise some caution as a number of disreputable vendors overstate their gain figures. Typically, multi-frequency band mobile roof mount antennas will be offering gain figures somewhere between 0 dBi and 4 dBi depending on the antenna type and solution.

3. Antenna size - yes, size does matter in this instance!! Typically, the larger the antenna, the better the gain and performance will be. Some antennas like the LTE-HIGAIN antennas are designed to be mounted on metal surfaces and the metal surface aids the antenna performance which means the antenna can be more discrete. Beware of small antennas offering impressively high gain figures!

4.  Robustness / Durability - is the antenna designed for outdoor use? Is the antenna going to last more than a few weeks? Build quality of mobile, roof-mount antennas is critical as the antenna should be able to survive the wind, rain, snow etc. and withstand a few knocks and scrapes. A low profile antenna is typically more durable than a whip and also less obvious, more discrete thereby minimising the risk of theft/vandalism.

5. Cable quality/connector - is the cable type and the connector suitable for the application. As a rule of thumb, thicker RF coaxial cable is less "lossy" than thinner cable so across a cable run of say 3M one will lose less signal with a thicker cable than a thinner cable.

When considering 4G roof mount antennas, keeping the above points in mind should aid in the selection of a good quality antenna for mobile applications. For further information, please feel free to e-mail us at or visit our EAD and SAS 4G antenna pages or alternatively shop at our Connex webshop.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Passive GPS patch fed by cable

EAD has added a passive internal GPS patch antenna measuring 20x20x4mm to its portfolio. This antenna, the GPS3602, is fed by a microcoax and an IPEX (U.FL connector) as an alternative to passive internal GPS patch fed by a pin.

GPS3602 passive GPS patch antenna

The GPS3602 is ideal for the straightforward design-in of a passive internal GPS antenna where the GPS module has a U.FL antenna receptacle available.

For more information and pricing, please visit or contact your local EAD distributor.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Two popular EAD 169 MHz antennas available to buy online

The H169-SMA 1/4 Wave helical 169 MHz antenna with SMA-male connector and the WMO-169-WMB 169 MHz wall mount omni antenna are both now available to buy online via the Connex website. Both antennas are optimised for 169 MHz at centre frequency and are in stock.

H169-SMA 1/4 Wave Helical Antenna
The H169-SMA is designed for metering applications to be mounted onto a panel mount SMA jack connector. This antenna is optimised for a groundplane size of 150x150mm.

WMO-169-WMB Antenna

The WMO-169-WMB is suitable for indoor and outdoor wall-mounted 169 MHz applications. The antenna is supplied with a L-bracket for wall-mounting and does not require an additional groundplane (it must however be mounted on the bracket supplied).

For more information or for RF cables to go with these antennas, please contact us.

Friday, 1 November 2013

4G Multiband MIMO Outdoor Omni antenna announced by EAD

Embedded Antenna Design Ltd (EAD) has announced an innovative 4G Multiband (4G/LTE/3G/GSM/Cellular) outdoor MIMO omni antenna for enclosure, wall and pole-mounting. Housed in a durable radome, the LMO7270 antenna is suitable for outdoor applications including leisure marine environments to improve reception of 4G (LTE), 3G and GSM signals.

LMO7270 MIMO 4G/Multiband Omni Antenna
The frequencies supported are 700, 800, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100 and 2600 MHz covering all major 4G, LTE, GSM and 3G frequency bands.

The LMO7270 measures approximately 187mm in height and 106mm at the base. It will be available with or without the wall/pole mount bracket and fed by two short pigtail cables, allowing for longer jumper cables to be connected for specific cable runs. The peak gain on each element is as follows:

Antenna Element 1
 Frequency     Peak Gain
 700-800 MHz     1.4 dBi
 800-960 MHz     2.0 dBi
 1710-2170 MHz     3.0 dBi
 2500-2700 MHz     3.3 dBi

Antenna Element 2
 Frequency     Peak Gain
 700-800 MHz     2.8 dBi
 800-960 MHz     3.0 dBi
 1710-2170 MHz     3.9 dBi
 2500-2700 MHz     3.9 dBi

The LMO7270 antenna is supplied with a gasket and a moulded nut as standard so the antenna can be installed as a permanent, through-hole mount solution to be mounted onto a non-metal surface or enclosure. Alternatively, the antenna can be ordered to include brackets for wall or pole mount.

The LMO7270 is just one of a comprehensive range of 4G, LTE, GSM, 3G and cellular antenna products available from EAD and Specialist Antennas. The Connex Technologies webshop has a wide range of 3G and 4G antennas available to purchase online. More information will be available on the LMO7270 antenna during November, in the meantime if you have any questions, please contact us via e-mail at