Deutsche Telekom is preparing its network for the introduction of 5G small cell antennas. To achieve this, it is working with NGMN partner HUBER+SUHNER, a specialist for electrical and optical connectivity. The Swiss company has developed five small cell antennas for Deutsche Telekom that support 4G and 5G frequencies. The antennas cover the frequency range from 1.7 to 4.2 GHz. Small cells are small amplifiers for the mobile communication network. They enable the targeted expansion of data throughput in locations where a large number of customers are on the move or surfing.
The new small cell antennas are initially operating in Deutsche Telekom’s 4G network. Once the 5G spectrum is available, the small cells can be upgraded to 5G in just a few simple steps. The antennas will be used for the first time in Kiel, Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Munich and Mülheim.
In the future, small cells will play an increased role in Telekom’s network. Within the area they cover, they provide a significant increase in data capacity. Currently, up to an additional 150 Mbps. The new antenna types from HUBER+SUHNER feature MIMO technology (Multiple Input Multiple Output), which enables a further increase in quality. This technology uses multiple antennas – both on the transmitter and in the receiving device – to provide higher data throughput.
"Small cell antennas are a key element of our expansion strategy. The new antennas enable us to provide targeted coverage of squares and streets. This will enable us to create more capacity in the inner cities and thus further optimise our network,” says Walter Goldenits, Head of Technology at Telekom Deutschland. “One great additional benefit of the antennas from our Swiss partner is the flexible handling: we can switch over to 5G in just a few simple steps.”
“It was a challenge to develop small cell antennas that support both 4G and 5G technology, and with a small footprint that enables them to be integrated properly into the cityscape,” says Claudia Bartholdi, Product Manager at HUBER+SUHNER.
Small cells are required to provide future 4G and 5G coverage in urban areas. In combination with traditional mast locations, small cells provide the network coverage and capacity needed to support an ever-increasing number of wireless devices.