5G Investment Accelerates but Telcos Cannot Ignore Their Antenna Upgrades

by Jake Saunders | 4Q 2020 | IN-5998
As we move firmly into the 5G era, the deployment and management of telcos’ antenna assets will become an essential element to building not only coverage but also capacity. The macro and roof-top cell sites are the mainstay of the mobile telco network, but the telco can experience constraints optimizing their deployments at the cell edge. The number of antenna mounts are limited at the top of the mast. Further, it is not just antennas being fixed to the mast. Engineers often need to install diplexers (which reduce the number of cables), tower-mounted amplifiers (which boost the transmission and reception of signals), remote radio heads (which reduce the coaxial feed line losses from long cable runs), and active antenna units (which can add potentially a 100 kilograms to the top of a tower). Six out of ten cell sites now belong to tower management companies that charge fees depending on antenna elevation, the length and weight of the antenna, and any antenna-associated equipment.

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