Although sometimes overlooked during the solution design, quality antennas are critical to enabling reliable 4G/LTE connectivity for the enterprise. But what are the key attributes to consider when choosing antennas for your business connectivity? In this article, we summarise a few:
1. High-gain vs. low-gain antennas
The higher the dBi of the antenna, the higher the gain and less of a broad field pattern. In other words, high-gain directional antennas can guarantee reliable 4G/LTE connectivity for up to 40kms in remote locations. Popular use cases include mining, energy, and engineering sites.
2. Directional vs. omnidirectional antennas
As the name suggests, directional antennas only point in one direction, while omnidirectional antennas can provide a 360-degree radiation pattern to capture the signal coming from all directions.
Omnidirectional high-gain antennas are often used in the maritime industry, for vessels arriving or leaving from shore, offering reliable, high-speed connectivity up to 25 miles from a cellular tower. On the other hand, for fixed locations (branches, shops, or office buildings), directional antennas are the best choice to guarantee a better signal.
3. Size and shapes
Depending on the use case, size matters. For example, antennas used in IoT deployments will come in different shapes and sizes to best meet the form-factor of the device it connects. For instance, a small compact all-in-one antenna in vending machines, digital signage, or kiosks is ideal for maximizing performance.
For vehicles such as buses, ambulances, or service trucks, organizations often look for a more aerodynamic format, plus enhancing functionalities to ensure connectivity on the road, such as WIFI, GPS, and VHF/UHF options.
4. Look out for weather resistance
Depending on the type of business and use case, it is also important to look for the antenna’s resistance to UV radiation, extreme temperatures, water, wind, and other elements. For example, these features can “make or break” your ability to communicate when at sea, and choosing maritime-proof antennas will guarantee your connectivity remains even in the roughest days.
5. An experienced partner
Knowing which antenna to choose, the installation procedures, and how to integrate it with the rest of your network environment is the final step for successful implementation and great connectivity performance.
At Blue Wireless, we partner with two premier antenna manufacturers: Poynting and Panorama. For both brands, our team of experts will advise you on suitable models to meet your business requirements while taking care of your connectivity end-to-end: from solution design to onsite installation and further support for a range of use cases. Reach out to our team to learn more.