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Kathrein puts Testbed for LTE and 5G into Operation

Kathrein has opened a test environment for pioneering mobile network technologies at its headquarters in Rosenheim. It will be launched in collaboration with the Swedish communications corporation Ericsson. Kathrein will use the testbed to simulate novel applications in a trial network in order to gain valuable insights in the years to come. This will provide the basis for advancement of the current wireless communication standard LTE and the new standard 5G.

“The test environment will allow us to try out various technologies and their interaction in a single overall system – a capability that is very important for our development work,” explains Maximilian Göttl, Head of Portfolio & Innovation in Kathrein’s Communication Products division. We’re creating our own network, as it were, so as to be able to draw conclusions from live operation.” The insights gained in this way will allow systems to be improved on a step-by-step basis, which is essential in connection with the new wireless communication standard 5G in particular.

KEY INSIGHTS FOR FUTURE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

“In this way we can derive recommendations for industry and network operators in terms of optimum system design,” says Göttl. He adds that this is also relevant to the technology area Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output). MIMO already forms part of current LTE technology, where several reception and transmission antennas are used at the same time. In the case of Massive MIMO, dozens or even hundreds of antenna modules are deployed in an array. This allows very high data throughput rates in a frequency band.

One of the focus areas of the testbed trials will be the automotive sector. Cars will be equipped with the appropriate antenna systems so as to optimise data transmission from and to cars. In this way, test runs conducted in Rosenheim will yield valuable insights in terms of future system design. Kathrein is also collaborating with Altair Engineering GmbH. The global CAE software provider whose German headquarters are in Böblingen, provides WinProp, a programm that simulates mobile network coverage based on maps. Real testbed measurements can then be checked against the computer simulation. The ultimate aim is to be able to use computers alone to conduct test runs for future system architectures.

PROJECT LAUNCH WITH ERICSSON

In the new test environment, Kathrein’s innovation department is collaborating with Ericsson’s research department. The Stockholm-based network supplier has been one of Kathrein’s partners for many years, now providing the base stations and other components for the measurements. “The testbed underpins our aspiration to be a pioneer when it comes to new technologies. In Rosenheim we will shape the future,” says Anton Kathrein, CEO of the Kathrein Group.

Press Release: Kathrein Supports Digital Start-ups

Kathrein Supports Digital Start-ups

Rosenheim, 15 December 2016 – Kathrein, an innovation and technology leader in today’s connected world, is the cooperation partner for a new digital start-up center in Rosenheim, Germany. The center, “Stellwerk 18”, provides young entrepreneurs with the ideal setting in which to establish their own independent companies. It will be built on the northern railway station grounds in Rosenheim and is due for completion by Fall 2018.

Klaus Stöttner, a CSU member of the Bavarian parliament and one of the political enablers and inspirational forces behind the project, shared his vision for the center as a “Silicon Valley by the Alps,” at the symbolic check presentation by Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs,  lse Aigner. Stöttner explained that Rosenheim had been up against extremely tough competition from Ingolstadt, headquarters of the automobile corporation Audi, but although only one start-up center had originally been planned for each administrative district, the jury accepted both bids.

The Bavarian government is providing initial funding of EUR 1.25 million. Rosenheim’s mayor, Gabriele Bauer, accepted the “early Christmas present” – as she put it – with obvious pleasure, saying that all the work that had gone into the 158-page submission had clearly been worth it.

Kathrein supports network activities

As the host of the funding presentation, Kathrein Group CEO, Anton Kathrein, welcomed numerous guests from politics, business and the media. The Innovation Workshop, a renovated production hall dating back to the company’s early years, provided the ideal setting for the event. “You can really feel the start-up spirit here,” said Kathrein.

He went on to point out that the new start-up center would be an ideal platform for the implementation of innovative ideas in the digital age. “As an established business we will be more than happy to support the start-up scene in the Rosenheim area,” said Kathrein. This would include providing start-ups with coaching, mentoring and consultancy, for example.

Strong industrial base in Region 18

In her speech, the Minister of Economic Affairs praised the excellent application submitted by the town and region to the Bavarian government. “The judges were especially impressed by the fact that Stellwerk 18 not only promotes networking in the region, but also beyond the borders of Bavaria,” said Aigner. One of the project’s 25 partners is even based in Austria: the University of Applied Sciences in Kufstein.

The minister also noted the considerable economic strength of south-eastern Upper Bavaria. “The region has a strong industrial base, so this will provide numerous points of contact for young entrepreneurs, potentially leading to some initial customer relationships,” said Aigner.

About Kathrein

Kathrein is a leading international specialist for reliable, high-quality communication technologies. The company is an innovation and technology leader in today’s connected world. Its ability to provide products and services enable people all over the world to communicate, access information and use media, whether at home, at the office or on the road. The business covers a broad spectrum: from mobile communication and RFID solutions, to satellite reception, broadband and broadcast technology, to transmission and reception systems in vehicles. As a hidden champion and family-owned enterprise, Kathrein has been working on the technologies of tomorrow since 1919. The business takes pride in its dedicated employees and passion for customers and quality. Find out more about Kathrein at www.kathreinusa.com.

Dallas Business Journal Exclusive: Ahead of 5G, Euro power Kathrein elbows into U.S. market with Plano Expansion

Kathrein featured in Dallas Business JournalSHAWN SHINNEMAN-
Dallas Business Journal-

Americans might not know how to say Kathrein – pronounced Kah-trane, not “Katherine.”
But the company wants its North American base in North Texas – to which it is adding 70,000 square feet – to drive a foray into the U.S. market. And 5G will be no small part of the plan.

Rosenheim, Germany-based Kathrein is one of several companies eyeing the opportunity presented in the U.S. by the massive infrastructure needs of the next generation of wireless. While about 200,000 cell towers power the country’s current networks, experts say the amount needed to power 5G will be exponentially higher.

During his trip this week to Plano, Anton Kathrein Jr., the company’s CEO, told the Dallas Business Journal that the number of small cell sites needed could be as high as five million. “In terms of the potential growth, the numbers are huge,” said Jim Nevelle, CEO of Kathrein USA.

A powerhouse in Europe, the private company recorded revenue of $1.6 billion in 2014, according to Forbes. (A representative declined to provide specific global or U.S. revenue numbers but told the Dallas Business Journal in an email that Kathrein is a $1 billion+ company). It’s success comes from making antennas – the company is the largest LTE antenna manufacturer in the world. It is also the world’s largest car antenna and broadcast antenna manufacturer, Nevelle said.

U.S. success has been trickier. The company employs about 50 in North Texas, with plans to expand.

To that end, Kathrein held a ribbon cutting Tuesday for a new 35,000 square feet of warehouse space. German beers were cracked. Pretzels were consumed. A spokesperson said that earlier that morning, the company had signed on another 35,000 square feet next door.

About an hour after the snip of the ribbon, Nevelle and Kathrein Jr., the third generation of the Kathrein family to lead the company, settled into a conference room.

“In Europe, we’re the 600-pound gorilla in this space,” Nevelle said. “In North America, we’re a 200-pound gorilla. So, we have a lot of market share that we still need to go after.”

Moving to the telecom corridor was step one in that process. About a year and a half ago, Kathrein left its base in Medford, Oregon for a new North American headquarters in Richardson.

“When you look at the Dallas environment, you have Nokia’s North American headquarters here, Ericsson’s North American headquarters here, AT&T world headquarters located here,” Nevelle said. “It’s a great place to be.”

The additions in Plano are step two. The 70,000 square feet will serve as a logistics center and allow the company to do regional research and development as well as testing. It also provides them a larger physical U.S. presence as 5G approaches.

The move to 5G wireless has been sped up by the needs of modern technology, which more and more often requires ultra-fast connectivity. A first set of standards are expected out in 2018. The preparation has been vaulted toward the top of priority lists for cell phone carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

The U.S. has become “the driving force in 5G deployments,” said Kathrein Jr.

To build the infrastructure needed for wireless networks, those carriers have to pair with the companies that make the parts. As LTE investments slow and 5G investments have yet to arrive, telecom equipment makers are put in a precarious position.

Ericsson, another wireless infrastructure provider with a North American home in Plano, is proof.

The Swedish company has much to gain from 5G infrastructure buildout; it has felt the impact of a shrinking need for LTE towers. Ericsson’s second quarter revenue was down 11 percent. The company, which ousted CEO Hans Vestberg in July, has said major cost-cutting measures are coming this year.

Before he left, Vestberg told Bloomberg that sizable revenues might not return until 2020, a timeline that matches up with expected 5G deployment.

When the 5G networks start expanding, Kathrein hopes to be on the front line. And it has reason to believe it will play a significant role – a spokesperson said the company is “heavily engaged” with all North American operators on 5G.

That means its physical expansion into Plano, Nevelle said, could be only the beginning.

“This just shows the investment of what Kathrein is trying to do in North America,” he said.

Download the article here.