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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you… for the Awards and that the 2016 Wireless Tradeshow Circuit is Over!

After many miles traveled, as well as countless handshakes and customer meetings, we are done with the tradeshow circuit (circus) for 2016! We hit it hard in 2015/2016 with the need to educate and establish Kathrein’s long history of RF expertise as relevant and important to the North American wireless market. With our global headquarters in Rosenheim, Germany, we, in the past, might have been accused of being “Eurocentric”- with our product innovation and availability.  However, all that has changed with our new U.S. leadership team, the move of our North American HQs to Richardson, Texas, and the recent opening of an R&D/Logistics center in Plano, Texas. The Dallas Business Journal did a fantastic write-up of the ribbon cutting that took place October 4, 2016 (click here for the full article).  We celebrated in German-style the opening of the 35,000 square foot space with the Tech Titans and the Richardson and Plano Chambers of Commerce.  The event would not have been complete without German beers, pretzels, and sausages.  Yum!

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A German celebration wouldn’t be complete without Bier!

 

It was a busy past month and half: we attended, spoke on panels, and exhibited at HetNet Expo in Houston, then Small Cells Americas in Dallas; and two short weeks later, the 5G North America show – again in our backyard in Dallas, TX. Kathrein was proud to sponsor Antenna Focus Day at 5G North America – it is a welcome chance to discuss and drill down into the trends and new technologies in antenna innovation. 5G, millimeter wave, and small cells, which dominated the discussions. 

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Vicki Livingston, from 5G Americas, moderated a panel that included Jim Nevelle (Kathrein), Bo Piekarski (Crown Castle), and Ray Butler (Commscope)nov-16-5

Our friends Jeff and Doug from Verticom, and Lindsay Franklin from RCR Wireless

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Jonathan Adelstein’s opening keynote at the Royal Sonesta, Houston Galleria.  

 

The hottest topic at all three shows was, no surprise here, Small Cells – something Kathrein has been developing and deploying for over 10 years.  Discussions were all relative to realizing the vision of “5G” – ultra-dense networks and pervasive wireless cellular connectivity – all which will require massive network builds, streamlined deployment models, and realistic regulations.

Kathrein recently published a white paper on Small Cells and how they will play a role in Connected Cities (you can find the full report here).  We also often discuss the merits of Electrical Downtilt vs. Small Cell Intelligent Site Placement with RF design teams around the country.  You can find our engineering recommendations here.

Lastly, as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to give thanks to our customers and truly appreciate the recognition for innovation we have received for the Kathrein Street Connect™ in 2016.  Just this week, Kathrein won top honors for the Fierce Awards: Telecom Edition with our new In-Ground Antenna. We were honored to win the “Small Cells/HetNet Category”, as well as “Best Network Transformation Platform” and “Judges Choice” Award. Winning the Judges Choice award is the highest honor, as it is awarded to only one 2016 standout innovative product or service that most likely, positively, and dramatically affects service provider networks across the board. Kathrein is grateful and we thank the esteemed judges.

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Kathrein Street Connect also took home the honors at the RAN World Awards 2016 and the GLOTEL Awards 2016.

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Joachim Grimm (Kathrein) and Carine Genoud (Swisscom) accept the award for Kathrein Street Connect at the GLOTEL Awards in London

 

We would also like to recognize and thank our friends at Swisscom for the brilliant idea of Kathrein Street Connect™.  They have been a terrific partner and customer.  A special thanks to Nima Jamaly and Marcus Bergagard for all of their support.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Dr. Dave (Kathrein), Kevin Linehan (Commscope) and Joe Madden (Mobile Experts) discussing 5G at Antenna Focus Day 2016

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Bill Jauchler (Kathrein) and Jay Brown (President-Crown Castle) at HetNet Expo 2016

 

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Stefan Kohl (Kathrein) and Joe Madden (Mobile Experts) discussing lessons learned from 4G deployments and what to expect in antenna technologies for 5G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.