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The role of antenna quality in small cell and 5G deployments

Mobile network operators are densifying their network infrastructure to both meet ever-increasing data demands and to lay the groundwork for 5G.

While the importance of fiber, spectrum availability and ease of siting are often discussed in network equipment deployments, one overlooked factor is the impact that antenna quality has on the efficiency, effectiveness and total cost of ownership of such deployments.

Here are three ways that antenna quality impacts small cell deployment:

Quality antennas have fewer impairments and failures, reducing TCO. 

The worst-case scenario for antennas is complete failure, which means they must be replaced. That can delay site turn-up or require a site visit. Antenna design and manufacturing company Kathrein estimates that for a cellular network with 40,000 antennas, a 2% failure rate will cost the MNO nearly $1 million per year in site visits costs.

Short of failure, antenna quality also impacts how consistently and well an antenna performs — which directly influences user experience. Low-quality components or insufficient attention to passive intermodulation (PIM) during design and testing can mean that an antenna doesn’t perform according to the expectations of network planners, resulting in poor coverage, blocked or dropped calls or impacts to throughput, according to Dr. David Kokotoff, senior sales engineer at antenna design and manufacturing company Kathrein.

Kokotoff said that besides the extensive controlled mechanical and environmental testing in the lab, Kathrein has a number of sites around the world where it tests its antennas in challenging environmental conditions. These sites keep equipment in the field to observe what happens over years of exposure to the elements: in salt-exposed environments near the sea and in hot and humid conditions. The extensive, long-term testing, he said, contributes to improving overall reliability and keeping Kathrein’s antenna failure rate at less than 0.05%.

As antenna complexity increases, so does the importance of quality. 

Kokotoff noted that with MNOs needing support for both low- and mid-band spectrum as well as support for carrier aggregation and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), License-Assisted Access and CBRS spectrum, the number of ports has increased: eight, ten or more ports are commonly requested. Supporting multiple bands in a small-volume base station while achieving the desired performance is no small feat, especially when proper isolation must be maintained. Rigorous PIM testing and high-quality compatible component selection also becomes important to ensure consistent antenna performance in the complex urban RF environments where small cells are most needed.

Thoughtful design features can make installation and management easier. 

Remote electrical tilt is a feature more commonly associated with macro site antennas, but Kokotoff said that Kathrein has recently introduced RET to its small cell antennas. MNOs used to think that they could avoid small cell interference through site selection, he said, but optimal sites are not always available or affordable. Features such as RET can offer MNOs the ability to tweak their small cells’ coverage and get what they need from the sites that they can most easily access.

Antenna design also needs to account for the real-world challenges of installation. Many models of light poles, for instance, have a wide base but a thin pole that make it difficult to fit all the necessary cables that need to run to the multi-port equipment placed at the top. Kathrein has tackled this via the use of diplexers internal to the antenna to minimize cable runs.

Since small cells need to be placed close to end users, aesthetics of the equipment and the ability to creatively place antennas also come into play. Kathrein has focused its efforts on “out of sight, out of mind” design for small cells, including building-corner and side-mounted options and even antennas that can be placed underground to provide street-level coverage.

Learn more about Kathrein’s antenna portfolio.

So Many Ground-Breaking Ideas Were Created on a Cocktail Napkin

The Gettysburg Address, The Space Needle, Harry Potter, Southwest Airlines, great Beatles’ songs, Kathrein Canister Antennas – What do these all have in common?  Well, the title gives it away- they all had their start with brilliant people brainstorming and sketching on cocktail napkins!

Kathrein just released the latest in a long line of canister small cell antennas.  The Ultra-High Band, 10 port omni canister antenna 84010555 supports 2, 3.5, and 5.8 GHz frequencies, and provide operators and neutral hosts with a small cell solution that is future ready (more on this later).  Let’s first explore a brief history of canister antennas and how Kathrein set the standard for innovation and aesthetics.

napkin sketch of original Kathrein canister antenna2004: The Canister Makes its Debut

In wireless years, 2004 was an eternity ago, but that is when ExteNet Sytems approached Kathrein about building a DAS (distributed antenna system).  At a quaint restaurant in Medford, Oregon, Kathrein’s Rick Veghte and Jim Dekoekkoek (both engineers) sat with Tormod Larsen, CTO from ExteNet Systems, and came up with the original sketch and plans for a brown canister, quasi-omni antenna.

They used internal parts from existing Kathrein panel antennas, while outsourcing the high quality, fiberglass radomes from a local manufacturer.  The initial concerns were that the nuls would be too deepkathrein canister antennas and that there would be a lot of multipaths.  Rick and Jim went to work designing the prototype, and were pleased that the canister achieved the stringent electrical performance that both companies expected.  Manufacturing began within a couple months.

The original canister had 4 ports (2 high-band, 2 low-band).  In 2010, Kathrein began selling canisters to operators as small cell antenna solutions. Due to the compact design, the canisters fit perfectly on telephone and utility poles, and blended into the environment.  Since then, Kathrein has continued to add ports and extend frequencies while trying to maintain the same form factor. Due to sheer physics this is not an easy engineering feat. 

2017 and Beyond – The Race to Gigabit Data Speeds/5G

While a widely accepted definition of 5G is still being worked out, there is a race among operators to deliver gigabit data speeds, and claim that they are the first to offer “5G”.  The current macro system won’t allow for this kind of speed.  Operators will need to tap into shared spectrum – 3.5 GHz and 5 GHz bands (Ultra High-Band) so they can stitch together enough spectrum (carrier aggregation) to offer gigabit speeds to subscribers.  There are of course challenges with unlicensed bands (wi-fi) in that they are often crowded and have rules of usage, such as “listen before talk.”

In response to market demands, Kathrein has just released two new canister antennas: the 84010555 (brown) and 84010556 (grey) are the solution for operators that want to tap into ultra-high band frequencies as they prep for 5G. Kathrein canister antennas

The new Kathrein canisters:

  • Support 2, 3.5, and 5.8 GHz
  • Utilize the same form factor: no rezoning required
  • Support 4×4 and 2×2 MIMO
  • Support 4 ports at 1695-2690 GHz, 4 ports at 3.5 GHz, and 2 ports at 5.8 GHz

Kathrein Canister Antennas have a long history of industry leading innovation, quality, and performance.  The latest ultra-high band canisters can easily replace existing canisters, providing operators with a future proof small cell solution in the race to 5G. 

To learn more, visit our Small Cell Solutions page.

 

Watch our Small Cell Solutions Video

Kathrein at the Kickoff of Girls’ Day 2017 at the Federal Chancellery

Press Release

Rosenheim, 27 April 2017 – Kathrein, a leading international specialist for reliable, high-quality communication technologies, was one of five companies to kick off the Girl’sDay 2017 event at the Federal Chancellery. During the campaign day, 24 schoolgirls from various Berlin schools had the opportunity to produce and test a WLAN antenna at the Kathrein stand. The nationwide Girls’Day is intended to support girls in the MINT areas (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural sciences and Technology) and spark their interest in technical professions.

Every year, the Chancellor’s workplace is the venue for the Girls’Day kickoff. For the first time, Kathrein, a member of Initiative D21, participated in the technology course. At the stand, the two engineers Claudia Daurer and Tanja Hefele explained the design of a WLAN antenna to the students. The girls could then put their own hands to work and assemble an antenna. That the device actually worked was proved in a live test by transmitting a webcam image.

“We were able to illustrate clearly that although the technical background is complex, the implementation into practice is doable and even simple with the necessary knowledge,” says Claudia Daurer. The students gained practical insight into the engineering profession. Also Chancellor Angela Merkel, who herself is a graduate physicist and holds a doctorate in physical chemistry, learned about the functioning of a WLAN antenna at the Kathrein stand.

For more than 15 years, seven members of Initiative D21 e.V. and the federal police have designed the annual technology course at the opening event of the nationwide Girls’Day, which was held this year on 27 April. Companies and universities throughout Germany opened their doors for schoolgirls from grade 5 and above. The girls learned about apprenticeships, vocational training and degree programmes in IT, trades, natural sciences and technology, where women are still under-represented. Kathrein participated once again in the Girls’Day event and invited 30 students to its Rosenheim headquarters, where they were introduced to the technical apprenticeships for device and systems technicians and industrial mechanics.

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 solutions and services enables 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 company takes pride in its dedicated employees and passion for customers and quality. Find out more about Kathrein at www.kathrein.com.

Kathrein Press Contact
Anton Maier
Anton-Kathrein-Str. 1-3
83022 Rosenheim, Germany
Email: presse@kathrein.de
Phone: +49 8031 184 299
Fax: +49 8031 184 649

Kathrein and CommScope Sign Extensive Cross-License Agreement

Kathrein’s Juergen Walter and Commscope’s Ben Cardwell

Press Release:

Rosenheim/Hickory, 5 April 2017 – Kathrein and CommScope, industry leaders in network infrastructure solutions, have entered into a long-term global agreement to cross-license portions of their patent portfolios, increasing each company’s ability to develop new solutions, serve customers and compete in the global market. Under the agreement, both companies can access and implement the other company’s patents and technologies globally. The cross-licence agreement relates to passive base station antennas, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and filters.

“This is a win-win for both parties, demonstrating our mutual commitment to innovation and wireless industry development,” said Ben Cardwell, Senior Vice President, CommScope Mobility Solutions. “CommScope engineers will enjoy greater freedom of design, accelerating our research and development in antennas and filters, while Kathrein gains access to our valuable digital DAS patents.”

Kathrein is the first and only company that CommScope has licensed to its digital DAS patent portfolio. As part of the agreement, Kathrein agreed to an undisclosed upfront payment and ongoing royalties specific to the digital DAS portfolio. CommScope gains access to Kathrein’s robust passive base station antenna and filter portfolios. Further details of the agreement are not being disclosed.

“We are pleased with the global cross-licence agreement with CommScope,” said Jürgen Walter, Executive Vice President, Solutions Division, Kathrein. “This agreement reflects the two leading companies’ joint view that innovation sharing and standardisation of technology is critical to driving and accelerating industry evolution as we head into 5G customer requirements and future deployments.”

CommScope and Kathrein have invested substantial resources in bringing their wireless solutions to market and have built substantial patent portfolios to protect their respective investments. Both companies are committed to protecting their intellectual property rights. 

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 solutions 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 company takes pride in its dedicated employees and passion for customers and quality. Find out more about Kathrein at www.kathrein.com.


About CommScope

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) helps companies around the world design, build and manage their wired and wireless networks. Our vast portfolio of network infrastructure includes some of the world’s most robust and innovative wireless and fiber optic solutions. Our talented and experienced global team is driven to help customers increase bandwidth; maximize existing capacity; improve network performance and availability; increase energy efficiency; and simplify technology migration. You will find our solutions in the largest buildings, venues and outdoor spaces; in data centers and buildings of all shapes, sizes and complexity; at wireless cell sites; in telecom central offices and cable headends; in FTTx deployments; and in airports, trains, and tunnels. Vital networks around the world run on CommScope solutions.

Kathrein Europe Press Contact

Anton Maier

Email: presse@kathrein.de

Phone: +49 8031 184 299

Kathrein U.S. Media Contact

Capriccio Martin

Email: pr@kathrein.com

Phone: +1 214-238-8822

About 100 Participants in “Jugend forscht” Contest in Rosenheim

Communication technologies specialist Kathrein has organized the first regional contest of “Jugend forscht”, a youth science project, in Rosenheim together with the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim. About 100 students presented their innovative ideas – overall there were 62 projects in seven categories. The jury awarded seven of the projects with a first prize, which entitles the winners to participate in the Bavarian state contest.

The regional contest took place in Rosenheim for the very first time. Due to the large number of projects, the Jugend forscht foundation had been looking for a new partner company for the region South East Upper Bavaria. Anton Kathrein, CEO of the Kathrein Group said, “We’ve very gladly committed to support the prestigious competition. The students clearly represent the spirit of innovation which also drives our company forward.” He was impressed by the many creative ideas, which were developed and presented by the students as projects.

The following participants were awarded first prizes in the category “Schüler experimentieren” (pupils experiment): Sonja Drick from the Maria-Ward-Gymnasium in Altötting (chemistry), Leo Heller from the König-Karlmann-Gymnasium in Altötting (mathematics/IT), Louis Wolf and Lucas Wolfgruber from the Chiemgau-Gymnasium in Traunstein (physics), and Louis Einsiedler from the Ludwig-Thoma-Gymnasium in Prien (technology).

The following participants were awarded first prizes in the category “Jugend forscht” (youth researches): Constantin Geier (mathematics/IT) and Hannes Pravida (physics) both from the Ignaz-Günther-Gymnasium in Rosenheim, and Ralf Gleich and Emre Gülcino from the FOS/BOS (vocational college) in Altötting (technology).

Among the guests at the award ceremony was Dr. Nico Kock, member of the managing board of the Stiftung Jugend forscht e.V. “I am very pleased about this new contest for the greater Rosenheim area, which has been made possible by Kathrein and the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim. We hope that in years to come, many other projects will be registered by schools that have not yet taken part in the youth research contest,” said Kock.

 

Innovative Broadband Connection for Suburban and Rural Areas

Rosenheim, 21 February 2017 – Kathrein, a leading international specialist for reliable, high-quality communication technologies has developed a special antenna in collaboration with the network specialist Nokia to optimise the use of spectrum. Nokia’s FastMile concept connects areas without broadband supply by means of LTE radio frequencies. The solution provides households and companies in suburban and rural areas with a powerful and reliable Internet connection. Nokia plans to launch the innovative system by mid-2017.

LTE for the home is offered by various network operators as an alternative to DSL. The connections are, however, often unstable. In most cases, customers even need an extra LTE antenna in order to have acceptable reception at all. Nokia’s FastMile concept uses existing LTE base stations. These are expanded by a special Kathrein antenna which exploits higher, so far idle, LTE frequency ranges supporting higher throughputs via spectrum-efficient utilisation. There is no need to set up new radio sites, which means significant cost savings for the network operator.

High bandwidth is guaranteed

The basic idea is to establish a radio connection between the mast and the customer – but with FastMile, the connection is via LTE. Network operators know where their customers live and are therefore able to equip each FastMile-capable LTE base station in such a way that high bandwidth is guaranteed. FastMile service is delivered to the user through a FastMile modem featuring advanced antenna technology to maximise the user experience. A WLAN repeater, which also powers the FastMile modem, provides Internet access within the house. A smartphone app makes installation and operation easy.

Kathrein’s solution meets the highest requirements

“Kathrein, with its technological competence, is the ideal development partner for implementing such completely innovative concepts,” says René Groot, Head of the Antenna Partner Business at Nokia Networks. “The close collaboration with Kathrein ensured that the antenna for the FastMile system would perfectly fulfil the highest requirements.”

“We are proud that Nokia chose us as a partner for this trendsetting solution,” says Dr Hermann Rodler, Head of the Products Business Unit at Kathrein. “The development of the FastMile antenna has been a complex challenge during which Kathrein’s developers were able to optimally use their multifaceted know-how.”

About Kathrein

Kathrein is a leading international specialist for reliable high-quality communications technology. The company is an innovation and technology leader in today’s connected world. Kathrein’s solutions and systems 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 company takes pride in its dedicated employees and passion for customers and quality. For more information about Kathrein, see www.kathrein.com.

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathrein Sweeps Fierce Innovation Awards Telecom Edition with New In-Ground Small Cell Antenna

Kathrein Recognized for Leadership in “Small Cells/HetNet Category”; Wins “Best Network Transformation Platform” and “Judges’ Choice” Award

Richardson, Texas (PRWEB) November 18, 2016  (Click here for press release)

Kathrein, the global leader in LTE Antenna solutions for reliable, high-quality wireless communications, today proudly announced that it has been recognized by this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Telecom Edition, a unique industry awards program powered by the publishers of FierceWireless. Kathrein received top honors in the category “Small Cells/HetNet” and earned the prestigious Judges Choice Award that is awarded to the 2016 standout innovative product or service – that most likely positively and dramatically affects service provider networks across the board. All winners were announced on November 17, 2016, and the complete list of winners can be reviewed in the Fierce Innovation Report: Telecom Edition that can be downloaded here.

With the complexities of zoning ordinances and site acquisition for many carriers and neutral host operators, the need for new innovations in antenna technologies is paramount. Thus, in collaboration with Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecom provider, Kathrein developed Kathrein Street Connect, the award-winning in-ground antenna system that is concealed as a typical manhole cover at street level. The Kathrein Street Connect™ was specially designed for ease of deployment and to withstand weather, road vibration, and heavy road cargo weight. Most importantly, the Kathrein Street Connect™ improves network data throughput and speeds by bringing smartphone users closer to the network and paves the way to 5G for mobile operators.

“These awards by FierceWireless are a testament to the innovation and promise of the Kathrein Street Connect™ Solution and a true honor considering the mobile operator participation on the esteemed panel of judges“, said Jim Nevelle, President and CEO of Kathrein USA. “To win all three speaks to the innovation and expertise of Kathrein’s engineering team.”

All applications for this award were evaluated based on the following criteria: technology innovation, financial impact, market validation, compatibility with existing networks, end-user customer experience, and overall level of innovation. Finalists were judged by an exclusive panel of executives from major telecommunications companies including Verizon, T-Mobile, TeliaSonera, Sprint, and Comcast. Full profiles of the judges can be found here.

To find out more about how Kathrein’s Street Connect™ is turning heads and turning the antenna industry upside down, visit us at https://www.kathreinusa.com.

About FierceMarkets

At FierceMarkets, our mission is as clear today as it was at our founding in 2000: be the first place to turn to for information-hungry executives in dynamic industries and a trusted partner for the marketing teams that need to reach them. Back then, we saw the coming power of blogs, web journalism, digital marketing and email communications, and launched our first email newsletter, FierceWireless, to begin fulfilling that mission for the mobile telecommunications industry.Today, our family of over 100 email newsletter publications and websites carries out that same mission for many more industries and millions of users, while we also evolve to address the latest trends in digital media — mobile devices, social media, native advertising and content marketing. Regardless of what the next trend may be, however, we remain fiercely committed to independent insights for our readers and marketing success for our customers. Learn more at: http://www.fiercemarkets.com .

About Kathrein
Kathrein is the innovation and technology leader in wireless base station antennas, small cells, and antenna line device solutions for today’s hyper connected world. Nearly a quarter of all LTE antennas sold and deployed worldwide come from Kathrein. Ranked number one among providers of mobile communication antennas by ABI Research, Kathrein is a hidden champion and family-owned enterprise that has been working on the technologies of tomorrow since 1919. We take pride in our dedicated employees and our passion for customers and quality. Find out more about Kathrein at https://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.