New Quectel white paper reveals expanded market for combo antennas
Vancouver, 14th July 2023 - Quectel Wireless Solutions, a global IoT solutions provider, has published a new white paper that details how combo antennas are finding new markets by addressing the need to enable multiple connectivity types within a single antenna. The paper, titled ‘Why combo antennas are finding new markets with robust, multi-technology connectivity’, sets out how requirements to support multiple types of radio technology has been challenging OEMs both as they design and take products to market.
The paper describes how, as volumes of IoT devices grow, there are now many more use cases that justify adoption of combo antennas. Until now, adoption of combo antennas has been constrained due to their higher cost than traditional single technology antennas. However, although combo antennas are relatively complex to develop, they are simple to install because only a single mounting is required for the device to then be able to access multiple forms of connectivity. This results in lower cost of operation and faster time to market for projects that utilize combo antennas than for deployments that need to connect multiple different antennas.
Innovative vendors have managed to make combo antennas more accessible to a broader range of users by spreading the development costs across larger customer bases and implementing re-usable form factors to limit expenses. This approach has led to a virtuous cycle, with increased antenna deployment and improved efficiencies in manufacturing, development, and design. As a result, combo antennas have become increasingly appealing for diverse applications in healthcare, public safety, and emergency response scenarios, providing more dependable and robust connectivity at a highly affordable price point compared to previous offerings.
Combo antennas are designed to ensure the devices they serve can connect to multiple forms of connectivity. For some applications this helps ensure always-on connectivity while for others, the focus is on minimizing cost or maximizing bandwidth. The technology inside each combo antenna can be selected to match the criteria of the use case.
A straightforward example is a 5-in1 puck antenna, typically seen on the exterior of vehicles for applications in intelligent transportation or for heavy equipment telematics. Such an antenna combines 5G and 4G network capability with satellite capability by including 4 x 4 5G/4G MIMO antennas and a GNSS L1 and L5 antenna. All of these are included in the same product that requires a single installation by an installer with no specific technology expertise.
Another example is a 9-in-1 combo antenna that combines 8 x 8 5G/4G MIMO antennas with a GNSS L1 and L5 antenna. The greater number of antennas ensures strong connections for video applications and typical use cases include passenger transport, vehicle tracking and remote asset and pipeline monitoring. The potential to design combo antennas is limited only by what can be fitted into the space available so customers could choose to select a range of cellular, Wi-Fi, satellite and LPWAN antennas to be combined into a combo antenna of their specification.
To read the white paper, visit https://www.quectel.com/library/combo-antennas-white-paper
Quectel’s passion for a smarter world drives us to accelerate IoT innovation. A highly customer-centric organization, we are a global IoT solutions provider backed by outstanding support and services. Our growing global team of 5,900 professionals sets the pace for innovation in cellular, GNSS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, antennas and services.
With regional offices and support across the globe, our international leadership is devoted to advancing IoT and helping build a smarter world.
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