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Kathrein's In-Ground Antenna Turns Manholes into Base Stations

Clock 13 December 2015
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Image Credit: Kathrein

Broadcast and communication radio antenna specialist, Kathrein in collaboration with Swisscom and Ericsson has developed “Kathrein Street Connect”, an in-ground antenna system that can embed small cells in manholes and connect them to existing landline infrastructure. Following a trial period in Bern, Swisscom will test the system in city as well as in Zurich, Basel und Lausanne until the end of this year, followed by large-scale antenna installations throughout Switzerland in early 2016, said Kathrein. 

According to Swisscom, the mobile data volume generated by customers through surfing, streaming and downloading doubles approximately every twelve months. To cater for the demand, the operator started implementing macro cells that are supplemented by micro cells mounted on street lamps or building walls. The availability of suitable sites and the connection to the core network are, however, problematic.

To solve the issue, Swisscom developed the concept of a micro cell in which the base station is incorporated into existing cable manholes of the landline infrastructure. Kathrein has integrated its antenna with a specially designed manhole cover with the antenna protected in a special casing under the cover, which is load bearing and vibration limiting. 

Heinz Herren, Swisscom's CTO and CIO
I am very proud that this product will be another milestone in our history of innovations. When we took Kathrein on board, an experienced and competent partner, their profound know-how helped to turn our idea into reality.

Joe Doering, Chief Sales Officer of the Kathrein Group
The need for high-performance connections is growing rapidly especially in big cities. ‘Kathrein Street Connect’ adds a new solution to our portfolio which is highly topical for telecom providers around the world.

Ray is The Fast Mode's editor and content director. Ray has covered the wireless industry as a writer for more than 10 years, focusing on technology and business aspects of the telecoms sector. Ray can be reached at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com. Follow Ray at linkedin.com/in/raysharma10

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