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.