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LTE & WiMax Antennas: Market Outlook
The fawning and then fracas over the iPhone 4's antenna is noteworthy as one of the few times in telecom history that most pundits and consumers bothered to notice, let alone care about, the key role that antennas play in the user experience. Base station antennas languish in even more obscurity, except when they are the subject of a zoning request for a new site.

But with Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMax, base station antennas should get more attention, if only because there will be more of them. That is because even with the growing selection of multi-band and broadband antennas that can accommodate some combination of 2G, 3G, and 4G, operators will still have to add antennas and related products, such as remote radio heads (RRH) and distributed antenna systems (DAS).

Why? Mainly because to make good on 4G's promise of super-fast speeds several Mbit/s today and up to 300 Mbit/s down the road LTE and WiMax networks will need a strong signal and ample capacity, indoors and out. That requires a higher density of antennas, whether they are panels atop a tower or DAS down at street level on a lamp post. High speeds also require greater manipulation of signals, going beyond common techniques, such as downtilting and receive diversity, and into new ones, such as beamforming and multiple input/multiple output (MIMO).

In 2G and 3G networks, antennas play an obvious, relatively straightforward role: They radiate and receive signals. But with 4G, they start to play an even greater role in maximizing a network's efficiency and effectiveness in terms of costs and the user experience. Some things have not changed from 2G and 3G. Operators and other antenna buyers which include municipalities and utilities in the case of WiMax still look at key specs, such as signal-to-noise ratios, gain, beam uniformity, and front-to-back ratios. They also look for how design and manufacturing processes will affect performance in the field.

As with 3G's debut, the commercial arrival of LTE and growing deployments of WiMax are creating new revenue and market opportunities for many companies, including tower/site companies and suppliers of antennas and related products. The market for antennas and related products will enjoy strong growth over at least the next five years. In the case of LTE, although the boom is in developed markets, such as Western Europe and North America, there will be a loud echo afterward as operators in developing markets start upgrading from 3G.

LTE & WiMax Antennas: Market Outlook identifies and analyzes key issues that affect the market for 4G antennas and related products. It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various antennas technologies and designs, such as DAS, broadband antennas, and RRH. Finally, the report profiles 11 leading companies in this market.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (4gltei0910_toc.pdf)
DAS involves one or more small antennas linked by fiber to a base station. As a result, the smart antenna features defined in the LTE and WiMax standards are a separate issue, right down to the way that DAS and the antennas generally are supplied by separate vendors. DAS is more like lossless coax than an antenna per se, yet it still plays a key role in LTE and WiMax performance. The following excerpt illustrates where DAS sits in relation to the base station and antennas.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: ADC (Nasdaq: ADCT); Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR); Andrew Solutions; Axis Network Technology Ltd.; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Kathrein-Werke KG; Laird Technologies, a unit of Laird PLC (LSE: LRD); MTI Wireless Edge Ltd.; Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); Powerwave Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: PWAV); and Ubidyne GmbH.
Total pages: 19
To view reports you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, it can be obtained for free at the Adobe web site.