Cylindrical antennas are great in terms of size, but limit an operator’s ability to fine tune performance at small cell sites. Panel antennas, on the other hand, provide maximum optimization flexibility at the cost of larger size. With panel antennas, unique coverage scenarios can be achieved by phasing together antennas with different beamwidths at non-120° azimuth spacing. In addition, as new technology becomes available, panel antennas can be easily swapped to expand capability of a site / sector without significantly changing the physical appearance.
To help operators maintain near term and long term flexibility, ConcealFab has developed and continues to expand its portfolio of panel antenna mounting solutions. Standard solutions are currently available for pole tops, pole sides, building walls and signs. Drawing on this experience, ConcealFab can quickly develop customized solutions to meet new operator requirements.
When concealing antennas, it is important to use low loss materials with a low dielectric constant to minimize signal loss and reduce pattern distortion. This becomes increasingly important at frequencies above 2 GHz. For this reason, ConcealFab rarely uses fiberglass as a concealment material. Rather, materials such as ABS and PVC are preferred which provide an optimum combination of outdoor weatherability, structural rigidity and RF properties.