The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) alliance has recommended operators use a common RF cluster connector for early 5G deployment, the type C (MQ4/5).

The recommendation responds to the increasing demand for highly integrated antennas with a large number of RF ports. As antenna size is a critical factor in network deployment, limiting the number of connectors, cluster connectors solve these challenges by integrating several RF ports into a single connector assembly.

NGMN established the cluster connector project to provide a recommendation in time for operator antenna roll-outs. The project aims to align the industry toward a common cluster connector, with standardization providing operating and maintenance benefits to operators. The project was comprised of leading international operators as well as network equipment, antenna and connector suppliers.

An NGMN white paper, Recommendation for RF Cluster Connector for use in 5G NR 8T8R TDD Deployment, describes the connector selection process and discusses the features making a common RF cluster connector the most suitable for early 5G deployment.

“This cluster connector industry recommendation, aligning equipment suppliers towards using a common type of connector, will help operators to simplify logistics and reduce O&M expenditures.” — Tomas Sedlacek, chairman of the NGMN cluster connector project and a site infrastructure expert at Deutsche Telekom

“This will accelerate time-to-market and decrease installation costs. The selection of a cluster connector marks a significant step in this mission, and we are committed to continuing to work with the industry as we move forward towards the new era of connectivity that 5G is set to bring.” — Peter Meissner, NGMN CEO