Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) announced it has collaborated with Nokia to integrate its passive antenna technology with Nokia’s 5G massive MIMO (mMIMO) radios, in a compact design to further enhance 5G base station capabilities.

The solution is a compact base station antenna, which integrates an RFS passive antenna with a Nokia 5G NR massive MIMO radio in the same antenna system to create the Nokia interleaved passive active antenna (IPAA+) radio solution, which is integrated by Nokia. In addition to a smaller form factor and lighter weight, the interleaved design addresses some of the challenges of tower loading, but also maintains 2G/3G/4G antenna performance characteristics.  

The modular architecture of the antenna system is designed to ensure easy installation. The antenna can be deployed as a full passive/active solution or rolled out in stages, with any upgrades simple to install on site. Modules are robust and can be easily lifted and quickly fitted without needing specialist equipment.

Driven by a demand for 5G introduction with low visual impact, zero additional tower space and optimized wind load, RFS developed its passive platform antenna to enable the integration of passive and active elements. This will result in simplified deployment and lower total cost of ownership.

This development builds on collaborations to combine passive and active components. Both passive and active modules can be customized to support various configurations including 2G/3G/4G and 5G and covering all cellular frequency bands from 700 MHz up to 3800 MHz. In addition, the smooth introduction of the active module allows the straightforward introduction of 32TRX or 64TRX mMIMO radios.

The first solution comprises:

  • Passive module covering all cellular frequency bands from 700 MHz up to 2700 MHz supporting MIMO 2T2R, 4T4R
  • Active mMIMO radio 32TRX or 64TRX in the 3.5 GHz band.

Jean-Pierre Harel, BSA R&D manager at RFS, commented, “Over the past few years we have been focusing on designing integrated passive active solutions that push the capabilities of base station equipment designed to meet the real world needs of our operator customers. We have worked closely with Nokia to combine its expertise on active equipment with our long heritage in designing passive solutions to deliver a best-in-class solution that meets the needs of our customers and helps serve the ever-increasing demand for data capacity.”