Emerging 5G standards are opening a new frontier in communications technologies. With their expanded throughput and lower latency, 5G standards enable applications in public safety, fleet management, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), such as virtual reality, machine learning, and advanced cyber-physical systems. 5G offers a variety of flexible protocols for different use cases, such as fixed, mobile, and IoT networks. 5G can operate as a separate, standalone technology, but 5G standards will also enable Non-Standalone (NSA) networks, providing added capacity and functionality to existing 4G LTE networks. 5G also expands network capacity by opening new millimeter wave (mmW) and other high frequency spectrum for use and creating new opportunities for using shared and unlicensed spectrum, including at 3.5 GHz CBRS and 5 GHz. Many 5G networks will leverage new and existing small cell infrastructure and MIMO antenna systems. The complex array of 5G technologies will require advanced antenna technologies, sophisticated device design, and careful field testing to deliver return on investment for both network operators and enterprise users.
Our experience designing small cell antennas and MIMO antenna systems puts PCTEL in a unique position to provide comprehensive antenna solutions for customers who are upgrading or deploying new networks. As leaders in antennas and embedded systems for the IIoT, we will provide critical components for the adoption of LTE-M and other low power 5G technologies. Our wireless product development and antenna system engineering teams work closely with our customers to facilitate the deployment of integral antenna systems and antenna arrays that include 5G support. PCTEL’s SeeGull® flex scanning receivers adapt to new protocols and frequencies, providing accurate data needed to design and optimize 5G networks and ensure their interoperability with legacy technologies. Our new downconverter-based mmWave scanning receiver supports simultaneous testing of both mmWave and traditional cellular spectrum. PCTEL scanning receivers also work with our SeeWave® interference locating system to help clear newly available and re-farmed spectrum for 5G.