Driven in part by the rise of smartphones and the Internet of Things (IoT), the demands made on wireless networks continue to increase. Wireless network interference can severely impact network coverage and capacity, making effective interference management crucial for both network operators and enterprise users. Interference problems can originate from a variety of sources. Attempts to add capacity may be hampered by interference caused by overlapping coverage areas or poor isolation between antenna ports in a MIMO antenna system. High-powered signals from LTE networks also can interfere with both GPS/GNSS and Wi-Fi networks, particularly when antennas are co-located on small cells. Network equipment must also be designed, tested, and laid out properly to avoid Passive Intermodulation (PIM) interference. External sources of interference, from streetlights to baby monitors to rogue base stations, can also slow network data speeds or disrupt connectivity. External interference has been a major problem for LTE networks from the start. 5G networks, particularly those operating on lower frequencies, will face similar challenges.
PCTEL draws on its deep RF engineering expertise to provide test tools, antennas, and embedded systems that effectively manage interference. Our SeeWave® interference locating system leverages PCTEL’s SeeGull® flex scanning receivers to make hunting for external interference faster, easier, and more cost effective.flex scanning receivers and SeeHawk® Touch software also provide crucial data used to minimize interference in all phases of heterogeneous network deployment. All of our directional and omnidirectional antennas feature optimized radiation pattern control, resulting in predictable coverage footprints. PCTEL also offers PIM-rated antennas and network equipment, MIMO antennas with strong port-to-port isolation, and Wi-Fi and GPS/GNSS antennas with advanced filtering technology to protect from nearby or co-located LTE transmitters. We also offer custom embedded systems and external antenna layout design capabilities for our antenna customers to minimize interference at the device level.