A New Way to Compare Base Station Antenna Performance
Most of the antenna testing performed by Vecta is aimed at demonstrating compliance of a product with a vendor’s specification. Such specifications often do not provide a good basis for comparing similar products from different suppliers. Coverage, for example, depends on a range of antenna parameters such as peak gain, location angle of peak gain, beamwidth, beam shape and tracking of the two polarizations. To better understand the true performance of an antenna, Vecta has devised two figures-of-merit (FoM) that can be derived from the normal antenna range measurement data and can form a basis for comparison of the performance of different antennas in typical network deployments.
The first of these (FoM1) characterises the ability of the antenna to direct power into the nominal coverage region and ensures that the power density does not fall below a given value within this zone. The second (FoM2) is aimed at characterising the extent to which the power is radiated into the coverage sector and not elsewhere into adjacent cells where it can negatively impact network performance. These parameters can be used to maximise cell-edge and sector throughput and mitigate inter-sector interference.
Both FoMs are based on measurements covering the full range of frequencies, beam downtilts, polarizations and all ports of the antennas. In addition, it is possible to apply weightings to the FoMs to produce a composite figure for comparing antennas. It is also possible to include measurements from several supposedly identical antennas to improve the statistics and provide a check on antenna-to-antenna variation.
For more information on how to compare base station antenna performance, please contact Vecta.