Reliable and compact connections for antennas

Written by 

Ralph Wagner

Product Manager

According to research by ProLab, mobile is set to become a general-purpose technology – equal to electricity; between 2018 and 2020 alone, global mobile data traffic more than doubled from 19 to 40 exabytes per month. The need for connectivity has risen exponentially over the past decade, with many seeing connectivity as a necessity, not a luxury. This has driven innovative technologies, as we are seeing with 5G. Thanks to the faster speeds, low latency and greater network capacity promised by wide rollout of 5G, network operators must prepare for a substantial increase in data traffic. In fact, global mobile data traffic is set to grow by a factor of 4.5 by 2026, when 5G will account for over half of total mobile data. 

Meeting the demand of 5G
High density antenna connections have a vital role to play in the preparation for 5G data demands to ensure that more people can simultaneously connect to the network and maintain high throughput. As channel numbers surge, more antennas will be required on radio masts to meet the demand. HUBER+SUHNER is committed to meeting the specific needs and requirements of the industry and has launched its MQ4/MQ5 Cluster Connector. Unlike many other cluster connectors on the market, the HUBER+SUHNER MQ4/MQ5 solution offers complete customisation. 

As the technical development of mobile antennas increases, more connections are required on the antennas themselves. However, antennas are becoming more compact, providing less physical space for these connections to be made. As a result, the number of connectors at the antenna becomes the size defining factor. If the number of connections is to increase, without a subsequent increase in antenna size, the connection density on the antennas must be enhanced. 

Benefits of a customised solution
When used instead of single cables, the MQ4/MQ5 Cluster Connector allows connecting up to 5 lines in one plugging process, resulting in a denser connection, whilst still allowing the antennas to remain compact. There are also the advantages of a shorter installation time, no risk of mismating and overall lower cost of ownership, as well as lower chance of poor connectivity for the end user. 

The ability to customise this equipment is crucial to meet the needs of the infrastructure, while keeping the size small and its weight low. With options for specific and flexible design of the connectors and customised labelling and packaging of the Cluster Jumper cables, the MQ4/MQ5 is the ideal, future-oriented solution for network compression. This new product now extends the HUBER+SUHNER radio frequency connector portfolio and nicely complements the existing LISCA jumper solutions for corrugated jumper cable assemblies which deliver high efficiency and optimal cable management.

Industry standardisation 
The MQ4/MQ5 Cluster Connector from HUBER+SUHNER is based on requirements of the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) standardisation: Recommendation on RF Cluster Connector – Antenna to Radio Module Pinout Alignment. As well as minimising the potential for cross feeder/connection issues, the standardisation from NGMN is recommended for early 5G deployment. As a result, the installation of the MQ4/MQ5 from HUBER+SUHNER will help prepare radio mast infrastructure for the high-speed, large data demands of 5G internet usage anticipated by the industry. In modern times when the internet is helping us stay connected more than ever before, meeting these demands is vital to support every aspect of our lives.