One of the most important components of a wireless communication system is the antenna. As wireless technologies become increasingly more complex so do the antennas. Only a few years ago, an antenna was a simple shape of metal tuned to a single frequency and connected by one cable. We had designs such as the Yagi and whip antennas, and we really only wanted to know how high the ‘gain’ was.
Modern wireless networks, such as those used by Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Spark, and 2Degrees are now incredibly complex, using active arrays of 64 or 128 individual antenna elements that constantly permutate to direct coverage where it is needed most. These advanced antennas can track users moving, change their configuration to block out sources of interference, and cooperate with other base stations to improve data speeds.
Today’s 4G and 5G networks also use a whole host of different frequency combinations to provide super-fast internet. Your device may be combining five different frequencies as low as 700 MHz, to as high as 28 GHz, from different towers in different directions at any one time!
Powertec supply the Blackhawk range of antennas for our mobile, IoT, and WiFi systems. We’ve been evolving the Blackhawk designs over several years as wireless technologies change. While it sounds mind-boggling, choosing the right antenna has become simpler.
Rather than having to match an antenna to a particular phone company, Blackhawk now provides wideband antennas, most of which cover all frequency combinations from 700 to 3700 MHz – meaning the one antenna can be used regardless of the mobile network.
With the introduction of 4G and 5G Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP), directional antennas (such as Yagi, dish, and panel) can actually deteriorate data performance. Instead, we use Blackhawk wideband Omni antennas, which have been redesigned for CoMP array installation. Simple antennas, designed right, now outperform many large and heavy designs.
If you’re not worried about internet speed, luckily enough mobile phone calls are still nice and easy to improve – a Blackhawk Yagi antenna connected to a Cel-Fi repeater is generally all you need.
Extending our Blackhawk range, we also supply antennas from a number of strategic partners who help us improve wireless point to point and packet microwave performance.
We are Australia’s antenna experts. We’ve spent the last 10 years pioneering some of the most cutting-edge, innovative, and eyebrow-raising mobile and wireless systems on the planet.
It might surprise you to know that most of the performance improvement associated with an external antenna is actually not the antenna at all – it’s the height. All antennas output the same amount of power, different designs just increase power in one direction by taking away from another direction.
The most significant improvement you can make is by placing an antenna (or the device itself) clear of obstructions. Just like installing a TV antenna, installing a pole on the roof of the house or building is usually the best way to do this. Mobile phone, wireless broadband, and other wireless technologies are usually broadcast from a tall base station which has been built to transmit the signal over the top of buildings and trees. Installing the antenna on top of a pole or tall mast reduces the amount that signal degrades by passing through trees and bouncing around obstructions.
Powertec supply a huge range of Blackhawk masts and towers, accommodating for any and all application – whether you need a small pole on the roof of your house, or are looking for a 30-metre tower to broadcast your own LoRa IoT network.
We also have a wide range of turn-key height systems, such as communications trailers, portable telescopic masts, and temporary tripod towers.
We help local wireless ISPs to improve their network coverage with our roof-mounted lattice towers while remaining in budget. Our Blackhawk towers have helped provide connectivity to remote Pacific islands, and isolated indigenous communities.
Like all of our solutions, we stick to design. We’re proud to be helping over 900 installation partners across Australia to build solutions with confidence and mutual respect that comes with over 20 years of experience working with small business.