Tag Archives: antennas

Aerostats could bring 5G to rural locations at low cost

5G Supertower

5G networks are going to require a lot of new infrastructure and it’s infrastructure that may not always be financially viable in rural locations, but Altaeros – a telecom infrastructure company – may have a solution in the form of airships.

It’s developed aerostats known as SuperTowers, which can lift antennas and receivers 250 metres high, providing coverage to a 10,000 square kilometre (3,860 square mile) area. That, according to IEEE, would usually require 20-30 masts, but it requires just one SuperTower, thereby reducing deployment costs by around 70%.

Right now, these SuperTowers (which you can see in action in the video below) are still in testing, but recently Altaeros successfully tested a 15-metre prototype, and it’s now preparing a commercial version that will be roughly twice the size and deployed in the US later this year.

Initially they will be providing 4G coverage, but the company claims that they’re ready for 5G and eventually it plans to spread them across the world, so there’s a chance that they could be a viable option in the UK by the time 5G networks start being constructed in around 2020.

Autonomous and mobile

Not only are SuperTowers relatively cheap, but unlike most aerostats they’re autonomous, further keeping costs and deployment time down. And because they’re mobile and can be set up in a couple of days they could also be used to provide temporary coverage as needed, at the likes of concerts and sporting events.

Even if Altaeros isn’t ready to bring them to the UK any time soon, another company could use a similar idea, as EE for example has already used similar air mast technology to bring 4G to 2017’s Red Bull Foxhunt.

So one way or another we might soon see airships taking the place of masts in some locations, and it might mean 5G comes to rural places a lot faster than 4G did.

The Antenna play’s a vital role in the performance of wireless gateway’s installed in vehicles

To maximise the performance of vehicle wireless routers it is essential that you install the correct type of antenna.

The key points to consider are:

Mounting Position. A panel mounted antenna is always going to out perform any other type  of antenna but this is not allways practical to install in some vehicles so other options include internal antennas that fit on the vehicles windscreen or dashboard or magnetic mount antennas.



Fits Internally.  Cellular, Wifi, GPS/GNSS Telematics Antenna. Fits securely on the windscreen or dash using acrylic adhesive. Very easy to install.

External panel/roof mount. GPS/GNSS, MiMo 4G/3G/2G & Optional MiMo 2.4/4.9-6GHz.



Mini Magnetic Mount Wifi Antenna (SMA).Wireless LAN 2400-2485 MHz


Network compatibility. Most IoT applications work on a combination of Cellular LTE, WiFi and other WLAN technologies like Bluetooth and Zigbee and LPWAN (LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, Sigfox) and GPS, GNSS for location. Wireless networks use a dedicated frequency range which the antenna needs to cover.

Cable. To optimise the antennas performace it’s best to minimise the length of cable used as long lenghths of cable can result in signal loss. It’s essential that any cable extenisons used are low loss RG58 coax for the cellular part of the router and double shielded dielectic coax which offers excellent performance up to 6GHz for the WiFi application on the router. Co-Star can manufacture RG58 cable extensions with any combination of connector and cable length. Click here for more information> 

Connectors. The most common connector used on wireless Gateway’s is the SMA series. A standard SMA male is normally used for the cellular application and a reverse polarity SMA male is used for the WiFi application. Some manufacturers of wireless devices do use alternative connectors, to help you choose the correct connector please click on the following  link co-star-connector-matrix.

Co-Star supply a huge range of Antennas and cable assemblies for IoT applications. Please visit our website for more information>

Souce: Co-Star





Co-Star’s Latest RF Connectors for Wireless Applications

C23SRP_025SP-RPCo-Star has developed a new range of RF connectors and adapters  for connecting external antennas to Wireless Routers, Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) and other wireless devices.

FME Male to TS9 Male Right Angle Adaptor Cable

The TS9 connector is often used across a number of cellular, GSM, 3G and 4G dongles, data cards and modems. Very similar in appearance to the CRC9 connector, the TS9 plug has a  gold plated centre pin and circular barrel with slots at the end. The C74-FP-025TS9RA cable has been designed to quickly & easily  covert an antenna terminated with an FME female which is a common connector used for mobile applications to TS9 without having to re-crimp. Co-Star have used a right angle TS9 connector to ensure secure connection into the wireless device. The cable length is 250mm of RG174 coax.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female AdaptorCF_40

Widely used by Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers RP SMA connectors are designed to prevent consumers from accidently  connecting antennas with gain which would breach compliance. The female RP-SMA connector has the same external housing as a standard or conventional female SMA connector, which consists of an outer shell with the threads on the outside; however, the center receptacle is replaced by a male pin. Similarly, the RP-SMA male has threads on the inside like a conventional male, but has a center receptacle instead of the male pin in the middle.

The CF.40 adaptor has a Reverse Polarity male and standard SMA female to enable engineers to convert a standard SMA male which is a commonly used as standard by antenna manufacturers to SMA Male Reverse Polarity.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female Reverse Polarity

Manufactured using low loss RG58 coaxial cable (250mm) the C23SRP.025SP/RP SMA Male RP to SMA Female RP cable extension can be used to convert the genders of RP SMA connectors on antennas or as a cable extension.

Source: Co-Star


Ficosa to cooperate with NTT DOCOMO in 4G integration inside vehicles

FICOSA has announced today that the company has entered into a collaboration with NTT DOCOMO, the largest mobile operator in Japan with respect to their M2M businesses, and specially in the integration of 4G LTE services in the automotive industry mainly in Japan. It is envisaged that the important scale resulting from the cooperation of both companies will be of the utmost importance in addressing the integration of 4G capabilities inside vehicles.

More specifically, the cooperation covers joint technical approaches to enable a seamless 4G solution integrated in vehicles by means of using connectivity modules (or iVTU’s, in-Vehicle Telematic Units).

In that sense, both FICOSA and NTT DOCOMO have demonstrated in real vehicle environments that 4G connectivity is feasible by means of using Ficosa’s iVTU’s and NTT DOCOMO’s 4G network in Japan. High rates of connectivity were achieved under different scenarios, including WI-Fi HotSpot capabilities, allowing to connect several devices at the same time to Ficosa’s iVTU.

The cooperation between the two companies in this area has been of great importance, moreover when it is expected a massive deployment of Telematic systems based on 4G in coming years. FICOSA, as a Tier-1 supplier in the automotive industry, demonstrates that its iVTUs are meeting automotive standards when integrating 4G services.

FICOSA’s iVTUs have been recognized in the industry as best-in-class, being awarded with several worldwide projects for major automotive OEMs. Moreover, FICOSA’s iVTUs with 4G capabilities are miniaturized, even considering the integration of all the antennas inside the units, which is key for safety and security applications.

NTT DOCOMO’s 4G network, on the other side, demonstrated that it could provide full coverage for FICOSA’s iVTU’s installed in vehicles, which is key for a seamless integration of service and a good Quality of Service.

“By cooperating with FICOSA, the largest automotive Tier-1 supplier in Europe, we will be able to jointly develop 4G LTE based telematics by combining FICOSA’s high spec iVTUs and DOCOMO’s network technology. FICOSA is truly one of the leading companies in the industry, and we hope that we can work together to bring new services and functions that realizes a comfortable driving environment to drivers in Japan”, said Tsutomu Shindou, Executive Vice President of NTT  DOCOMO.

“4G telephony connectivity, including Wi-Fi hot spot, has continues growth on the vehicles with state-of-the-art technology. In that sense, our partnership with NTT DOCOMO, is supporting to FICOSA to implement that technology on the Japanese market with our LTE integrated antennas as part of the proof of new technologies inside telematic devices from our Company. On the other hand, FICOSA is as well working on other growing markets with the same technology such as USA where we saw a clear tendency from 3G to 4G telephony connectivity due close sunset of 2G technology”, said Josep Maria Forcadell, Director of the Advanced Communications Unit of FICOSA.

It is expected that, as a result of this joint cooperation, both companies will increase their capabilities to offer better value propositions to their respective customers in different markets and geographies.

Furthermore, both FICOSA and NTT DOCOMO will continuously cooperate with the aim of enhancing the development of new products and business cases, with a specific focus on meeting the expectations of existing and potential new global customers mainly in Japan.


Image source: Mercedes-Bens UK

Image source: Mercedes-Bens UK

Source: Ficosa Press Release