Why You Should Consider Ubiquiti Horn Antennas for PtMP
There is an extensive amount of high-sites and masts on buildings these days. With the ever-increasing number of radios placed on each of these high-sites and masts, it's interesting how few of them are in fact horn antennas. So, what exactly is a horn antenna and how would it make a difference?
What is a Horn Antenna?A horn antenna is characterised by its flaring walls which are shaped like a horn in order to direct radio waves in a particular direction. Ubiquiti’s range of horn antennas are currently available in a variety of beam-widths and feature two main types: Symmetrical and Asymmetrical.
What are Symmetrical Horn Antennas?Symmetrical horn antennas guide radio waves to produce a vertical beam-width equal to the horizontal beam-width.
What are Asymmetrical Horn Antennas?Asymmetrical horn antennas produce a wider horizontal beam-width than the vertical beam-width and in doing so, allow the user to cover a larger area.
How will Horn Antennas Make a Difference?The horn antennas have several characteristics that make them very effective for highly populated masts:
- 1. Size: They are very small in comparison to most other antenna used on masts, resulting in space-saving on the same mast so that more devices can be installed without wasting space.
- 2. Front / Back Ratio: The horn antennas do not produce much, if any, ‘signal bleed’. This small footprint means that virtually no side and back lobes are produced to potentially 'be heard' by other radios sharing tower space, making them ideal for co-located deployments.
- 3. Noise Immunity: Horn antennas also provide impressive noise immunity. When in 'receive mode', the shape of the horn assists with shielding unwanted RF signals and assists with improving SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio).
- 4. Scalability: Knowing where the beam-width begins and ends, means that installers can more accurately target and cover specific areas with wireless signal based on what the customer needs. It's also far easier to apply channel re-use techniques to preserve the spectrum.
Horn Antenna Radio OptionsThese horn antennas are best used in conjunction with the Ubiquiti PrismStation radio in high interference environments. There is also an IsostationAC device which includes a 45-degree antenna for low-to-moderate interference locations. The radio simply twists into place and locks onto the antenna ensuring a watertight connection. The Ubiquiti PrismStation radio also complements the horn antenna perfectly by making use of its proprietary features, such as the Prism chip and GPS synchronisation.
The Prism chip is a dedicated RF filtering chip on the radio that focuses solely on filtering out noise from adjacent frequency channels and focusing only on the channel selected for your wireless network.
GPS synchronisation will go hand-in-hand with co-locating multiple AP’s on a tower. When used, GPS synchronisation drastically reduces interference on co-located devices by syncing the devices' TX transmissions which would typically be 'heard' by half-duplex radios in co-located environments.
See a great example of these antennas demonstrating their scalability and use here.
With the above-mentioned benefits, it is clear why these antennas would add value to wireless networks in urban and suburban deployments.
Blog post by Guy Perry