Antenna's for 5G mimo...

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Antenna's for 5G mimo...

Post by krist » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:42 am

I am currently playing around with a SIM8200EA-M2 modem.

When it comes to making it the main gateway for my house I will need to install an external antenna, or antenna's.
5G uses band n1 here. According to the SIM8200 antenna mapping guide I would thus need to connect antennas 0,2,3 and 4.

Looking at antenna's I see I have several choices.

Mimo 4x4 directional
Mimo 2x2 omnidirectional
Simple omnidrectional.

The house is in the mountains, up on a plateau with a good view down the valley. I can see several cell towers down in the valley, and two higher up on the mountains. All within about 3 km, and in a 180 degree arc. So I think I probably should not use a directional antenna.

So I am thinking of getting 2 2x2 antennas, or just 4 simple ones, and spacing them out on the front of the house. Would that work? Would that actually be better than one 4x4 antenna?

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Re: Antenna's for 5G mimo...

Post by R1250GSA » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:49 am

Hello krist,

Thank you for sharing your efforts with the SIM8200EA modem.

Poynting Antennas has many youtube videos that provide an opinion/education on LTE/4G/5G/MIMO antennas.
The theme is to space them out and rotate half of them(cross polarize).
I believe that 2x2 and 4x4 antennas are a pragmatic solution for aesthetics, space limitations, and cost.
Omnidirectional are easy to setup and flexible but have downsides such as more interference and less gain.

Do you have any data points on your towers and their signal strength?
Towers do not necessarily provide 360 degree coverage and can angle their antennas down/up.
CellMapper on a smartphone could help, although I don't think it has any 5G specific tools.

A cellular wireless connection is to ONE cell tower unless you are mobile and get passed to another.
So the advantages of Omnidirectional are reduced except for capacity/fault tolerance reasons to switch towers. So if maximum bandwidth is the goal, a directional array maybe a consideration.

A 4x4 MIMO modem and (4) antenna array would have the best performance but it is not linear.
Some obtain best performance using two modems and aggregate the bandwidth due to a number of factors including capacity, throttling, older tower technology, and other configurations.

It would be interesting to know the current state of 5G in Switzerland.
Here in the USA, 5G coverage is a mix of marketing, voodoo, and some success, mainly in urban areas, and a few using the new Band71 in rural areas.
With non-mwave 5G sharing the frequency bands with 4G, the tower logic is not transparent in how the capacity will be allocated to 4G and 5G.

With all this said, my favorite configuration is dual 2x2 panel antennas.
Easier to setup than LPGA. Good compromise on all points of cabling/brackets/cost/appearance.

Let us all know how you make out.
Best of luck.

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