Antennas for high-level mobile connectivity

2nd January 2019
Alex Lynn

Specialist in connectivity and sensors, TE Connectivity (TE), has presented two new MiMo antennas for public transportation applications. Both deliver connectivity to provide the high levels of internet availability that passengers expect while travelling. The first is a low-profile, plug-and-play WiFi antenna for indoor use that is mountable almost anywhere in a vehicle.

The second is a multi-service antenna for outdoor use, combining mobile connectivity, global positioning and WiFi functionalities in one robust device. The integrated MiMo (multiple in and multiple out) technology delivers enhanced connectivity by dividing data streams (multipath propagation) and using up to four antennas for signal transmission.

For the new indoor WiFi antenna, TE engineers focused on getting a low-profile design as space is often limited in vehicles, especially in height restricted double-deckers. With a diameter of 115mm and a height of only 30mm, the new WiFi antenna is very compact and can be installed in confined spaces. Thanks to its built-in ground plane, it can be placed anywhere in the vehicle, even on non-conductive surfaces. Moreover, the use of flame retardant material enables application in many environments.

The product can be equipped with a 3x3 or a 4x4 MiMo antenna. The plug and play radio connection can be established though a SMA or Right Angle N-type Coaxial Connector.

Egbert Stellinga, product manager for TE Connectivity’s Industrial business, stated: “The new antenna from TE enhances passenger experience by delivering high levels of WiFi connectivity throughout different types of vehicles: trains, passenger coaches, metros, trams and buses. Thanks to the low profile and plug-and-play MiMo technology, public transportation services get the opportunity to easily enhance client satisfaction and thereby attract more travellers.”

The new multi-service MiMo antenna from TE provides three functions in one device, delivering GSM (up to LTE), global positioning (compatible with GPS, Glonass, Galileo, and Beidou standards) and WiFi connectivity in a robust housing. Designed for outdoor use, the solution, which is in the shape of a shark fin, conforms to the IP66 standard and even protects against water jets coming from high pressure cleaners or automated washing. Moreover, the overmolded surface withstands direct sunlight, making the product suitable for rooftop mounting. Only one M18 split nut is needed to fix the antenna.

“Public transportation vehicle operators get a high level of connectivity through minimal effort,” added Stellinga. “Advantages include not only state-of-the-art WiFi for passengers and personnel, but also added value through fast uploading of vehicle data to the station, monitoring passenger behaviour outside the vehicle or many other data-related benefits. Collecting on-board data is key to optimising rail operations and fleet management.”

Both antenna innovations from TE can be applied in rolling stock. Even though both products are largely plug-and-play, TE’s service teams are available to assist operators with all installation and set-up procedures.

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