Is there a sweet spot for distance that you will see the most improvement by using the beam forming antenna? Will you see improvements on clients that are far away (8miles) as well as those that are close (<1mile)?
The smart antenna's range is impacted by distance like any other antenna, i.e. the smart antenna will also be impacted by path loss. However, think of the smart antenna as a regular sector antenna but with a narrow beam pointing at the SM its talking to at any given slot in the TDD frame. The smart antenna will be able to tune out interference outside its narrow beamwidth (which would normally be heard by a sector antenna with a wider beamwidth), thereby improving immunity to interference and improving throughput significantly over the sector antenna.
Sriram - what are the patterns, horizontal and vertical for each "beam"? Also, what is the gain?
the antenna is dynamic and doesn't have a "pattern" it changes depending on what it needs to listen too. smart antennas are adaptive to what the evenriment is and will behave a little diffrent in each situation. Alpha atennas make some high end LTE antennas and a while ago had a good product brief explaining beam frorming atnenas for both TX and RX. a few older wimax platforms dabbled with that as well. the easiest way to discribe one of these is to image an antenna like the force 200 dish that would move to listen to each subsriber independantly, blocking out background noise. it works like that but at the eletronics level.
the mechanics of how beam steering actually works is pretty mind blowing, but definally worth the re-search, and i'm sure once they are ready to release the details, they will. cambium usually wont say much until the product is ready and good to go. they're not much on the vaporware club.