The perfect Antenna

I had an antenna manufacturer call me recently, one that was a go-to in the past for multipoint deployments - but has been eclipsed by other offerings and as a result the sales to Service Providers has dropped off.  My conversation got me to thinking - what makes an antenna a "perfect antenna"?  I realize that different deployment scenarios drive different needs, but as a start let's say we are doing a pretty standard deployment idea of servicing 100+ subscribers within around 7 - 10 miles of a centrally placed tower.  Does the anenna you would use already exist on the market, and if it does not, what would you like to see? 


We've had really good luck with most all of Cambium's OEM antennas... all except for 900MHz... we use KP antennas for both the AP and clients for that band. For 5GHz, we've used some horns, but due to the lower gain, it can be difficult getting longer shots, but they tend to have less noise then a traditional sector... so there are some trade-offs.

It seems ATM the big debate is horns vs. MU-MIMO. Do you use a bunch of individual radios with small beamwidth horns or do you hang an e3k w/OEM antenna or PMP450m?

My strategy ATM is... use horns for when tower space is cheap/easy and there's lots of spectrum. Use MU-MIMO or massive MU-MIMO when tower space is scarce/expensive and/or there's not a lot of spectrum.

High gain and beamwidth like a sector with the f/b and lobes of a wave guide / horn (Mimosa N5-45 ? )

Metal (groundable) enclosure for radio (like some of the KPP antennas)

Also you just insert the radio *click* like on the RF Elements twist ports, no pigtails to screw on/off.

The smaller and lighter the better (especially for micropops).

A 180° option ( that way 2 AP's back to back with a utility pole between them) but also 90°  and down to 45 or 30° for towers in more populated areas OR the ability to connect more than one radio to the antenna so like one AP attached to the sector 40Mhz wide channel centered on 5800Mhz and another at 5740 or whatever.

I would like no stainless steel bolts/nuts because they gall/seize.

I would like as few/different types/sizes of nuts/bolts/screws as possible to reduce the number of tools needed to install/adjust it.

I would like a flat magnetic/ferrous surface on the top of the antenna for the GPS puc to stick to.

I would like a flat magnetic/ferrous spot on the front and/or back of the antenna for an angle meter.

I would like a something like a gunsite or place to attach some sort of gunsite/scope to the antenna for horizontal aiming of the sector and especially for large dish type antennas this would be amazing. Even something proprietary like the little scope for aiming Ignitenet 60Ghz radios would be nice. Would also be nice for installing LOS customer radios.

Would like the mounting brackets, especially on dish type antennas, to allow you to *easily* replace the antenna without removing/changing the mounting brackets so you can replace them without having to re-aim them. Ubiquiti kind'a does this with their dish's but it doesn't really work / is more difficult than it should be.  ePMP does a great job of this with the F180's and F200's but somehow failed completely with the F300-25's..

I would like for the antennas to have a structurally secure place to attach a caribeener for pulling / lowering them up/down towers.


Kinda not exactly on topic, but along this vein:

“to easily replace the antenna without removing/changing the mounting brackets so you can replace them”

…it would have also been great to have a feed horn upgrad ability. It would be SO much quicker and cheaper if we could have bought 300 feed horns, and replaced 200 feed horns, and not had to buy and ship new dishes and mounting brackets all over the world.

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