China Mobile Verifies Benefits of SkyCross’ Advanced Tunable Antenna Module for LTE MMMB Device

The Challenge
China Mobile, a leading mobile telecommunications company, faced a common design problem: it needed to shrink the form factor of a device while ensuring top LTE speeds and minimizing radio-frequency (RF) interference. Specifically, the company needed an LTE MMMB device that would support 5 modes and 10 or 12 bands, and would also cover wide band from 700MHz to 2.7GHz. China Mobile also sought to improve efficiency, reduce cost and enable a smaller, thinner form factor for its end device.

Initially, the China Mobile Research Institute worked with the industry in an attempt to find a smaller form factor antenna solution that would cover the expanded spectrum needed for multimode worldwide operation. Although fixed antenna solutions could be used to support multiple antennas for multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) protocols to cover the wide band from 700MHz to 2.7GHz, their size did not meet form factors preferred along the product roadmap. In addition, the multiple antennas needed significant signal independence and isolation to ensure that the multiple signals did not interfere with one another.

After contacting industry specialists, China Mobile learned of SkyCross’ innovative technology and professional spirit, which led both companies to enter into a mutual development agreement for a tunable antenna solution meeting the needs along China Mobile’s product roadmap.

The Solution
SkyCross began its custom antenna design process, according to China Mobile’s electrical/mechanical specifications, target timelines, and budget requirements. Based on China Mobile’s requirements, SkyCross suggested its VersiTune-series of tunable antenna modules, which led to a single, tunable antenna structure that met all of China Mobile’s requirements for multi-band LTE devices. This advanced antenna module boasted broad performance across 12 operating frequency bands and optimized MIMO performance for 4G LTE from 700MHz to 2.7GHz, in a compact form factor to enable thinner, lighter mobile devices.

With VersiTune technology, SkyCross can actively tune an antenna from frequency band to frequency band in order to precisely satisfy many bands with a single structure. This advanced antenna solution also builds on SkyCross’ patented iMATTM antenna design technique, enabling a single antenna structure to act like multiple antennas through the use of multiple feeds for MIMO operation. Additionally, the advanced antenna solution relies on SkyCross’ MatchTune technology to uniquely fine tune the single antenna structure within a given LTE frequency band, enhancing performance within a given frequency or for multiple simultaneous frequencies when employing carrier aggregation.

As part of the program, China Mobile decided to move toward the end goal of equipping its LTE devices with SkyCross’ advanced antenna modules. SkyCross and China Mobile conducted joint tests to ensure that SkyCross’ unique tunable antenna solution would meet specifications ultimately needed to support production volumes.

Through its work with SkyCross, China Mobile now has an innovative antenna product it can trust to provide excellent performance across wide band while enabling small, stylish, and differentiated mobile devices. As a result of its successful joint test, China Mobile is now guiding and encouraging other industry leaders to use SkyCross’ innovative antenna products in LTE MMMB devices.

Key Benefits
SkyCross’ advanced antenna solution modules allow a single antenna structure to cover multiple bands, freeing up space within China Mobile’s devices for smaller devices and/or additional components such as cameras, navigation units, data, etc. This development activity culminated in a single, tunable antenna solution that meets all of China Mobile’s specifications, effectively supporting 5 modes and 10 or 12 bands, as well as covering wide band from 700MHz to 2.7GHz. Additionally, this advanced antenna solution is more cost effective than multiple antennas, in terms of both materials and integrations costs, allowing China Mobile to create low-price devices and maximize profits.