Isolated Mode Antenna Technology: Benefits for LTE

The Challenge

Many next-generation protocols including LTE and WiMAX require multiple antennas for multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO). Multiple antennas achieve higher link gain leading to faster data rates, increased network capacity, and better reliability.

Historically, it has been challenging to arrange multiple antennas so they don’t interfere with each other, particularly for small mobile devices such as smartphones, USB modems, netbooks, and others. An obvious solution for keeping the antennas isolated is to move them farther apart, but this is not practical for small mobile devices. The design is either no longer sleek or the antennas don’t fit at all. Further, if MIMO antennas paths are not sufficiently isolated from each other, the benefits of the multi-path environment for are lost, performance suffers, and end-users are disappointed.

The Solution

What is iMAT?

iMAT is a patented antenna design technique that enable a single antenna structure in small wireless devices to behave like multiple antennas through the use of multiple feeds for MIMO operation.  Each feed accesses the antenna as if it consisted of multiple antennas, each with high isolation, low correlation, and high per-feed antenna efficiency. The resulting improvement in antenna gain and receiver sensitivity significantly enhances device performance and network capacity.

Key Benefits

The antenna is the only structure in a mobile device that communicates with the network. This one fact makes the antenna pivotal to how the the network and the device, are perceived by end-users.

For the network operator, a high performance device antenna is a very cost effective way to optimize network performance without additional infrastructure investment. iMAT antennas offer improved signal coverage with up to 2.5 times faster data rates, particularly in fringe areas, when compared to a conventional two-antenna approach. Plus, a large number of efficient devices on the network increase the capacity and bandwidth of the network as a whole. 

For the device manufacturers, iMAT can reduce the number of antennas required by a factor of three. This saves integration time, bill-of-materials cost, and space (up to 50%) to enable added features or smaller devices. iMAT is a ready-made diversity or MIMO antenna system with performance optimization built in to a very small footprint. The need to configure multiple antennas is eliminated. A single antenna solution means fewer parts on the BOM. Surface mount technology and common materials translate to cost effective manufacturing.

For the end-user, iMAT enables the next-generation network to live up to their expectations. Highly efficient iMAT antennas deliver a better signal for end users, even when the nearest tower or base unit is far away. This reduces dropped wireless connections and supports fast data transfer for high definition video or music, and more. In addition, efficient devices have longer battery life.