5G ANTENNA DESIGN
About the Customer
Venti Group is an innovative technology company at the forefront of revolutionizing the way we connect. Founded on the principles of creativity, collaboration, and cutting-edge engineering, Venti Group is committed to delivering groundbreaking solutions that empower businesses and individuals to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.
One of Venti’s vital customers is a leader in the distributed antenna system (DAS) market and known for wireless infrastructure advancements. The client is focused on optimizing antenna performance while reducing cost, shrinking visual impact, and providing superior antenna products for small cell and DAS markets
Ahead of the 2022 National Football League (NFL) championship game, the client’s Tier 1 partner
was commissioned to install a 5G network in the stadium that would support all major cellular
carriers. In the past, stadium venues have used sector antennas, but due to the volume of data
usage in these stadiums today, those antennas can no longer meet their needs.
The goal was to provide 5G coverage over all 5G frequency bands. The antennas needed to function in a very specific location that’s not ideal from a radio frequency (RF) standpoint: under a seat near a concrete floor. Also, due to the limited space under the stadium seats, the antennas needed to be compact.
When designing the antenna, Altair® Feko® was critical. With it, the team could know within a few hours how a design change would impact antennas. If needed, they could re-optimize it and have it ready within 3-4 days, a significant upgrade versus the week or two it takes to prototype a new antenna/plastic design. Feko enabled rapid turnaround times on these design revisions and let the team simulate RF environmental effects, which was vital since there wasn’t time to build and test physical prototypes every time a design change occurred.
Feko gave the team the means to quickly evaluate possible solutions as challenges multiplied and packaging restrictions surfaced. These challenges included needing to resize the antenna for proper seat functioning, antenna cable routing logistics, needing to alter the mounting to ensure antennas could survive being pressure-washed, and more.
As specific RF requirements and size restrictions increased, it seemed as though it’d be impossible for this antenna to rise to the occasion. Thankfully, Feko ensured that the basic antenna design remained capable and would meet their needs accordingly – despite being folded and shrunk due to space restrictions. In the end, the team called the design “the antenna we couldn’t kill.”
Installed stadium venue antenna (Credit: Paul Kapustka STR)
Using Feko, the Venti team and their antenna met the considerable challenges needed to function
during the 2022 NFL championship game. Thanks to the client’s High Data Rate Seat Antenna
System, more data was handled during the 2022 game than in all previous championship games
combined. According to Verizon, customers used 30.4 terabytes of data. According to AT&T,
customers on average saw a download speed of 169.5 Mbps on its 5G+ services. These antennas
helped create an uninterrupted stadium experience on one of the world’s biggest stages.