Comba launches easy to deploy, manage LTE base station antenna

Early sales to Turkish operator as Comba Telecom looks to expand in markets outside China. Focus is on TCO of antennas intended to speed up base station rollout and optimisation processes.

Comba Telecom has launched a new range of small form factor* base station antennas.

Compatible with LTE bands at 790-960MHz and 1710-2690MHz frequencies, the antenna features eight ports with an integrated remote control unit (iRCU) – allowing an operator to remotely adjust the tilt of the antenna to optimise network coverage and minimise interference in accordance with mobile traffic conditions. Comba adds that these design factors make the antenna easier to install, facilitating a faster mobile network rollout.

Carol Ye, Deputy General Manager, Antenna and Subsystems said, “The key iRCU unit is a plug-in module that can be easily changed for maintenance and repairs. Compared to traditional external RCUs, the iRCU significantly reduces the number of connectors, RF cables and space required, thus allowing for Comba Telecom’s antennas to have a smaller footprint and weight without sacrificing quality and performance. We invested considerable R&D effort to bring this solution to the market, and in fact, Comba Telecom is one of the very few antenna manufacturers that can offer an eight port multiband antenna with integrated remote control units.”

Comba said that the antennas will be supplied to “one of Turkey’s leading mobile operators” as part of “a million dollar agreement” for the supply of the new antenna models for a 4G LTE network being rolled out by the operator.

Comba is one of a number of antenna manufacturers, such as Commscope and Kathrein, that are focussing on ways to make base station antennas easier and quicker to install, maintain and optimise.

The company does 80% of its business with Chinese operators, with 47% of all its group revenues due to business from China Mobile. Its international sales and sales to equipment manufacturers rose 21% in 2014 to account for 20% of all revenues. Its total revenues were near $870 million in 2014.

In 2014, revenue from its antennas and subsystems business increased by 40.2%, accounting for 38.8% of the Group’s revenue. The company also provides repeaters, small cells and WiFi access points, as well as professional (design, planning) services.

*TMN is awaiting confirmation of the actual dimensions and specs