CommScope’s new Sentinel microwave antenna is designed to provide better performance for microwave backhauls, while reducing deployment and operating costs for carriers.

“Sentinel’s tighter radiation pattern allows carriers to get more out of their existing spectrum,” said Jim Syme, Sentinel’s product line manager. “These antennas typically yield 40% higher link density when compared to other similar antennas.”

Higher link density means that more traffic is moving between cell sites and the core network, he said. This reduces strain on a carrier’s network, leading to fewer data overloads. Meanwhile, Sentinel’s highly directional radiation pattern means fewer chances of interference with adjacent antennas, and less wasted energy being emitted off the back of the antenna.

The 2-foot Sentinel can stand up to comparable 4-foot antennas, due to its more efficient performance, Syme said.

“Smaller antennas cost less to install and use less space on the tower,” he said. “For carriers, this can mean that you can get cut leased antenna space in half, when you switch from 4-foot antennas to 2-foot Sentinels. At $100 a month per antenna for a foot of leased tower space, just replacing one 4-foot antenna with a single Sentinel can save you $2,400 a year.”

Another option is for a carrier to double the number of antennas on a tower by moving to 2-foot Sentinels, without increasing their leased tower space. Considering that the Sentinel sells for $800 or less, “your payback is very, very quick,” Syme said.

Sentinel antennas have been certified to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute Class 4 standard. They are rated to withstand winds up to 155 mph.