By Benjamin Horvath
For wireless carriers, the name of the game right now is meeting capacity requirements to support an ever-growing customer base. This may be done in a variety of ways — by building an entirely new cell site, using pre-existing structures, like buildings and rooftops, to implement antenna systems, or by boosting signals of the carrier’s pre-existing antenna systems. CellAntenna assists in this last option.
Based in Coral Springs, FL, the company is becoming a major player in the DAS antenna and systems sector. In addition to the U.S., the company has headquarters in the United Kingdom and Poland.
Michael Horvat, an electrical engineer who has been with the company for the past four years, says the ubiquity of wireless devices has created this huge demand for data.
“Everyone needs to have their cell phones with them [these days],” says Horvat. “It’s a security blanket, so a lot of people are investing in cellular boosting in order to keep their customers and staffs happy.”
Indeed, the small cell industry is growing at an unprecedented rate; according to a report released by Mobile Experts, the small cell sector is predicted to grow by 270% in 2016. Such a growth in demand, of course, creates a challenge for carriers.
CellAntenna works hand-in-hand with the carrier who is interested in improving its signal strength in a particular area. When a carrier does, in fact, decide to boost a signal in this area, CellAntenna is responsible for integrating the antenna system to meet the carriers’ specific demands, something that is integral for maintaining a reliable network.
“If it’s designed wrongly—one, [the signal booster] won’t work; and two, there’s the potential of an incorrect design interfering with other signals, something the FCC does not like,” Horvat says.
In addition to wireless carriers, CellAntenna works with local governments and municipalities to deploy DAS technology on public systems. For many states and local governments, including the state of Florida where CellAntenna is located, new building contracts are required to include a DAS system—the “bread and butter” of CellAntenna.
“We go into buildings such as hospitals and high rises, and set up an antenna on top and amplify the cellular system—2G, 3G, 4G—throughout the building,” Horvat says. “At the end of the day, you get a lot of happy people who are able to use their cell phones.”
While signal boosting is CellAntenna’s forte, it provides a number of other tower services.
“We dabble in most everything RF right now,” Horvat says. In late 2015, CellAntenna launched a new division of the company—Signal Hunters. This division identifies and helps rectify RF signal interference and disruption. Signal Hunters uses drones to more precisely identify the source of signal interruption, and this technology—drones—is something the company seeks to use in nearly all its ventures, says Horvat.
“We’ve been heavily involved with the drone industry the last 2 or 3 years, and we try to incorporate drone-based solutions into our everyday work,” Horvat says. “Drones utilize basic RF technology.”
CellAntenna is also looking to get involved in tower monitoring services, says Horvat. And, like its signal hunting, the company plans on using tethered drones to deliver this service.
“[Using the drone], we would be able to create an RF diagram of the propagation of the tower,” Horvat says. “That would allow us to test for bad antennas and things like that.”
And with the continuing evolution of the industry, Horvat believes the company will continue to adapt to provide additional services for carriers. There are no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“The last 20 years technology has come so far,” says Horvat. “All these changes being made…different techniques will need to be incorporated, so we’re staying ahead of that, and I can’t see slowing down anytime soon.”
For more information about CellAntenna, please visit the company’s website (www.cellantenna.com). To contact Michael Horvat directly for more information about CellAntenna’s services, he can be reached by phone at (954) 340-7053, or e-mailed at [email protected].