a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its December 2016 newsletter. As always, it
includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. For this year's end
edition, Sam Benzacar
discusses the topic of "No Shortage of Interference Sources in 2016," where he takes a look back
over the past year at the challenges presented by RF noise issues old and new. Anatech's business is to make certain that system and circuit designers
have capable filters available to assure successful implementation.
No Shortage of Interference Sources in 2016
By Sam Benzacar
Every year in this column I look back on the previous 12 months, and from our perspective as a manufacturer
of RF and microwave filters and filter-related products, significant changes occurred in 2016 from years
past. The most noticeable difference was the increase in the number of sources from which interference
arises, which shouldn't be all that surprising considering that there are more services than ever that
can interfere with each other. Good news for the filter business, not so much for those having to deal
with the often complex and confounding problems of eliminating this miscreant.
With a few exceptions, the spectrum between HF and up to about 6 GHz is filled to capacity with services
ranging from shortwave communications and broadcasting to AM and FM broadcast, land mobile and public
safety radio, TV, radar, defense systems, amateur radio, avionics, and of course cellular networks.
You know things are tight when the government proposes that services share spectrum, which no one wants
Two areas in particular accounted for a large percentage of requests for our help this year. Many
of these came from operators of both commercial and defense communication systems whose existing infrastructure
was experiencing interference from both known and unknown sources. Known interferers are the lesser
of the two evils as their sources are generally relatively easy to spot and identify than unknown sources.
By unknown sources, I'm referring to harmonics and spurious emissions that appear within services'
operating frequencies. They are the most challenging problems faced by any system operator, as the rogue
emitter isn't easy to identify, and even if identified it's often difficult to convince the operator
of the system generating the interference of his or her responsibility. While neither of these problems
is new, if our experience is typical, the number of such incidences seems to be rising dramatically.
Many other requests for help came from developers of new systems who were aware of potential interference
problems they had to account for in their designs. It was certainly encouraging to see that engineers
are taking interference into consideration in the design process. Unfortunately, this isn't always the
case, and owing to the increased necessity for interference mitigation, it should be on every designer's
However, regardless of whether the interference source is known or unknown, RF and microwave filters
remain the "go to" solution in almost every case. Anatech Electronics has more than a quarter century
of experience in interference mitigation in initial designs as well as in systems already deployed.
So please reach out to us for help by calling (973) 772-4242 or sending an email to
FirstNet Inches Forward
FirstNet, the organization responsible for the nation's first nationwide public-safety broadband
network, is inching closer choosing the company that will build and operate the system. The winner appears
to be AT&T but as is often the case, a competitor is protesting the award, which hasn't even been
announced. Rivada Mercury filed a lawsuit in the Court of Federal Claims protesting its exclusion from
the bidding process for not being competitive. Earlier, pdvWireless had announced that its bidding team
was eliminated. Rivada Mercury contends that as only one bidder (AT&T) is now in "competitive range",
the government is incapable of optimizing the procurement process. The result of all this is that a
final decision by FirstNet is unlikely to be made until at least March and possibly much later.
LTE Connections Growing Fast
Wireless trade organization 5G Americas reports that LTE connections rose 81% year-over-year in the
third quarter of this year, reaching 360 million. Penetration is highest in the U.S. and Canada at 79%
followed by Western Europe at 43% and Asia at 41%. Growth in the Latin America-Caribbean region had
the highest growth rates in the third quarter, as connections jumped 154% with the addition of 59.4
million connections. More than 63 million new LTE customers were added throughout the world in 2016
representing a 29% growth rate, and LTE is forecast to reach 394 million by the end of 2020.
AT&T Tests 5G in Austin
AT&T has launched its first trial of 5G at 15 GHz and 28 GHz to achieve data rates greater than
1 Gb/s. AT&T has also filed a request with the FCC for an experimental license to conduct technology
trials at 3.4 to 3.6 GHz, 3.7 to 4.2 GHz, 14.5 to 15.35 GHz and 27.5 and 28.5 GHz bands. The company's
initial results show that networks at these frequencies should be able to deliver download speeds greater
than 10 Gb/s. Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular are also either conducting or planning trials
at various millimeter-wave frequencies.
Fixed Wireless: The First 5G Rollout?
In the past, there is never been any question that traditional cellular applications would be the
primary benefactors of the next wireless generation. That's not likely to be the case for 5G, which
is somewhat surprisingly likely to be deployed first for fixed wireless access-- that is, as a competitor
to cable and Fiber to the Home (FTTH). This application, probably operating at 28 GHz, would dramatically
reduce the cost of installing broadband and entertainment services as there would be virtually no need
for expensive truck rolls. While operating at millimeter-wave frequencies presents major challenges,
there is enormous bandwidth available that would enable gigabit-per-second speeds and accommodate huge
amounts of traffic.
Softbank: Massive MIMO Essential for 5G /strong>
Japanese mobile operator SoftBank said recently that 100 of its cell sites in and around Tokyo have
already been upgraded with massive MIMO capability, which should expand to a few thousand sites within
the country by the end of 2017. The technology is considered an essential ingredient in enabling 5G,
especially at millimeter-wave frequencies where achieving high signal strength is extremely difficult
owing to the propagation characteristics in this region of the spectrum. Softbank is working with ZTE
and other companies to further develop Massive MIMO capabilities as well as narrowband IoT in general.
Check out Our Filter Products
Cavity Band Pass Filters
Band Pass Filters Cavity Bandstop/Notch Filter
About Anatech Electronics
Anatech Electronics, Inc. (AEI) specializes in the design and manufacture of standard and custom
RF and microwave filters and other passive components and subsystems employed in commercial, industrial,
and aerospace and applications. Products are available from an operating frequency range of 10 kHz to
30 GHz and include cavity, ceramic, crystal, LC, and surface acoustic wave (SAW), as well as power combiners/dividers,
duplexers and diplexers, directional couplers, terminations, attenuators, circulators, EMI filters,
and lightning arrestors. The company's custom products and capabilities are available at
Anatech Electronics, Inc.
70 Outwater Lane
Garfield, NJ 07026
Posted December 19, 2016