Characterising the radio propagation channel for smart antenna systems

Characterising the radio propagation channel for smart antenna systems

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Cellular communications have become the success story of the late 20th century. In just 15 years the global cellular subscriber base has grown to 60 million and it is forecast to exceed 350 million by early next century. This rapid growth has created the dichotomy for cellular operators of increasing pressure from customers to improve coverage, capacity and quality within their networks whilst the ever growing competition in the cellular marketplace demands that operational costs be reduced to the lowest possible level. One development which can assist network operators in reconciling these conflicting demands is the smart antenna. However, the successful deployment of smart antennas will require a much greater understanding of the characteristics of signals within the mobile/base-station transmission path. The measurement equipment described in this paper has enabled the acquisition of data which contributes significantly towards the understanding of these propagation path characteristics.

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