Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance recommends cluster connector for early 5G deployments

The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance selected 4-port and 5-port versions of an RF cluster connector for early 5G deployment.

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The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance recently announced it recommends a common RF cluster connector for early 5G deployment. The alliance published a white paper, “Recommendation for RF Cluster Connector for Use in 5G NR TDD Deployment,” which describes the selection process and explores the features that make a common RF cluster connector the most suitable for early 5G deployment.

“Across the mobile communication industry, there is an increasing demand for highly integrated antennas with a large number of RF ports,” the alliance said when announcing its recommendation. “At the same time, antenna size is a critical factor in network deployment, which limits the number of connectors. Cluster connectors solve this problem by integrating several RF ports into single connectors.”

The NGMN Alliance established a cluster connector project to provide a recommendation in time for operator antenna rollouts. The project’s objective was to align the industry toward using a common cluster connector in order to bring operations and maintenance (O&M) benefits to operators.

When the project concluded, the alliance recommended the cluster connector called Type C (MQ4/5, pictured).

The alliance pointed out that the project included international operators and network equipment, antenna, and connector suppliers.

Tomas Sedlacek, chairman of the NGMN cluster connector project and a site infrastructure expert at Deutsche Telekom, emphasized the benefits of cluster connector alignment for operators. “This cluster connector industry recommendation, aligning equipment suppliers towards using a common type of connector, will help operators to simplify logistics and reduce O&M expenditures,” Sedlacek said.

NGMN Alliance chief executive officer Dr. Peter Meissner stressed that for 5G to be a success, there needs to be a harmonized network so operators can deploy new technology with confidence. “This will accelerate time-to-market and decrease installation costs,” he said. “The selection of a cluster connector marks a significant step in this mission, and we are committed to continuing to work with the industry as we move forward towards the new era of connectivity that 5G is set to bring.”

You can download the white paper describing the selection process here.        

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