GSM External Antennas Provide Extra Boost for Wireless M2M Transmissions

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The ability to wirelessly transmit machine to machine (M2M) information has made it possible to monitor remote locations which would otherwise be too difficult or too costly to monitor with wired communication. But, because these locations are remote, the transmissions often need the boost they can get from CDMA or GSM external antennas.

There are many factors to consider when selecting the right tools to help transmit the machine to machine information: quantity of data, urgency of data, whether the unit is fixed or mobile, which wireless systems are available, and what distance needs to be covered to reach the nearest wired transmission. Each of these factors will influence the selection of wireless equipment, including the selection of the best CDMA or GSM external antennas to facilitate the wireless connection.

Quantity of data: Both GSM and CDMA protocols have different generations. The older systems transmit at a slower rate, but the modems will also be less expensive. Frequency bands used may also change depending on the generation used. For example if a GPRS modem (using GSM protocol) will do the job, then only the 850 & 1900 MHz spectrum range will be used. However, if more bandwidth is required, then the user should be prepared to buy a 3G or 4G modem which may operate on the new 700 MHz LTE or 1.7 & 2.1 GHz AWS. Choosing broadband CDMA or GSM external antennas, such as the RMM-WLF Surface Mount from Mobile Mark, allows the user to be prepared for any option.

Urgency of data: Is there time to verify the accuracy of the data? Will systems fail if the wireless network fails? The new MIMO systems, such as the 802.11n WiFi systems or the new LTE 700 MHz systems are designed to provide a more consistent, verifiable flow of data. These newer systems may be more expensive to install but may pay for themselves with more reliable data communications. The antenna style will also contribute to the reliability of the machine to machine information transmitted. For example, Both WiFi 2.4/5 GHz and LTE 700 MHz GSM external antennas can be configured for MIMO. In both cases external antennas will generally provide a more reliable connection than an embedded antenna.

Fixed versus mobile: is the data always transmitted from the same location or does the transmission point move around? Although both Cellular M2M applications may benefit from a CDMA or GSM external antenna, the particular style of the antenna may vary. Data communications from a tower or a smart meter is pretty clearly fixed, and machine to machine information from a vehicle is pretty clearly mobile, but there is in fact a gray area in the middle. For example, some remotely monitored devices, such as digital signs on the side of a highway, may be moved from location to location as the need for information changes. Each of these examples may benefit from a different style antenna. For example, the fixed location might require a high gain point-to-point directional GSM external antenna, the moveable device might require an omni-directional GSM external antenna since its orientation to other points in the network cannot be anticipated, and the vehicle antenna might require the addition of GPS to provide location information as well as data transmission.

Licensed or Unlicensed: Machine to Machine information can be transmitted over licensed bands such as 3.65 MHz broadband or unlicensed bands such as WiFi. Unlicensed is cheaper but the network is shared so bandwidth can be an issue. A dedicated licensed network might provide the highest level of privacy but be the most expensive. Cellular Systems fall in between. The frequency spectrum over which the machine to machine information would be transmitted is licensed by the Cellular Carrier and a fee is charged. In general, it is important to select the network before selecting the equipment and antennas. However, from an antenna perspective at least, sometimes it is possible to select an antenna that is so broadbanded it can be used with a variety of applications. Mobile Mark offers some combination WiFi and CDMA or GSM external antennas that cover all Cellular, WiFi and WiMAX frequencies from 694 MHz – 2.7 GHz. The M2M unit could be attached to a WiFi network initially and then switched over to a cellular network as the data transmission requirements change. The combination WiFi, WiMAX, CDMA & GSM external antennas can be used for any of these applications.

Distance: Will a local area network be sufficient or is a wide area network needed? If the distance is relatively short, an unlicensed WiFi network can handle the transmitted machine to machine information, but if the distance covered is longer it would be better to choose either a Cellular Network. A CDMA & GSM external antennas can be added to the network to extend the range covered. A high gain directional antenna, such as a panel antenna, can provide extended point-to-point coverage. A shorter distance can be covered with a smaller surface mount omni-directional antenna that can be added directly to the device.

This paper started with a simple statement but one that hides the complexity of the decisions and implementations behind such a decision. The nature and location of the machine to machine information to be transmitted will determine the best wireless system and wireless equipment to use.

About Mobile Mark, Inc.:

Mobile Mark, Inc. designs and manufactures site, mobile and device antennas for 137 MHz – 10 GHz. Applications include GPS Tracking and Fleet Management, Cellular GSM/CDMA, LTE, WiMAX, WiFi, RFID, Public Safety, Military and Machine-to-Machine (M2M). Engineering and custom design services are available. Mobile Mark’s global headquarters, which includes research facilities and manufacturing plant, are located near Chicago, IL. An additional manufacturing and sales facility is located near Birmingham, UK. More information on the best CDMA or GSM external antennas to use with machine to machine information is available on our website.


Eleanor Sylvan, VP marketing
Mobile Mark, Inc.
Tel: 847-671-6690

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