Airgain Offers HPUE Antenna Modem Platform for FirstNet Network
Friday, May 08, 2020 | Comments

Airgain introduced a high-power user equipment (HPUE) antenna-modem platform for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) network using a module from Assure Wireless, which is the technology partner for AT&T’s FirstNet HPUE service.

AirgainConnect AC-HPUE includes an integrated high-power LTE modem supporting the band 14 HPUE output power functionality for public-safety and fleet vehicles. By integrating an HPUE modem within an antenna assembly, the product ensures transmission of the maximum allowable radiated power directly to the LTE antenna elements, a statement said.

Early in 2020, Airgain and Assured Wireless entered into a strategic agreement, under which Airgain has limited exclusivity to use Assured Wireless’ HPUE modem module for integrated antenna device applications. In March, AT&T certified Assured Wireless’ embedded internet of things (IoT) module and USB-connected modem as FirstNet Ready in preparation for launching HPUE solutions later this year.

“AirgainConnect is a breakthrough new platform that integrates high-power mobile modem technology with an antenna into the same package, enabling superior performance for 4G and 5G communications,” said Jacob Suen, president and CEO of Airgain. “We are thrilled to announce this new platform, which for Airgain represents a new level of advanced product solutions, enabling never-before-seen connectivity to those who need it most, our first responders.”

The platform will provide increased coverage and more reliable connectivity through a new architecture, featuring a closer integration between the antenna and modem on fleet vehicles, executives said.

AirgainConnect’s patented technology eliminates the signal loss over coax cables that run from mobile routers mounted in vehicle compartments to roof-mounted antennas, which combined with HPUE capability, provides up to 10 times the transmit power at the antenna compared with the router’s conventional modem and antenna. The result is an increase in the coverage area and higher data rates, the company said.

“Putting AirgainConnect AC-HPUE in public-safety vehicles provides a big performance boost,” said Larry Greenstein, product manager at Airgain.

The Airgain product delivers 31 dB signal strength, the maximum allowed under Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards for HPUE in the 700 MHz band 14, to the antenna elements.

“AirgainConnect also provides approximately 60% increase in power on other bands when compared to conventional modems and antennas, with applications in the enterprise markets as well,” Greenstein said.

AT&T earlier this year said it has built out more than 75% of band 14 coverage. An AT&T executive said last year that HPUE will initially be used in vehicles and buildings and could create a Wi-Fi hot spot. Any potential future HPUE smartphones would require the use of remote speaker microphones (RSMs) and other accessories rather than being held near the head like a typical smartphone.

“AirgainConnect marks a milestone in the progression of technology to increase the support of communications for first responders,” said Tom Bilotta, CEO of Assured Wireless. “Integrated with Assured’s AT&T certified HPUE modem module, this ground-breaking technology will provide critical connectivity like never before. Not only will this provide better range in underserved rural areas, it also addresses a dramatic increase in coverage and higher data rates for deeper in-building penetration and other fringe areas.”

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