Kathrein Street Connect Wins Global Telecoms Award

Kathrein has won yet another award for its mobile communication solution Kathrein Street Connect. The innovative system for mobile coverage in inner cities has received the renowned Global Telecoms Award in the category “Small Cell Excellence”. Kathrein Street Connect is an in-ground antenna system that enhances mobile capacity at hotspots with high data traffic. The solution was developed in collaboration with the telecom provider Swisscom and has recently also won a RANNYs Award.

Kathrein Street Connect is embedded into the ground by drilling a borehole in the immediate vicinity of a base station, and is therefore not visible. The system blends in perfectly with the surrounding area. The solution provides the mobile network at highly frequented hotspots such as pedestrian zones or stadiums with powerful micro cells to offer high data rates to customers. In Switzerland, the antennas are already in operation in Bern, Zurich, Basel and Lausanne, and test series are being run in other countries.

“With Kathrein Street Connect, we have entered an entirely new territory,” said Dr Hermann Rodler, Head of the Products Business Unit at Kathrein. “The particular challenge had been to design an antenna and bracket that were resistant to vibrations.” This is ensured by the bracket’s special design. The lid above the antenna is extremely sturdy so that the system can also be used in streets with heavy goods vehicle traffic, with weights of up to 40 tonnes.

Making use of the existing in-ground infrastructure

As the system is not mounted above ground on lampposts or house walls as it normally would be, it is much easier to find suitable sites for the installation. What is more, making use of the existing landline infrastructure enables easy connection to the core network.

The original concept of the ground-integrated antenna comes from Swisscom. “Our idea and developing it in collaboration with Kathrein has been a huge success. The innovative system opens up completely new potential for network densification in urban areas. We are very proud that the solution has now also been honoured with the Global Telecoms Award,” said Heinz Herren, CTO and CIO of Swisscom.