Antennas must not be the weakest link: how to combine connectivity with resilience in challenging wireless deployments

Member News published by GTT Wireless Ltd

N-type versus SMA antennas – select enterprise-grade components for truly rugged IoT and M2M projects

As the cost of IoT sensors continue to fall year on year, organisations in industries which operate across large areas, such as agriculture and utilities, are rolling out remote IoT and M2M deployments – achieving strong return on investment (ROI) in the process.

Shell is a prime example. The global oil & gas company has used IoT technology to monitor the condition of remote oilfields scattered across Nigeria, and achieved one million Dollars in savings through a reduced requirement for regular physical site inspections.

Outdoor connectivity drives major ROI in agriculture

At GTT Wireless, we see similar deployments driving real ROI for organisations – albeit on a smaller scale than Shell and Nigeria! Think of an agricultural firm that has deployed GPS trackers to monitor the location of vehicles and machinery spread across an extensive region. By tapping into real-time positioning data, agricultural managers can monitor driver technique, identify areas for optimising tractor coverage, and ensure vehicles are nearby for scheduled maintenance.

Eliminate weak points with rugged antennas

But with these deployments come regular challenges, which we see fed back to us at GTT Wireless. For organisations with assets operating across a vast area, constant connectivity and high levels of reliability are vital. Selecting hardware that is proven to resist challenging conditions such as heat, dust and repeated vibration – without sacrificing on performance or functionality – cuts the need for continuous maintenance or replacement.

At GTT Wireless we’re keen to stress the importance of ensuring all hardware selected for outdoor IoT and M2M applications is proven to endure challenging conditions – and antennas are no exception.

Antennas sporting an SMA connector may be cheap and readily available, but they are by no means suitable for mission-critical operations – water being a real killer. These antennas might deliver suitable connectivity once installed, but incremental stresses such as the slow accumulation of moisture can have a catastrophic effect on housed PCBs.

Enter the N-type connector

To meet the industry need for rugged IoT-capable antennas, GTT Wireless offers an extensive, enterprise-grade antenna range specifically tailored to resist challenging and remote conditions. Many of these antennas incorporate an N-type connector and are highly resilient to shock, vibration and other physical disturbances, and are IK09 rated against external impact.

GTT Wireless mushroom antennas are designed to enable IoT applications, supporting key communications standards such as WiFi, LoRa and LTE for greater data speeds, low power consumption and long-range transmission. The low-profile design reduces the threat of vandalism or strike damage and is IP67 rated to protect against dust and moisture.

Of course, flexibility is key. Each deployment is unique in its hardware requirements, and indoor or sheltered IoT deployments may not require rugged hardware. Our antenna range offers multiple connectivity options for greater customisation, whether this is N-type plugs, jacks, or SMA pigtail cables.

Mushroom antenna with N-type connector

We test, we integrate, we ensure easy installation

The GTT Wireless team operates a dedicated component IP-67 testing facility to verify the durability of our N-type antennas, with third-party testing also available on request.

With such a broad antenna range, we’ve also developed an enclosure design tool to help visualise how compatible antennas can be integrated into a full enclosure solution. GTT Wireless antennas offer seamless integration into the mSmart-Box® rugged enclosure range, offering a variety of sizes to meet your hardware specifications. Each antenna is colour-coded for instant identification to support easy installation – ideal for large-scale deployments with hundreds of units.

Get connected today – at GTT Wireless or through global distributor Farnell element14

We’ve partnered with leading electronics distributor Farnell element14 to expand the global reach of our antenna range. Although SMA connectors certainly have a role to play in many wireless projects, there is little doubt that N-type connectors are a necessity for ensuring the success of outdoor or remote wireless deployments. Get in touch to begin your journey to resilient outdoor connectivity today!

To learn more about the GTT Wireless antenna range for outdoor and indoor mission-critical applications, visit our Antennas page or head to Farnell element14 and search GTT Wireless.

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