Custom and active antenna designs

When wide bandwidth and minimal device size are required, a custom antenna may be needed rather than a conventional off-the-shelf antenna. Custom antennas may need to be optimized for device mechanics to reach adequate antenna performance. In these cases, there are antenna design houses that provide services to create customized solutions.

Another option is to use active antenna solutions. Despite the added complexity, antenna tuners or active antennas may improve the overall system performance significantly. With tuners, antenna input matching can be optimized for the frequency of operation. Some active antennas have tunable resonant frequency which enables the covering of a wide band set with a small narrowband antenna. nRF9160 provides control for antenna tuners. For more information, see External RF control.

Note: If a custom antenna is chosen, it is important to measure the antenna characteristics when the first prototype is available.