Antenna design considerations

Once the operational frequency bands and device concept are known, the antenna selection process or custom antenna design work can start.

Deciding between using an external or internal, also known as integrated, antenna is one of the first choices that needs to be made. As an external antenna is not as size limited as an internal one, it is likely to have better performance. But when the routing between nRF9160 and antenna, such as a long coaxial cable, and the desirable radiation properties of the terminal antenna are considered, the difference in the performance of an external and a properly designed internal antenna becomes quite small. Usually the design constraints exclude the use of an external antenna. As the dimensions of the board and layout mainly determine the performance of an integrated antenna, antenna design should be considered in the device concepting phase.