2019 IEEE International Symposium on Phased Array Systems and Technology

October 15 – 18, 2019, Waltham, MA USA

Tutorial: Base Station Antennas for 5G

October 15, 2019 8:00 A.M. – 12 Noon


Dr. Claes Beckman, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Dr. John Sanford, University of California – San Diego

Abstract: This short course gives the participants an overview of the application, implementation, and design of base station antennas for 5G. The course explains underlying theoretical and practical implementation aspects of base station antennas in mobile communication networks of today and in 5G. The course covers:

i. Fundamentals of Base station antennas
ii. Beam Shaping for Cellular Networks
iii. 5G Systems, scenarios and frequency bands
iv. MIMO and massive MIMO antennas in 5G
v. Advanced antenna systems AAS
vi. Fixed Wireless Access and mmWave antennas
vii. Small Cell and Mesh Architectures

In the first two parts the fundamental parameters of a base station antenna are discussed in the context of radio network design. In particular we discuss parameters such as gain, radiation patterns, frequency bands and put them in the context of cell planning, propagation and capacity.

In the third and the fourth parts, an overview of 5G Systems, scenarios and frequency bands are given followed by a overview of the implementation of MIMO (multiplexing) and massive MIMO (beamforming) in 5G.

In the final parts of the course we discuss the design of various 5G antennas for for different frequency bands and different applicatiAons. We discuss Advanced Antenna Systems (AAS) in general and in particular mmWave antennas for Fixed Wireless Access, Small Cell and Mesh Architectures


Dr. Claes Beckman is an antenna systems engineering professor, technical expert and certified board member with more than 30 years of experience from industry and academia.   He has worked as a design engineer for both Ericsson and Allgon where his work resulted in numerous products, patents and papers.   He is the founding director of KTH Center for Wireless Systems, Wireless@kth and was KTH’s Principal Investigator in the EU funded 5G project METIS. He is currently a Senior Researcher and an Antenna systems professor in the Radio Systems lab at KTH. In parallel he is a part time technical expert for Icomera AB while serving as a board member of Medfield AB and H&E Solutions AB. He is also a technical board member of InCoax AB and Allgon AB.

Dr. John Sanford is a professor of practice with the University of California San Diego and advises several companies in the wireless industry. Until recently, he was Chief Technical Officer of Ubiquiti Networks where he helped develop the world’s largest fixed wireless network. During his time at Ubiquiti the company grew from a few hundred thousand in revenue to approximately a billion dollars. Previously, he was president of Optimal RF, which was acquired by Cushcraft Corporation and subsequently acquired by Laird technologies. He was CTO of REMEC, Inc. where he developed the technology roadmap, IP and strategic partnerships and ran REMEC’s Fixed Wireless Access Division. Prior to that, he founded Smartwaves International, which was acquired by REMEC in February 1999. At both locations, Sanford developed physical layer hardware including RF transceivers, antennas, filters, algorithms, and amplifiers. He has been active in the development and use of artificial intelligence routines for the design of microwave products. Earlier in his career, he was an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, where he taught and conducted research related to Electromagnetics, Antennas and Array Signal Processing (MIMO).  Sanford headed the Mobile Tower Top Group at Huber & Suhner AG. There, he invented a range of mobile communications products that have become industry norms. From 1985 to 1988, he was a group manager with the Georgia Tech Research Institute where he designed military phased arrays and communication systems. Sanford holds a Ph.D. from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland and a Docent from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.