Lower frequencies are less affected by trees and other propagation losses than higher frequencies. However, lower frequencies require larger antennas. Fractal antenna technology offers one way to obtain a larger effective antenna size in less space. The term "fractal" refers to a shape that appears similar at any scale of magnification.
Fractus, one of the pioneers in the development of fractal antennas, recently introduced a new internal passive DVB-H antenna. The company said that this would allow the manufacture of handsets far smaller than current DVB-H handsets, noting that first generation DVB-H handsets are far larger than non-DVB-H models since they have to operate in the 470-852 MHz band. This part of the spectrum offers a very wide bandwidth and lower frequency operation than 3G systems using 2-GHz spectrum or GSM phones operating in the 1890-915 MHz and 1710-1785 MHz bands.
Josep Puig, director of Mobile Handset Antennas at Fractus, said, "DVB-H is changing the way handsets are designed and built, after all, nobody wants to pay a premium for a new service if they struggle with a large archaic looking device."
Puig said that the new technology would allow OEMs and ODMs to meet growing consumer demand for smaller and more fashionable handsets with multimedia functionality.
This antenna may also prove useful in the United States if the proposed A-VSB standard gains acceptance, or for small USB ATSC tuners. The proposed standard would allow ATSC broadcasting to small portable and cell phone devices, but these devices would have to operate over the entire UHF frequency band as well as some VHF spectrum to receive all broadcast DTV signals. A fractal antenna may help.
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