Vehicle antennas – integral to connected mobility


HUBER+SUHNER, a leading international manufacturer of component and system solutions for optical and electrical connections, not only offers a broad portfolio of products and services for cable and connection systems applying radio frequency, fiber optics, and low & high voltage technology. The company also offers a wide range of antennas – including those for use in trains, buses and commercial vehicles. Thus the company is reacting to the increased demand from bus and train operators.

Connected Mobility is one of the key terms describing the digital transformation in the transport sector. The growing need for data networks in both private and public transport has led to a significant increase in the demand for antennas for trains and buses that transmit signals inside the vehicle and along the track.

SENCITY ® Road product range

Not only railway operators, but increasingly also bus operators consult antenna manufacturers to learn the basics of antenna technology and to discuss equipping their vehicles with innovative antenna technology. With the SENCITY ® Road antenna family, HUBER+SUHNER offers a product that combines several antenna elements in a light-weight, robust and compact housing especially for applications in commercial vehicles and buses. So it was not really surprising that FlixBus, Europe’s leading provider of long-distance bus services, approached HUBER+SUHNER to discuss precisely this issue with a competent technology partner.

In November 2018, FlixBus representatives met with HUBER+SUHNER engineers at the HUBER+SUHNER subsidiary in Taufkirchen, Germany, for a joint workshop. The experts started with explaining the basic properties of antennas followed by a product presentation that demonstrated the range of applications. Felix Jandel, Team Lead Travel Experience at FlixBus, made it clear that for the main focus of the application in buses is „to increase the travelling convenience for our passengers, in particular through the provision of WIFI and possible additional services“.

In Germany there is still a lot of work to do in terms of network coverage. It is sufficient on motorways, but still inadequate in rural areas which are also served by buses. Providers had promised improvements, but little has been done so far. However, when providing free WiFi while on the move, public transport services depend on adequate network coverage.

One focus of the discussion was the ease of the antenna installation in and on the various types of buses. Closing the workshop, Tobias Jahn, Application Engineer at HUBER+SUHNER in Taufkirchen, said: “All in all, our meeting with the customer was fruitful for both parties, especially as the products under discussion are not ‘off the shelf’, but solutions tailored to customer specific requirements. I think the high technological standard of our products and their versatility in meeting individual customer expectations were convincing. We expressed our desire to develop the appropriate solution based on HUBER+SUHNER products together with FlixBus and its partners.” The dialogue will be continued. HUBER+SUHNER does not only equip long-distance buses with antennas. The company’s Connected Mobility solutions are also of interest to local public transport operators.

SENCITY ® Rail product range

Besides its SENCITY ® Road product range, HUBER+SUHNER also benefits from its experience with train operating companies and products developed for rail transport, especially the SENCITY ® Rail portfolio. The omnidirectional and directional SENCITY ® Rail antennas successfully perform their function in numerous public transport trains. All user requirements, including high-current and surge protection, are met. SENCITY ® Rail Multi, an omnidirectional MIMO roof-top antenna, is the latest product to be added to the range. With up to 13 antenna radiators in one housing, this antenna provides maximum flexibility and data transmission rates with minimum space requirements and low installation costs. Thanks to the parallel operation of different frequencies and services, the customer is ideally prepared for future mobile communication requirements. The railway antenna portfolio is rounded off by the second new product of the SENCITY ® Rail family – the recently launched SENCITY ® Rail MIMO 5 Port rooftop antenna. With this wide range of high-quality products, HUBER+SUHNER is ideally equipped to establish itself as the preferred partner of bus and rail operators.

Source: OEM & Lieferant, Issue 1/2019