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External passive intermodulation (PIM) has always been a concern in wireless networks; however, it has become even more of a challenge with the introduction of wide-band systems to support new 4G and 5G technologies. In the simplest definition, PIM is caused when two or more wireless signals mix together and create additional frequencies which cause interference and can significantly deteriorate network performance.
Operators are now discovering that elevated levels of external PIM can be generated around antennas by certain products which have been used in industry standard installation practices for years.
With consumers demanding higher speeds and greater performance, operators are working furiously to add more bandwidth and new frequencies – many of which are more vulnerable to PIM effects. To further exacerbate the PIM issue, this is causing tower top mount configurations to become even more littered with antenna, radio and cable support connections. This creates an even greater potential for disruptive wireless harmonics in the PIM critical zone around the antenna.
CommScope understands PIM and has worked with operators to design and thoroughly test a full PIM-guard family of solutions to eliminate potential PIM sources.