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Why is the lowest possible PIM essential, especially for 5G networks?

Why is the lowest possible PIM essential, especially for 5G networks?

You may have noticed a constant emphasis on “extra-low PIM” when reading about network components and cables. Why is a low passive intermodulation (PIM) rating important, especially for 5G networks?

Firstly, PIM occurs when two or more signals are present in passive (mechanical) components of a wireless system. Some examples of mechanical components include antennas, cables and connectors.

The signals can mix or multiply with each other to generate other signals that impact the original intended signal resulting in degraded performance. Read more about what PIM is, here: https://www.acentury.ca/ca/use-cases/b/passive-intermodulation-pim

In short, PIM issues will continue to get more complex and frequent with newer generations, and the cost of troubleshooting these problems in the field will increase with it. It is much higher than the cost of installing extra-low PIM passive RF components in the first place. “The lowest possible PIM is not just desirable but essential.” (Microwave Product Digest, 2012)

With the implementation of 5G, higher carrier aggregations and more frequency bands are used by cellular systems, which causes a higher risk for crossband PIM. The PIM risk is also increased along with colocations and the usage of multiband combiners for higher power scenarios, especially for macro systems. Finally, the use of higher-order modulation techniques, smaller channel spacing, and multiple transmissions using a single antenna in 5G all increase the risk of PIM problems as well.

To meet the design challenges of PIM across multiple different RF systems, passive components engineered below the absolute lowest noise floor could meet the variability of multiple use cases.

At Acentury Radiocomm, we innovate to provide the lowest possible PIM in our components and cables. Explore -165dBc extra-low PIM products here.

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