In this paper we will focus on losses due to reflections. These reflections are measured using a cable and antenna analyzer such as the Anritsu Site Master. Operators often specify that the worst case reflections (return loss) over the operating frequency range of the system must be 18 dB. But, what exactly does that mean? It means the reflected signal must be 18 dB lower than the signal that is transmitted into the system. Or, another way of looking of this is that the reflected signal must be less than 1/64th the magnitude of the signal transmitted into the system. Where did this limit come from? In many cases, it has been based on what an operator knows is possible when high quality components are installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications using good workmanship. As feed systems become shorter and antenna systems are required to operate over broader frequency ranges, achieving an 18 dB return loss may not be practical.
The cable and antenna system plays an important role in the overall performance of the cell site
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