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InTech-Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems

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Multiband and Wideband Antennas for
Mobile Communication Systems
Mustafa Secmen
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, Yasar University
1. Introduction
The popularity of mobile communication systems has increased remarkably during the last
decade and the market demand still continues to increase. As a fundamental part of these
systems, antenna is one of the most important design issues in modern mobile
communication units. Although there are several similar definitions, an antenna can be
mainly described as a device, which transforms the electromagnetic waves in an antenna to
radiating waves in an unbounded medium such as air in transmitting mode and vice versa
in receiving mode. Because antennas are dependent on frequency, they are designed to
operate for certain frequency bands.
The rapid growth of mobile communication systems has forced to the use of novel antennas
for base and mobile station applications (mobile phone, notebook computer, personal digital
assistants (PDA), etc.). Earlier, mobile systems were designed to operate for one of the
frequency bands of 2G (second generation) systems, which are Digital Cellular System
(DCS), Personal Communications Service (PCS) and Global System for Mobile
Communications (GSM) networks. Currently, many mobile communication systems use
several frequency bands such as GSM 900/1800/1900 bands (890-960 MHz and 1710-1990
MHz); Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems (UMTS) and UMTS 3G expansion
bands (1900-2200 MHz and 2500-2700 MHz); and Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)/Wireless Local
Area Networks (WLAN) bands (2400-2500 MHz and 5100-5800 MHz) where the list of
frequently used frequency bands is given in Table 1 (Best, 2008).
Conventionally, because a single antenna can not operate at all of these frequency bands of
mobile communication, multiple different antennas covering these bands separately should
be used. However, usage of many antennas is usually limited by the volume and cost
constraints of the applications. Therefore, multiband and wideband antennas are essential to
provide multifunctional operations for mobile communication. A multiband antenna in a
mobile communication system can be defined as the antenna operating at distinct frequency
bands, but not at the intermediate frequencies between bands. For example, a triple band
antenna for GSM 900/1800/1900 bands can cover the frequency bands 890-960 MHz and
1710-1990 MHz (Ali et al., 2003); however, it does not operate properly at the frequencies
such as 1200 MHz or 2500 MHz. On the other hand, a wideband antenna operates at every
frequency points within a given frequency band. For example, a wideband antenna covering
UMTS, extended UMTS and WLAN 2400 bands functions at every frequency points

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 144
between 1900 and 2700 MHz (Secmen & Hizal, 2010; Caso et al., 2010). At this point, the
readers may wonder what “the antenna operates at this frequency properly” means. This
chapter follows in the brief explanation of this question by describing crucial antenna
parameters for mobile communication systems. Afterwards, this chapter provides types and
examples of multiband antennas used in mobile communication. Finally, wideband
antennas are investigated in the last section of this chapter.

Wireless Application Alternate Description(s) Frequency Band (MHz)
GSM 850
AMPS (Advanced Mobile
Phone System)
GSM 900 890-960
GPS (Global
Positioning System)
GSM 1800 DCS 1800 1710-1885
GSM 1900
PCS 1900; CDMA 1900 (Code
Division Multiple Access)
W-CDMA (Wideband Code
Division Multiple Access);
IMT 2000 (International Mobile
Extended UMTS
LTE 2600 (Long Term Evolution);
WiMAX (Worldwide
Interoperability for Microwave
Access) 2500
(IEEE 802.11 b/g/n)
ISM 2450 (Industrial, Scientific
and Medical)
(IEEE 802.11 y)
(IEEE 802.11 a/h/j)
HIPERLAN (High Performance
Radio Local Area Network); U-NII
(Unlicensed National
Information Infrastructure)
Table 1. The frequency bands for mobile communication applications
2. Main antenna parameters for mobile communication systems
In antenna terminology, the frequency bandwidth of an antenna is generally characterized
either with the lower and upper limits of frequency band (f
and f
) or the percentage (%)
bandwidth for a center frequency, which is given as:
% 100
u L
f f
= × (1)
where f
is the center frequency of the band as the arithmetic mean of lower and upper
frequency limits. The bandwidth of an antenna is defined as the frequency range which the

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 145
performance of antenna satisfies specified standards of some antenna parameters (Balanis,
2005). Therefore, in order to operate properly at the specified frequency bandwidth, the
antenna should meet the given standards of these parameters for all frequencies within the
frequency bandwidth. Although there are many parameters for different antenna
applications, only the important ones regarding to the performance standards for mobile
communication systems are mentioned briefly here.
2.1 Input impedance
Depending on the impedance of the antenna and the line feeding the antenna, a certain
fraction of transmitted power to the antenna reflects from antenna without radiation. This
power fraction is usually described as the return loss (RL) (or sometimes called as mismatch
loss) in decibel scale as
( ) 20log RL dB = ÷ I (2)
where Γ is the reflection coefficient which is given by

I =
where Z
is the complex input impedance of the antenna and Z
is the impedance of
feeding line. As the alternative way of describing the reflected power from the antenna, the
term of voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) is also used with a formal definition given by

+ I
÷ I
VSWR provides a more quantitative indication about mismatch between the antenna and
feeding line impedances that VSWR= 1 indicates perfect matching.
Because the complex impedance of antenna is a function of frequency, both return loss and
VSWR depend on the operating frequency. Thus, if the antenna operates at a given
frequency bandwidth, the impedance of the antenna should satisfy application-specific
criterion such as VSWR≤ 2 or equivalently RL ≥ 10 dB at all frequencies within the
bandwidth. In base station systems, the constraint of VSWR≤ 2 (or sometimes shown as
VSWR 2:1) is usually sufficient, which corresponds to about 10% reflected power from the
antenna. On the other hand, mobile station antennas such as handheld antennas are
typically designed to have VSWR≤ 3 for multiband systems due to very tight volume
constraints (Rahmat-Samii et al., 2008).
2.2 Radiation pattern and beamwidth
An antenna radiation pattern is defined as a graphical representation of power distribution
or field strength of the antenna as a function of space coordinates. These coordinates are
usually selected as elevation (θ) and azimuth (|) angles of spherical coordinate system.
There are many types of representation of radiation pattern of an antenna. One of them is
the three dimensional (3D) graph whose examples can be found in many antenna books
(Balanis, 2005). However, the drawing of 3D graph is usually difficult and unnecessary due
to the symmetry of antenna radiation pattern. Therefore, instead of 3D radiation pattern, a

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 146
more comprehensive representation of radiation pattern called as polar plot is used. Polar
plot is actually a planar cut from 3D radiation pattern as shown in Fig. 1(a). Same pattern
can be presented in the rectangular plot, as shown in Fig. 1(b). Both patterns are normalized
to the pattern’s peak, which is pointed to θ = 0 in this case and given in decibel scale.

(a) (b)
Fig. 1. (a) Polar plot and (b) Rectangular plot representation of radiation pattern
In antenna terminology, planar cuts from 3D pattern are considered for two main planes,
which are E-plane and H-plane for linearly polarized antennas. The E-plane is defined as the
plane containing the electric field vector and the direction of maximum radiation; and
H-plane is the plane containing the magnetic field vector and the direction of maximum
radiation. Therefore, by representing plots of an antenna in both planes, which are
orthogonal, power distribution of the antenna in whole space can be comphrehended well
without drawing 3D pattern.
The beamwidth of the antenna is defined as the angular distance (width) between two half
power points in the radiation patterns, where half power level is 3 dB below than maximum
radiation power. The beamwidth parameter is usually expressed as “3 dB beamwidth” in
the antenna applications for both E plane (elevation beamwidth) and H plane (azimuth
beamwidth). This parameter can be also considered as effective angular width of the
antenna that important portion of radiated antenna power is focused within this angular
beamwidth. Theoretically, omnidirectional (equal radiation at all directions) pattern in
azimuth plane and wide beamwidth in elevation plane are desired for mobile units.
Practically, mobile handset antennas may have very wide beamwidth such as 180° in both
planes. In indoor or outdoor base station applications, antennas having wide 3 dB
beamwidth (90° or 120°) are preferred to provide sufficient angle coverage in azimuth plane;
whereas, the elevation beamwidth of these antennas varies typically between 10° or 70°
within the frequency bandwidth of the antenna. GSM systems with three-sector
configuration typically use antennas having 3 dB beamwidth of 65° (Collins, 2009).
When radiation pattern of an antenna is handled, the front-to-back (F/B) ratio of antenna is
also an important parameter in mobile communication applications. This parameter is
roughly defined as the ratio of maximum radiated field in forward (mainlobe) direction (0°
0 180
-90-80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 90




Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 147
in Fig. 1(a)) to the radiated field in the opposite (backlobe) direction (180° in Fig. 1(a)). This
ratio is generally desired to be about 30 dB in outdoor base station applications in order to
minimize the interference between back-to-back oriented antennas. On the other hand, the
required F/B ratio for indoor applications can be low (Secmen & Hizal, 2010). In mobile
phone antennas, the backlobe radiation is usually directly oriented to the head of a human
body; therefore, this radiation level is desired to be as low as possible corresponding to high
F/B ratio. In notebook computer antennas, the desired radiation pattern is omnidirectional;
consequently, F/B ratio should be low that the antennas with F/B ratio of 0.5 dB can be
employed by using symmetric patch antenna structures (Guterman et al., 2006).
2.3 Gain
The gain of an antenna is defined as the ratio of the power intensity radiated by the antenna
in a given direction (usually in spherical coordinate angles θ and |) divided by the intensity
radiated by a lossless isotropic antenna, which radiates the power at all angles equally. In a
mathematical form, it can be formulated as
( )
( ) ,
, 4
gain G
u |
u | t = = (5)
where U(θ, |) is the radiation (power) intensity and P
is total input (accepted) power of the
antenna. In antenna applications, gain is usually considered as maximum gain taken in the
direction of maximum radiation. Therefore, gain drops at most 3 dB below maximum gain
within the beamwidths of the antenna. Gain requirements may vary according to different
applications of mobile communication. For example, in outdoor base station applications,
the standard gain requirement is generally between 10 and 20 dBi (dBi: gain in dB scale
relative to isotropic antenna) within frequency bandwidth, which is usually achieved with
array structures (Arai, 2002). For indoor mobile communication, moderate gain (5-7 dBi) is
usually sufficient (Serra et al., 2007; Secmen & Hizal, 2010). However, the gain of the
antenna may decrease even to 1 dBi within the designated frequency band for handset
applications (Rahmat-Samii et al., 2008).
2.4 Polarization
The polarization of the antenna is roughly defined as the orientation of electric field vector
of the radiated wave of the antenna with time. While the electric field in linearly polarized
wave oscillates in either horizontal or vertical directions, it circulates around direction of
propagation vector in circularly polarized wave. In order to transfer maximum power
between transmitter and receiver antennas, both antennas should have same polarization.
However, in general, the polarization of receiver antenna is not the same as the polarization
of the incident wave radiated by transmitter antenna. Consequently, power transfer is
reduced, which is called as polarization loss factor (PLF). Mathematically, this loss is
expressed in decibel scale as (Balanis, 2005).
( ) ( ) 20log
r t
PLF dB µ µ = -
 


are unit (polarization) vectors of receiver and transmitter antenna,
respectively. Accordingly, when the case, where linearly polarized transmitter and receiver

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 148
antennas are orthogonally oriented, is considered; no power is transferred theoretically
between antennas. Therefore, a single linearly polarized antenna can not be used directly in
mobile communication systems such as base station application that another linearly
polarized receiver antenna, i.e. a mobile phone antenna, can be hold in any tilted position
even orthogonal to base station antenna and this case results in zero transferred power. On
the other hand, in circular polarization case, there exists no complete power loss (mismatch)
that some portion of transmitted power is always transferred to linearly polarized receiver
antenna for any spatial orientation. For this purpose, circular polarization is frequently used
in mobile communication systems in order to prevent complete mismatch (Haapala et al.,
1996; Wong et al., 2002). However, achieving circular polarization within wide frequency
bandwidth is difficult; therefore, as compared to linearly polarized antennas, circularly
polarized antennas in mobile communication systems have relatively narrow frequency
bandwidth. Consequently, in order to optimize polarization mismatch and frequency
bandwidth, dual-polarized antenna systems, which include either two orthogonal linearly
polarized antennas (Secmen & Hizal, 2010) or an antenna excited by two orthogonal feeds
(Guo et al., 2002), are commonly used in base station applications. Moreover, dual-polarized
antennas can provide space-saving polarization diversity at the base station point to
increase the performance of mobile systems that ±45° dual-polarized (slant-polarized)
antennas are currently in almost universal use for base station systems (Caso et al., 2010).
2.5 Mutual coupling
When identical antenna elements are placed in an array or multiple different antennas are
used, they interact with each other. This interaction between elements due to their close
proximity is called mutual coupling, which affects the input impedance as well as the
radiation pattern. It is noted previously that in base station applications, more than one
similar antenna can be implemented to either acquire higher gain with array structures or at
least provide dual-polarization with two antenna elements or feeds. Furthermore, in mobile
station applications, even multiple different antennas can be used in a limited available
space to provide multiband operation (Boyle & Massey, 2006). For these antenna systems,
the mutual coupling is simply defined as the interference value between two antenna
elements or feeds, which is desired to be as low as possible. Mathematically, in N element
antenna system, the mutual coupling S
in between ith and jth antenna elements can be
evaluated in decibel scale as
( )
a for k j
S dB
= =
= (7)
where a
is the amplitude of transmitted wave from jth antenna and b
is the amplitude of
received wave from ith antenna that transmitted waves on all other antennas except jth
antenna are set to zero. In base station systems, the specification for mutual coupling
between antenna elements is typically -20 dB (or 20 dB isolation) within the frequency
bandwidth. The mutual coupling effect in these systems using polarization diversity (one
antenna with two orthogonal feeds) is usually higher than the systems using spatial
diversity (different antennas). As for mobile station applications such as mobile phone or

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 149
notebook computer antennas, the mutual coupling requirement may increase up to -10 dB
(Rahmat-Samii et al., 2008).
2.6 Cross polar discrimination
Most dual polarized antenna systems employed for polarization diversity purpose are
demanded that each antenna port receives signals only from its designated linear
polarization (co-polarization). However, unfortunately practical antennas also receive
unwanted signals from orthogonal polarization called as cross polarization (X-polarization).
Cross polar discrimination is the ratio of received co-polar signal level to cross polar signal
level. In order to show the cross polar discrimination, radiation patterns (co-polar and cross
polar) of an indoor mobile communication antenna are given in Fig. 2 for both principal
planes (Secmen & Hizal, 2010). According to this figure, the cross polar discrimination
values are approximately 30 dB in the boresight direction (90° in Fig. 2). However, as shown
in the patterns, providing constant cross polarization discrimination within beamwidth is
difficult that this value falls to 20 dB for 60° degrees in principal H-plane. Nevertheless,
cross polar discrimination needed to provide polarization diversity is not large that typical
cross polar discrimination requirement for the mobile communication systems is around 25
dB in the boresight direction and 10 dB at the edges of beamwidth (Collins, 2009).

Fig. 2. The radiation patterns in both planes for an indoor base station antenna system where
CO and X indicate co-polarization and cross-polarization (Secmen & Hizal, 2010)
2.7 Intermodulation
When the signals with multiple frequencies (f
, f
,..., f
) are received by a nonlinear device,
intermodulation frequency terms (f
, f
, 2f
,...) are generated. Although an antenna is
actually a linear device, it may slightly deviate from linearity when sufficiently high power
is transmitted or received by the antenna. This nonlinearity is usually formed due to
mechanical joints or nonlinear materials used in the antenna. The intermodulation level is
crucial especially in base station applications that the intermodulation frequencies can

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 150
degrade the performance of the communication system. The intermodulation frequency
terms may easily fall inside the frequency band of interest. For example, two transmitted
frequencies (f
= 935 MHz and f
= 955 MHz) in frequency band of GSM 900 can generate 3rd
order intermodulation term at the frequency, 2f
= 915 MHz, which again falls into GSM
900 band. Therefore, the intermodulation levels are desired to be as low as possible that
typical signal level for base station applications is between -180 dBc and -120 dBc (dBc:
power in dB scale relative to carrier power). On other hand, when mobile station systems
such as mobile phone or notebook computer are considered, the intermodulation issue is not
so serious that the power handled in these systems is not as high as generating remarkable
intermodulation frequency terms. Therefore, intermodulation terms are usually ignored in
these applications.
2.8 Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)
For a mobile phone or notebook computer antenna located to the position, which is nearby
to a human body, some portion of transmitted power is absorbed by the human body. The
specific absorption rate (SAR) is basically defined as the absorbed power density at a
particular point of the human body. SAR can be quantitatively expressed as (Huang &
Boyle, 2008)

E dP
µ µ
= = (8)
where dP
is absorbed power within an infinitesimal volume of dV; E is the peak electric
field strength within dV; ρ and σ are mass density and conductivity of the human body. SAR
is important that certain regulations about SAR, which are based on the biological effects of
thermal heating due to radiation, should be satisfied. The IEEE standard about SAR
indicates that maximum allowed 1-g averaged maximum SAR is 1.6 W/kg and whole-body
averaged peak SAR is 0.08 W/kg. 10-g averaged maximum SAR value is commonly used as
2 W/kg in Europe countries.
3. Multiband antennas for mobile communication
In order to realize multiband operation, a wide variety of antenna types, which uses
different multiband techniques, is used. Fundamental multiband techniques will be
explained in the following part of this section. Next, basic multiband antenna types
designed for mobile communication systems will be given.
3.1 Multiband techniques
3.1.1 Higher order resonances
One of the basic ways of getting multiband operation is to utilize from higher order
resonances. This principle is explained in Fig. 3 that a monopole antenna is often used with
a length of λ/4 (Fig. 3(a)). For this case, the antenna resonates at f
with electric field
minimum at the feed. However, a similar condition of minimum electric field at the feed
also exists when same antenna’s length corresponds to 3λ/4 (Fig. 3(b)). Therefore, the
monopole antenna can also resonate at 3f
. Other higher resonances also exist at higher
frequencies such as 5f
. Higher order resonances are used in many types of antennas such as
dipoles, helices, patches and slots. In (Huang & Boyle, 2008), a normal mode helical antenna

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 151
mounted on a typical mobile phone is given. According to the results, the antenna has the
resonances at frequencies f
and 2.6f
that higher order resonances principle almost holds for
this case.

Fig. 3. (a) A monopole antenna resonating at f
(b) Same antenna resonating at 3f
(E is the
electric field magnitude)
3.1.2 Multiple resonant structures
The most popular technique for obtaining multiband antenna system is the usage of
multiple resonant structures. Here, two or more resonant structures, which are closely
located in space or even co-located with a single feed, are used. This is illustrated in Fig. 4
for dual-band applications that the antennas in both cases have operation center frequencies
and f
. They are typical examples for corporate feed that two resonant structures are
excited simultaneously. On the other hand, sometimes multiple resonant structures can be
fed in series way as shown in Fig. 7(b) that the second resonant structure can be excited after
the first structure is excited.
The multiple resonant structure technique is also frequently used in mobile communication
systems to achieve multiband mobile antennas. For example, in (Haapala et al., 1996), dual
frequency antenna systems for handsets are proposed. The designed structures are the
combination of monopole and helical antennas as shown in Fig. 4(b) that multiple
resonances at two different frequencies are acquired for dual-band operation at GSM 900
and 1800 bands.

Fig. 4. (a) Two monopole antennas for dual-band operation (b) A helical antenna resonating
at the frequency f
and a monopole antenna resonating at the frequency f
for dual-band

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 152
3.1.3 Parasitic resonators
Another method to obtain multiband characteristics is the implementation of parasitic
resonators to the antenna system. In this technique, an extra parasitic element is added to
the fed antenna for the operation at different frequency, but this element is not directly fed
as in Yagi-Uda antenna (Balanis, 2005). It is parasitically coupled from near field of the
antenna and resonates at another frequency. An example for this technique is given in Fig. 5
for a triple band application (Manteuffel et al., 2001). In this study, the antenna initially
operates at GSM 900 and 1800 frequency bands without parasitic element. However, with
the addition of the parasitic element, a triple band antenna for GSM 900, 1800 and 1900
frequency bands is realized.

Fig. 5. A folded patch antenna with parasitic element for a triple band application
(Manteuffel et al., 2001)
3.2 Monopole (whip) and helical antennas
One of the extensively used antennas in the earlier mobile communication systems is the
monopole antenna and it is still used in applications such as United States CDMA networks.
Monopole antennas have a very simple form containing a whip with height λ/4 above a
ground plane, two of which are shown in Fig. 4(a) for possible dual-band operation. It has
linear polarization characteristics and omnidirectional radiation pattern in H plane making
this antenna an attractive choice especially for mobile unit applications. Several different
forms of monopoles are given in Fig. 6 for a mobile handset system. However, since the size
of ground plane greatly influences the radiation characteristics, it should be large in order to
obtain ideal omnidirectional pattern. As a solution to this problem, sleeve dipole in Fig. 6(e)
is an interesting antenna that it actually behaves as asymmetrically fed half-wave dipole
with monopole like radiation. This antenna is used in private mobile handset systems such
as emergency services. A dual-band sleeve dipole antenna operating at AMPS and GSM
1900 frequency bands can be found in (Ali et al., 1999) for a notebook computer application.
These forms of monopoles in Fig. 6 have generally large heights for mobile communication
systems. In order to reduce the height of the monopoles, several different wire type
antennas such as helical, wound coil or folded loop antennas are used for multiband

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 153
operations (Katsibas et al., 1998; Lee et al., 2000). Among these antennas, helical antenna,
which is given in Fig. 4(b) in conjunction with a whip for dual-band operation, is the most
popular. While axial mode helical antenna provides endfire radiation (parallel to the axis of
the helix) pattern and circular polarization, normal-mode helical antenna gives linear
polarization and similar radiation pattern with monopole antenna. Some of dual-band
helical antennas used in mobile station systems are given in Fig. 7, where the first design
uses two helical antennas with different radii and the second design uses antennas with
different pitches (Wong, 2003). As another application of helical antenna in mobile
communication systems, an intelligent quadrifilar helical antenna for satellite mobile
communications is presented in (Leach, 2000).

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Fig. 6. (a) Wire monopole (b) strip monopole (c) retractable monopole (d) capacitive loaded
monopole (e) sleeve dipole


upper part with a
smaller pitch
lower part with a
larger pitch

Fig. 7. (a) Two helical antennas with different radii (b) two helical antennas with different
pitches (Wong, 2003)
In spite of their simple structures, all these monopole and helical antennas have still high
dimensions especially for mobile station systems. Besides, these antennas can be considered
as external antennas since they are usually mounted outside the mobile systems such as
mobile handset, and external antennas are more sensitive to the position of nearby objects,
for instance, head of a human (Rahmat-Samii et al., 2008). For these reasons, internal printed
monopole antennas supplying lower profile and higher bandwidth for multiband
operations are generally preferred. Some typical examples of internal printed monopole
antenna for dual-band operation are given in Fig. 8 (Chen et al., 2001; Chen & Chen, 2004).

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 154
Both antennas in these studies provide return loss higher than 10 dB for GSM 1800 and
WLAN 2400 bands.

(a) (b)

Fig. 8. (a) A microstrip fed dual-band printed monopole antenna (Chen et al., 2001) (b) A
coplanar waveguide (CPW) fed dual-band printed monopole antenna (Chen & Chen, 2004)
3.3 Inverted F Antennas (IFA)
The classical monopole type antennas commonly require very large ground plane in order
to have maximum radiation of the antenna parallel to the ground plane for principal
E-plane. One possible solution for this problem can be to employ an antenna having
maximum radiation towards normal to the ground plane; then, ground plane can be one
side of the terminal. For this purpose, a quarter-wave monopole is first folded to form an
inverted L antenna (ILA), and then it is modified to commonly known inverted F antenna
(IFA) that the modification steps are given in Fig. 9 (Huang & Boyle, 2008).

Fig. 9. Modification steps of IFA from monopole antenna (Huang & Boyle, 2008)
When IFA in this figure is investigated, with its image, the antenna appears as a two wire
transmission line with a short circuit at the end. The IFA is widely used as an internal
antenna especially in mobile handset and notebook computer applications. Many
modifications have been made to IFA that IFAs operating at dual WLAN bands (2.4 and 5
GHz) have been proposed (Yeo et al., 2004). The printed forms of inverted L or F antennas
are also very popular and widely used for multiband operations in mobile communication
systems (Wong et al., 2003; Wang et al., 2007).

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 155
3.4 Planar Inverted F Antennas (PIFA)
In terms of mechanical reliability and elegancy, internal antennas are preferred in mobile
units. The planar inverted F antenna (PIFA) is the most typical internal antenna especially
for mobile handset applications that most of antennas in current mobile units are small,
multiband and modified PIFAs. As shown in Fig. 10, a planar inverted F antenna is achieved
by short circuiting radiating patch to the antenna’s ground plane with a shorting pin or
plate. Although PIFA seems to be modified from IFA by just replacing radiating wire in IFA
with radiating patch, both antennas have different radiation mechanisms. PIFA can be
actually considered as a modification of half-wavelength long microstrip patch antenna.

Fig. 10. Configuration of a typical planar inverted F antenna
Compared to the conventional external monopole antennas, PIFAs are less easily broken off.
In addition, the ground plane in PIFA reduces the possible backward radiation, for instance,
towards the head of a human, leading to lower SAR values. PIFA can resonate at a much
smaller antenna size, which is desired and an attractive feature for mobile station
applications. Furthermore, by cutting slots in the radiating patch, the resonance path can be
modified; therefore, the antenna size can be further reduced. Besides, an intelligent design
about the shape of the patch and the positions of the feed and shorting pins results in the
existence of multiple resonance paths, causing multiband operations. A sample PIFA for
dual-band operation is given in Fig. 11 (Boyle, 2008).

Fig. 11. A dual-band PIFA structure (Boyle, 2008)

Patch Ground
Feed Pin
Shorting Plate

phone PCB
slot (for dual
band operation)
shorting pin feed pin

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 156
The theory of this structure is investigated in detail in (Boyle, 2008). For the antenna in
Fig. 11, it can be roughly explained that the inner part of this structure (slot) provides high
frequency component of dual-band, whereas the outer part provides a low frequency
component. Several PIFA antennas and their extended versions are reported for multiband
operations including triple band (Manteghi & Rahmat-Samii, 2006), quad band (Ciais et al.,
2004) and even six-band (Guo & Tan, 2004) for mobile communication systems.
In (Manteghi & Rahmat-Samii, 2006), a compact triple band PIFA operating in WLAN 2400
(2.4-2.5 GHz) band and two different UNII bands (5.15-5.35 GHz and 5.7-5.85 GHz) is
presented. As shown in Fig. 12(a), three different resonance frequencies are generated by
adding J-shaped slot and a quarter wavelength slot on the radiating patch. The fabricated
two element antenna array is also given in Fig. 12(b) that total size for the antenna part is
approximately 50 mm x 13 mm x 4 mm. The proposed antenna provides return loss higher
than 10 dB for the mentioned bands.

Fig. 12. (a) A triple band PIFA (b) Array of two elements of triple band PIFA (Manteghi &
Rahmat-Samii, 2006)
The paper presented in (Ciais et al., 2004) uses several multiband techniques such as
multiple resonant structures (cutting slots) and parasitic resonators in order to implement a
quad band PIFA. This antenna covers GSM 900 band by providing VSWR less than 2.5 and
GSM 1800, 1900 and UMTS bands by providing VSWR less than 2. The antenna in (Guo &
Tan, 2004) proposes a compact PIFA with a parasitic plate and folded stub for mobile
handsets. This antenna covers GSM 900, 1800, 1900; GPS, UMTS and ISM2450 bands with
return loss better than 6 dB and it occupies only 36 x 17 x 8 mm
total volume. There exist
many different types of PIFA for mobile communication systems, which can be found in
(Wong, 2003) for the readers interested in this antenna type.
3.5 Low profile antennas
The profile of a monopole (printed or planar antenna) or PIFA can be further reduced by
some miniaturization techniques such as folded or meandered structures. The folded
structures are mainly associated with bending, wrapping or folding of the monopole
antennas into more complicated configurations such as S-shaped (Lui et al., 2004) or
T-shaped structures (Chen et al., 2006). On other hand, a typical example for a single
meandered structure is given for a printed monopole in Fig. 13 that meandered structures
can be also combined with other configurations such as an inverted L-element in order to
obtain multiband operation.

(a) (b)
shorting pin
feed pin
wavelength slot
Triple band PIFA
Triple band PIFA

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 157

Fig. 13. A meandered printed monopole antenna
Low profile antennas have great importance due to its reduced size that for instance, this
kind of low profile monopole in Fig. 13 is very suitable for integration within mobile phone
applications as a built-in antenna. As the application of meandered type antenna, the
antenna in (Ali et al., 2003) uses a driven meandered line element in addition to two
parasitic structures for a triple band application of mobile phone handset. The antenna can
be tuned to operate either in GSM 850, 900 and 1900 bands or GSM 850, 900 and 1800 bands
by providing VSWR≤2.5 within the given frequency bands. In another realized antenna
(Teng & Wong, 2002), a structure consisting of three meandered lines and wrapped into a
compact rectangular box is presented for GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 frequency bands. The
proposed antenna covers the required bandwidths of GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 by having
VSWR less than 2.5 and gain ranging from 1.4 to 3.6 dBi. In a relatively recent study (Jing et
al., 2006), a compact multiband meandered printed antenna is represented. The mentioned
antenna, whose geometry is given in Fig. 14, has actually three meandered monopoles,
which can be considered as three radiating elements or branches. The first (through the path
a-b-c-d) and second (through the path a-b-c-e) branches provide resonances at GSM 900
band. The third branch (through the path a-b-f) and additional branch (g-g’) provide
resonances at 2 GHz and WLAN 2400 band, respectively. According to the results, this
antenna is found to operate in five different bands of GSM 900, 1800, 1900; UMTS 2000 and
WLAN 2400 by giving VSWR less than 2.5 and gain between about 1 and 3.2 dBi.

Fig. 14. A compact multiband meandered printed antenna (Jing et al., 2006)
As being another type for low profile antenna, folded structures have been reported in the
literature. In the study in (Di Nallo & Faraone, 2005), a novel antenna structure, which can

Microstrip line


Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 158
also be called as folded inverted conformal antenna (FICA), has significantly higher
bandwidth than a dual-band PIFA operating in GSM 900 and 1800 bands. Besides, it
provides resonance at the third band around 2 GHz, which is suitable for UMTS
applications. A special design of folded planar monopole is presented in (Lin, 2004) that the
proposed antenna can cover GSM 900, 1800 and 1900; UMTS and ISM 2450 frequency bands
with constraint of VSWR≤2.
Chip antennas, which can be also included in very low profile antennas, are frequently used
in mobile station units such as mobile handsets. The chip antenna is a compact surface
mountable device consisting of a high permittivity substrate (such as ceramic) and
conducting patterns printed or embedded on it. Low temperature cofired ceramic (LTCC)
technology is usually used that the substrate is composed of multilayered thin sheets, and
the conducting strips are printed and connected on these sheets via metal posts. The metallic
path can take different forms of helix, meander or spiral (Wong, 2003). There are two major
types of chip antennas. The first one has a ground plane printed on the bottom of the
substrate; however, it has generally narrow bandwidth and low radiation efficiency. For this
purpose, in the most of today’s chip designs, the chip antenna does not have an underlying
ground plane as shown in Fig. 15 (Moon & Park, 2003). The chip part of the presented
antenna has total volume of 48 mm
and operates at dual ISM bands (2.4 and 5.8 GHz) by
providing VSWR≤2 within these frequency bands.

Fig. 15. The configuration of a dual-band chip antenna (Moon & Park, 2003)
4. Wideband antennas
In order to increase the bandwidth of an antenna, several methods such as using thick and
low permittivity substrates, stacked and suspended structures, aperture or L-probe
coupling, parasitic resonators and planar designs with different shapes (circular, triangular,
etc.) can be considered. Wideband antennas normally occupy larger space than multiband
antennas in the applications and the profile can be even higher with possible array
configurations to obtain higher gain. Therefore, wideband antennas are mostly preferred in
indoor or outdoor base station applications rather than mobile handset or notebook
computer applications. Besides, while satisfying only VSWR (or return loss) requirement
within the desired frequency bands is usually sufficient for mobile unit applications,
additional criteria such as high gain and high isolation between the antenna elements
should be satisfied for wideband antennas in base station applications. The commonly used
wideband antennas in mobile communication systems are described as follows.
4.1 Microstrip patch antennas
Microstrip patch antenna is a well-known printed resonant structure consisting of a
conducting patch, a substrate and a ground plane as shown in Fig. 16. Microstrip antenna’s

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 159
patch shape can be any continuous shape such as square, rectangular, circular, ring and
elliptical, where rectangular patch is the most common.

Fig. 16. Microstrip patch antenna configuration
This antenna is heavily preferred due to its low profile, lightweight, easy fabrication and
being conformable to planar and nonplanar surfaces. With its original configuration, the
antenna has narrow bandwidth, which is more suitable for multiband operations that some
multiband patch antenna designs have been developed in literature (Chiou & Wong, 2003).
However, by applying techniques such as using thick and low permittivity substrates,
aperture coupling, stacked patched or cutting different shaped slots in the patch, its
bandwidth can be widened, which makes them more convenient for base station
applications. Wideband dual-polarized patch antennas have especially attracted much
attention due to their ability of eliminating multipath fading. For example, the antenna in
(Caso et al., 2010) proposes a dual-polarized microstrip antenna using both aperture
coupling and stacked patch as wideband techniques. The geometry and fabricated view of
the antenna are given in Fig. 17 that it operates between 1700 MHz and 2700 MHz (45
percent bandwidth), which includes GSM 1800, 1900; UMTS and extended UMTS; ISM
frequency bands. Within the given bandwidth, the antenna provides return loss higher than
10 dB, isolation between ports higher than 22 dB and cross polar isolation higher than 20 dB.
For a 2x1 array structure, the antenna gain is measured between 8 and 11 dBi in the entire
band of interest, which is sufficient for most of the base station applications.

Fig. 17. (a) Stack-up view geometry of the single antenna element (b) Fabricated 2 x 1
prototype of the antenna (Caso et al., 2010)


(a) (b)

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 160
4.2 Suspended plate antennas
A suspended plate antenna comprises from a thin plate conductor (patch) placed above a
grounded low permittivity dielectric substrate (usually air) as shown in Fig. 18. It is usually
fed by L or T shaped probes or planar strips in order to increase the bandwidth. These
antennas have common advantages of easy fabrication, low cost and large bandwidth.

Fig. 18. (a) Isometric and (b) side views of the suspended plate antenna
There are many suspended plate antennas available for mobile communication systems. In
(Secmen & Hizal, 2010), an inverted L-shape fed suspended plate antenna is designed for
wideband indoor base station applications. The simulation and manufactured views of the
proposed dual-polarized antenna are shown in Fig. 19. The antenna is initially fed with a


Fig. 19. (a) Simulation and (b) manufactured views of the suspended plate antenna in
(Secmen & Hizal, 2010)

(a) (b) Ground plane

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 161
microstrip line instead of a probe, then with a bowtie transition, the incident power is
transmitted to the suspended patch antenna via coupling from planar strip feed element.
The antenna operates within the frequency bandwidth of 1900-2700 MHz (about 34 percent
bandwidth) by performing return loss higher than 15 dB, isolation higher than 22 dB and
cross polar discrimination in the boresight higher than 25 dB. Besides, the antenna has
sufficiently wide 3-dB beamwidth values in both principle planes (minimum 66 degrees for
E-plane and 125 degrees for H-plane); therefore, the proposed antenna can be used for
indoor mobile communication applications.
4.3 Dielectric resonators
A dielectric resonator antenna (DRA) is mainly composed of a block of dielectric material on
a conducting ground plane as shown in Fig. 20, where different geometrical shapes like
hemisphere and rectangular instead of circular cylinder are available for DRA. DRA has
some superiority over microstrip and printed antennas such as low profile, lightweight and
small size. Besides, since there exists no radiating metal patch on the antenna, there is no
conduction loss and this brings relatively lower loss compared with the microstrip

Fig. 20. A circular cylindrical dielectric resonator antenna on a ground plane
antenna especially for higher millimeter wave frequencies. Therefore, in mobile
communication systems, it is usually used in WLAN applications, which have relatively
higher frequencies (2400, 3600 or 5100 MHz) than GSM frequency bands. DRA also has the
advantage of easy, simple and flexible excitation through the use of a coaxial probe, a
microstrip line, an aperture coupling. For these reasons, DRA is increasingly popular and
attractive to the researchers studying on mobile communication antennas. The resonance
frequencies of a DRA are predominantly determined by its size and shape, and dielectric
constant of the material (ε
) that the dimensions can be significantly reduced by selecting
materials with high dielectric constant. However, in order to maintain thermal stability,
materials with dielectric constants lower than 30 are selected (i.e., ceramic with ε
= 9.2). But,
since the dimensions of the antenna can be still large at mobile communication frequency
bands, many advanced designs have been developed in order to reduce the dimension with
small ε
values (Lan et al., 2003). DRAs are commonly used in wideband WLAN applications
that many recent studies are available in the literature. For example, in (Mahender et al.,
2010), a wideband U-shaped dielectric resonator antenna for WLAN application is given,
which performs return loss higher than 10 dB and gain higher than 6.2 dBi for the frequency
bandwidth 5.1-6 GHz including two different bands (5.15-5.35 GHz and 5.725-5.825 GHz) of
a WLAN system. In a newly reported study (Brar & Sharma, 2011); a wideband aperture
coupled pentagon shape DRA is presented for WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for
Microwave Access) applications as shown in Fig. 21. The antenna operates from 2.55 GHz to

Recent Developments in Mobile Communications – A Multidisciplinary Approach 162
3.9 GHz (42 percent bandwidth) covering almost two WiMAX (2.5-2.7 GHz and 3.3-3.8 GHz)
frequency bands. The antenna has return loss higher than 10 dB; gain higher than 3 dBi and
moderation cross polarization levels within the given bandwidth.

Fig. 21. (a) Side view and (b) top view of the antenna presented in (Brar & Sharma, 2011)
4.4 Planar monopoles
One of the basic approaches to making an electrically small antenna wideband is to make it
plump. Therefore, in order to increase the bandwidth of a simple whip type monopole
antenna, the radiating wire element should be replaced by planar elements in order to be
more convenient for wideband applications. These planar elements can be square,
rectangular, trapezoidal, cross-plate or conical shapes. For example, in (Wong et al., 2005), a
square planar monopole with three-branch feeding strip is introduced with a bandwidth of
about 10 GHz (about 1.4-11.4 GHz) that these antennas are usually called as ultra-wideband
(UWB) antennas. Although these planar monopoles are comparably larger than the other
wideband antennas described above, they are mostly preferred in mobile communication
systems due to its very wideband characteristics. As an example, a wideband dual-sleeve
monopole antenna with cone shape is presented in (Zhang et al., 2011) for indoor base
station applications. The structure of the antenna is shown in Fig. 22 that by a top-loading
circular patch shorted to the ground plane through four shorting probes, a significant size
reduction is achieved. The antenna’s impedance bandwidth for VSWR≤ 2 is calculated to be
from 730 to 3880 MHz, which covers GSM 900, 1800, 1900; UMTS and extended UMTS,
WLAN 2400 and 3600 bands. Because the antenna’s gain is considerably low (from 2.5 to 6.7
dBi within the bandwith), it is more suitable for indoor applications rather than outdoor
applications, which needs higher gain.

Fig. 22. The structure of the proposed antenna in (Zhang et al., 2011)

(a) (b)

Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems 163
5. Conclusions
The explosive demand for mobile communication and information transfer using personal
devices such as mobile phone or notebook computer has caused the need for major
advancements of antenna design. With the development of 3G and even 4G technologies,
multiband and wideband antennas operating at additional frequency bands such as UMTS
and LTE are required. In this chapter, it is initially presented the fundamental parameters of
the antenna to be taken into account while designing an antenna and determining the
operating frequency bands. Afterwards, types of multiband antennas, which are used
especially in mobile units, are described. Here, the techniques to make an antenna
convenient for multiband operations are given; then, different antennas such as monopoles,
PIFAs are examined with several examples in the literature. In the last part, the types of
wideband antennas (microstrip patch antenna, DRA or planar) used in mobile
communication, which are more appropriate for base station or access point applications,
are presented. In conclusion, the engineers interested in mobile communication acquire an
initial comprehension about fundamentals and characteristics of multiband and wideband
antennas used in mobile communication systems. The readers can utilize from the given
references for more detail.
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Recent Developments in Mobile Communications - A
Multidisciplinary Approach
Edited by Dr Juan P. Maícas
ISBN 978-953-307-910-3
Hard cover, 272 pages
Publisher InTech
Published online 16, December, 2011
Published in print edition December, 2011
InTech Europe
University Campus STeP Ri
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51000 Rijeka, Croatia
Phone: +385 (51) 770 447
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No.65, Yan An Road (West), Shanghai, 200040, China
Phone: +86-21-62489820
Fax: +86-21-62489821
Recent Developments in Mobile Communications - A Multidisciplinary Approach offers a multidisciplinary
perspective on the mobile telecommunications industry. The aim of the chapters is to offer both
comprehensive and up-to-date surveys of recent developments and the state-of-the-art of various economical
and technical aspects of mobile telecommunications markets. The economy-oriented section offers a variety of
chapters dealing with different topics within the field. An overview is given on the effects of privatization on
mobile service providers' performance; application of the LAM model to market segmentation; the details of
WAC; the current state of the telecommunication market; a potential framework for the analysis of the
composition of both ecosystems and value networks using tussles and control points; the return of quality
investments applied to the mobile telecommunications industry; the current state in the networks effects
literature. The other section of the book approaches the field from the technical side. Some of the topics dealt
with are antenna parameters for mobile communication systems; emerging wireless technologies that can be
employed in RVC communication; ad hoc networks in mobile communications; DoA-based Switching (DoAS);
Coordinated MultiPoint transmission and reception (CoMP); conventional and unconventional CACs; and water
quality dynamic monitoring systems based on web-server-embedded technology.
How to reference
In order to correctly reference this scholarly work, feel free to copy and paste the following:
Mustafa Secmen (2011). Multiband and Wideband Antennas for Mobile Communication Systems, Recent
Developments in Mobile Communications - A Multidisciplinary Approach, Dr Juan P. Maícas (Ed.), ISBN: 978-
953-307-910-3, InTech, Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/recent-developments-in-mobile-

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