New Vodafone and O2 Masts: 2G, (3G), 4G

Masts usually upgraded through CTIL (Cornerstone Infrastructure Limited). It is usually possible to tell the mast topography by the number of feeders, or RETs (if feeders are not visible) or RRUs if feeders are not readily countable. Most antenna systems have one RET per antenna band (two ports). RRUs often provide the 800MHz and use two feeders. However, sometimes RRUs are used for other bands and some masts have multiple per sector. Vodafone and O2 masts come in a number of different configurations, which I cover below with schematics.

To make things simpler, I have also produced a video explaining the New Vodafone and O2 4G mast/Antenna Setups. For legacy Masts, check out the Legacy Vodafone and O2 Masts page.

Single Band Cabled (two ports/feeders)

Usually 2G/3G 900MHz and 4G 800MHz by using an 800/900 combiner.

The setup for carrying 2G/3G/4G (900, 900, 800) on a mast with only a single band on each sector, such as the Winterbourne Stickland mast.

 

Commscope CVVPX308.10R3 triple band panels with two high bands and a low band. Only the low bands are wired. Also, combiners (behind panels) and 800MHz RRUs are visible. 900MHz 2G/3G from ground feeders. RRU fibre fed.

Triple Band Huawei with only the low ports cabled. No RRUs in this example.

Two Bands cabled (four ports/feeders)

800MHz 4G and 900MHz on separate feeders. Or 800MHz and 900MHz combined with 2100MHz.

Top Schematic for middle and left setups below. Lower schematic for left mast image.

 

Low and High Band panel. 800+900MHz combined + 2100MHz.

Huawei Dual band panel.

 

Dual Low band panel. 800MHz and 900MHz separate.

In this case, the feeders are not so clear to see, so seeing the two RETs is helpful to deduct it is a dual band panel. Also, the mast has RRUs, which will be taking up one of the bands to provide 4G800. Therefore, the second band is 900MHz 2G/3G.

Kathrein Dual low bands Panel 65 degrees, low and low band ports. Most likely an 80010668.

Two low Bands cabled across two panels per sector. 800MHz and 900MHz separate. Two high bands spare.

Two panels per sector because only one low band per panel. Therefore, one panel for 800MHz and one for 900MHz. This is despite the ability to combine both 800 and 900 onto the same input. 

Kathrein Dual band Panels 65 degrees, low and high bands. Possibly Kathrein 80010665V01

Three Bands Cabled (Six ports/feeders)

Usually 2G/3G 900MHz and 4G 800MHz on separate feeder pairs and then 2100MHz 3G. However, where the low bands are combined, two high bands are typically available, which can lead to Vodafone and O2 having separate 2100MHz.

Commscope CVVPX308.10R3 triple band panel with two high bands and one low band. It is possible to see the feeders, which indicate combined 800 and 900MHz into the low band of each panel and then two 2100MHz feeds to each panel: one for each operator. 

Triple band setup. Probably the most common way to carry 800, 900 and 2100. Typically Kathrein 80010698 Antenna panels are used. 

 

Two low band feeds and a high band cabled across two panels: Huawei (left) and Kathrein (right).

800MHz VT, 900MHz VT. Low bands

2100MHz High bands

Spare high, possibly for future 2600MHz

 

Kathrein 80010698 Triple band Panel 65 degrees, low, low and high bands.In this case, we have three RETs and it is just possible to see the three sets of feeder cables too. The mast also has RRUs which will be taking up one of the bands to provide 4G800. Therefore, the second band is 900MHz 2G/3G with the third being 2100MHz.

Huawei Dual Band and Huawei Triple Band with RRU.

Low bands separate on feeders and 2100MHz on RRU. 

 

Four bands Cabled (Eight ports/feeders)

Two low bands and two high. Permits operator separate 2100MHz or 2100MHz shared with 1800MHz for O2.

The mast has a standard Kathrein 80010698 with two low bands and a single high band. This alone would suggest a configuration of 800/900/2100. However, there's a another panel; a single high band (Kathrein 80010681 or similar) on the left, which will be carrying the 2100MHz. This leaves the right, triple band panel to carry 800/900/1800MHz. Therefore, we are looking at 800/900/1800/2100 overall.

Quad band Kathrein panel instead of the triple and single.

The mast has a standard Kathrein 80010698 with two low bands and a single high band. This alone would suggest a configuration of 800/900/2100. However, there's a another panel; a single high band (Kathrein 80010681 or similar) on the left, which will be carrying the 2100MHz. This leaves the right, triple band panel to carry 800/900/1800MHz. Therefore, we are looking at 800/900/1800/2100.

 

Two dual Band Kathrein Panels each with a low and high band. 

Panel A: 4G 800MHz, 2100MHz Vodafone

Panel B: 900MHz 2G/3G. 2100MHz O2. 

 

Very common setup. Kathrein Dual Band Panel and Commscope Triple Band

Low bands (4G 800, 2G/3G 900) on separate feeders.

Vodafone and O2 have separate 2100MHz. Vodafone have 4G 2100MHz.

Five Bands (10 ports/feeders)

Usually for O2 4G+ where O2 have 4G on 800MHz and 1800MHz. All the low bands are fed separately, such as 2G 900MHz, 3G 900MHz and 4G 800MHz all separate feeders. Then 2100MHz shared and O2 4G 1800MHz separate. 

This is an interesting and complex setup, carrying 2G/3G900MHz, 3G 2100MHz, 4G 800MHz and 2G 1800MHz.

The left panel is an Amphenol Triple band 6878200 with the 790-960 and 1720-2170 ports wired. The right is a Kathrein 80010698 triple band (low, low, high, all wired) antenna. This mast has one 800 RRU per sector, which is connected to the Kathrein Antenna.

Based on this, we can establish there are three low band feeds and two high band per sector. 

The three low bands will be working like the bottom right schematic, so 2G 900MHz, 3G 900MHz and 4G 800MHz (RRU) each through their own feeders. Then 3G 2100MHz and 2G 1800MHz through their own feeders to the high band ports. 

The same as above but with a dual band Kathrein instead of the Amphenol triple band

 

Three low band feeds used by both operators: 900MHz 2G, 900MHz 3G, 800MHz 4G. Two high band: O2 1800MHz 4G and 3G 2100MHz (both).

Same functionally as Five Band examples above but with a Commscope Argus Quad Band (CCVVPX305/CCVVPX308) as the main antenna.

 

 

 

Six Bands (12 Ports/feeders)

Possibly the most complex setup with three dual band panels per sector, likely carrying Vodafone 800, 900, 2100 and 1800MHz and O2 800, 900, 1800 (4G) and 2100.

 

A mast carrying Vodafone 4G 2600MHz, 4G 2100MHz and 4G 800MHz alongside usual 2G/3G and O2 4G 800MHz.

A Quad Band Amphenol TWIN338CU000, together with a dual band antenna, which permits 4x4 on L08 and L18. Also usual UG09, U21.

Misc

All the different ways of carrying the low band services on Vodafone and O2 masts. 

 

Specialised mast setups that are used by Vodafone and O2 can be found on separate pages linked from the homepage, such as Six Sector Masts.