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Poynting XPOL-1 vs XPOL-2: What's the difference?

Our two best selling antennas are the XPOL-1 and the XPOL-2. Which is best for your use case? Read on to find out.

Poynting XPOL-1 vs XPOL-2: What's the difference?

Cross Polarisation

XPOL stands for ‘cross-polarised’ and refers to the perpendicular orientation of the antenna’s fields. Some antenna fields are vertically polarised. In such instances, the cross-polarisation would be achieved with a secondary, horizontally polarised antenna. Achieving this result requires orienting the two antennas themselves in a perpendicular fashion.

The Poynting XPOL-1’s housing holds two antennas cross polarised in such a manner. The advantage to such cross-polarisation is reduced interference and increased performance.

The XPOL-2 and XPOL-2-5G share this cross-polarisation feature (hence the name).

So, what’s the difference between the XPOL-1 and the XPOL-2? Is the latter simply a newer version of the former? Not at all - in fact, the applications for the two antennas are entirely different.

Strengths of the XPOL-1

The Poynting XPOL-1 is an omnidirectional antenna. This means that it can efficiently receive and distribute radio frequencies (RF) in all directions, making it especially well suited for those applications where the direction of the nearest base station is unknown, or in those urban applications where a direct line-of-sight to any one base station is unlikely.

Moreover, an omnidirectional antenna can benefit from carrier aggregation, a phenomenon where a single antenna unit can aggregate (join together) the signal from two or more base stations, providing redundancy in the event of one base station failing.

Such a phenomenon is unlikely to occur with a directional antenna since the narrow beamwidth of 20-60degrees (depending on the antenna gain) limits its signal receiving capabilities to a single base station in all but the rarest of cases.

poynting-xpol-1

A low gain antenna, the XPOL-1 is best used when there is already a satisfactory outdoor signal. So long as this condition is met, the XPOL-1 can provide massive improvements in your data transfer rate over a 4G modem used with its attached antennas. In fact, in areas where signal strengths are very strong, a low gain antenna can give better performance than a high gain antenna.

Again, this is most likely going to be the case in urban applications where there is a higher concentration of base stations in a given area, meaning there is likely to be a decent signal no matter where you are. Just think, how often have you been in a city or other urban area and struggled to receive a cellular signal?

XPOL-1 quick reference:

  • Omnidirectional
  • Low gain
  • Urban applications
  • Decent existing outdoor signal
  • No line of sight to base station required

 

XPOL-2 Variants

The Poynting XPOL-2 is accompanied by its newer cousin, the Poynting XPOL-2-5G. Rather than discontinuing the XPOL-2, Poynting has opted to continue manufacturing both products side by side.

However, for only a modest price increase, the XPOL-2-5G provides a 2-3dBi gain increase across all of the frequency bands provided by the standard XPOL-2. Moreover, the XPOL-2-5G provides the added benefit of covering the new 5G frequency bands, effectively future-proofing your purchase and validating it for use with 5G LTE modems.

poynting-xpol-2-5g

However, you should always do your due diligence in researching exactly what you need for your use case. The 1400MHz channel, for example, is exclusive to the Three network in the UK and is covered by the XPOL-2, but not the newer XPOL-2-5G. Subtleties like this can mean the difference between an antenna installation that meets your expectations and one that doesn’t help your situation at all, so always be sure that the unit you’re purchasing can supply what you need.

Strengths of the XPOL-2

The XPOL-2 (both versions) is a directional 4G antenna, meaning that it receives and projects radio frequencies in a narrow, concentrated beam. With the same antenna gain concentrated into a narrower beam like this, a directional antenna can be effective at greater range than an omnidirectional antenna.

As you might have guessed, this makes directional antennas very useful for rural applications where the distance to the nearest base station may be greater, but there are fewer buildings serving as obstacles, obstructing the line-of-sight between the antenna and the base station.

The XPOL-2 and XPOL-2-5G both possess higher gain across all their serviced frequency bands than the XPOL-1, making them effective at longer range.

XPOL-2 quick-reference:

  • Directional
  • High gain
  • Rural applications
  • Direct line of sight preferable

You can read our dedicated blog post for more on the differences between directional and omnidirectional antennas.

Useful Information

  • Both the XPOL-1 and the XPOL-2 / XPOL-2-5G are LTE antennas. They do not cover WiFi frequency bands, so cannot aid in the stability, speed or integrity of your WiFi LAN.
  • Both XPOL-1 and XPOL-2-x models are backwards compatible with 2G and 3G.
  • All models are IP65 rated, meaning they are completely protected against dust ingress and have significant waterproofing.
  • All models feature two antennas inside the unit housing, making them capable of 2x2 MIMO.
  • Two Poynting XPOL units can be combined into powerful 4x4 MIMO applications for even greater performance benefits.
  • All are pole and wall-mountable via the included Z bracket. The XPOL-1 can also be ‘mounted’ to a window using the supplied suction cups.
  • All are intended for outdoor use.
  • All antennas are best situated high up, free from obstacles with as clear a line-of-sight as possible.
  • You can expect a performance benefit of two or more times the data transfer rate (both download and upload speeds) versus the standard speeds supplied by your LTE modem in its out-of-the-box configuration.
  • All models are supplied with fixed and sealed 5m dual cable with twin SMA male connectors.
  • NB, XPOL units are designed for use with LTE modems with two SMA inputs and are incompatible with modems with only a single SMA input.
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