Continental buys out Kathrein Automotive in 5G push

October 30, 2018 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Continental buys out Kathrein Automotive in 5G push
In order to equip itself for the growing importance of wireless communication to and from the car, automotive supplier Continental has signed a purchase agreement to take over the automotive division of the antenna construction company Kathrein SE (Rosenheim, Germany).

Kathrein Automotive is expected to part of Continental, including its entire workforce, in the first quarter of 2019, provided the usual antitrust review will be passed. Kathrein Automotive employs over 1,000 people at a total of eight locations in Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico, Portugal and the USA. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

From radio keys to navigation and telematics, there are numerous interfaces for wireless communication inside and outside the vehicle. Vehicles are already equipped with 20 antennas or more. In the wake of advancing integrated vehicle networking and new communication technologies such as 5G, the demand for powerful intelligent antenna systems will continue to grow. Analysts estimate average annual market growth for vehicle antennas of around 6.5 percent until 2022. With the acquisition of Kathrein Automotive, Continental is therefore not only expanding its own product portfolio and gaining essential development know-how, but is also taking a long-standing successful partnership with Kathrein to a new level.

The cooperation between Continental and Kathrein has already resulted in successful networking systems on the market. The intelligent antenna module, for instance, replaces individual antennas previously scattered throughout the vehicle by transferring the antennas and the associated electronics to a hardware module. This not only simplifies cabling and reduces installation space, but also improves signal quality.

In addition, the Kathrein Automotive portfolio includes antenna systems for all vehicle-related communication systems, MIMO antenna systems (Multiple Input Multiple Output) for optimized data reception as well as antenna systems for new frequency bands in the 5G mobile radio standard. High-frequency electronics products such as expansion joints for mobile radio and V2X technology complement the product portfolio.

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