Innovation

New antenna research helps bring 5G future closer

Rollout of the much-anticipated 5G network is expected by 2020 – and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) researchers are among those at the forefront of getting the technology ready. Jim Drury reports.

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS (Reuters) – This echo-free chamber is at the forefront of efforts to get 5G ready for consumers, with the promise of far faster speeds on mobile devices.

It’s also designed to boost Internet of Things technology.

5G will require base station antennas to exchange far more information, hosting multiple mobile users simultaneously.

Eindhoven University of Technology researchers have set up spin-off MaxWaves and built two unique devices to test electronically coupled antennas.

ULF JOHANNSEN, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT EINDHOVEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY,
“Because we use several antenna elements as a feed instead of one we have more amplifiers which means we have more transmit power which again enables us to communicate over longer distances….We need the antennas and also the electronics behind it so we are currently developing an active antenna array….

“The main advantage of the MaxWaves solution is that we can do easy electronic beam steering, while putting up these kind of systems. It is easier to point one antenna to the opposite antenna….

“We use this chamber which is a smaller version of the large anechoic chamber we just saw. So we have a reference antenna that’s moving around the antenna on a test, so the one we want to characterise and after every scan we have finalized one scan when the outside of his chambers is turning and we do a new scan. And in this way we will see if we get a complete three dimensional characterisation of the antenna on the test.”

National funding will allow a third, more advanced, prototype to be built.

The research will complement the work done at the universities of Lund and Bristol.

They created the world’s first 5G testbed, last year breaking the world-record for spectrum efficiency wireless communication.


Associated Links

  • Mobile telecommunications
  • 5G
  • Internet of things
  • Technology forecasting
  • Eindhoven
  • Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Provinces of the Netherlands
  • Extended periodic table
  • North Brabant
  • Technology

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