Mobile communications beyond 5G with new Beam-Steering technology.

The beam directional antenna technology is designed to increase the efficiency of the fixed base station antenna at 5G (mmWave) and 6G and can also be adapted for vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, car radar and satellite communications. Credit: dem10

A new beam control antenna that increases data transmission efficiency and opens up frequencies for mobile communications that are inaccessible to currently used technologies, scientists from[{” attribute=””>University of Birmingham, UK.

In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks and the successor to 4G. It boasts much faster download speeds that will eventually top out at 10 gigabits per second. It also features higher bandwidth, so it is able to connect more different devices.

Now, in a breakthrough that promises unprecedented data transmission efficiency for 5G mmWave applications, researchers have developed beam-steering technology for fixed base station antennas used by cellular networks.

Birmingham researchers have unveiled a new beam-steering antenna that increases the efficiency of data transmission for ‘beyond 5G’ – and opens up a range of frequencies for mobile communications that are inaccessible to currently used technologies.

Experimental results, presented today for the first time at the 3rd International Union of Radio Science Atlantic / Asia-Pacific Radio Science Meeting, show the device can provide continuous ‘wide-angle’ beam steering, allowing it to track a moving mobile phone user in the same way that a satellite dish turns to track a moving object, but with significantly enhanced speeds.

Devised by researchers from the University of Birmingham’s School of Engineering, the technology has demonstrated vast improvements in data transmission efficiency at frequencies ranging across the millimeter wave spectrum, specifically those identified for 5G (mmWave) and 6G, where high efficiency is currently only achievable using slow, mechanically steered antenna solutions.

For 5G mmWave applications, prototypes of the beam-steering antenna at 26 GHz have shown unprecedented data transmission efficiency.

Beam Steering Antenna Technology for Fixed Base Station Antenna

The beam-steering antenna technology has been developed to increase the efficiency of fixed base station antenna at 5G (mmWave) and 6G, and can also be adapted for vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicular radar, and satellite communications. Credit: University of Birmingham

The device is fully compatible with existing 5G specifications that are currently used by mobile communications networks. Moreover, the new technology does not require the complex and inefficient feeding networks required for commonly deployed antenna systems, instead using a low complexity system that improves performance and is simple to fabricate.

The beam-steering antenna was developed by Dr. James Churm, Dr. Muhammad Rabbani, and Professor Alexandros Feresidis, Head of the

University of Birmingham Enterprise has filed a patent application for this next-generation beam-steering antenna technology and is seeking industry partners for collaboration, product development or licensing.

The efficiency and other aspects of the underpinning technology have been subjected to the peer review process, published in respected journals, and presented at academic conferences1,2,3,4.

Dr. Churm added: “We are assembling a further body of work for publication and presentation that will demonstrate a level of efficiency that has not yet been reported for transmission of radio waves at these challenging frequencies. The simplicity of the design and the low cost of the elements are advantageous for early adoption by industry, and the compact electronics configuration make it easy to deploy where there are space constraints. We are confident that the beam-steering antenna is good for a wide range of 5G and 6G applications, as well as satellite and the Internet of Things.”

*Metamaterials is the term used for materials that have been engineered to have special properties that are not found in naturally occurring materials. These properties can include the manipulation of electromagnetic waves by blocking, absorbing, enhancing, or bending waves.

Meeting: 3rd International Union of Radio Science Atlantic / Asia-Pacific Radio Science Meeting

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.