Ericsson and IBM have announced a joint research on phased-array antenna designs for 5G that allow networks to provide customers with data speeds orders of magnitude faster than what is available currently.
The technology companies say that as mobile device manufacturers race to provide the latest features and applications to consumers, and wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies are increasingly used in many areas of society, operators will see rapid growth in data and bandwidth demands.
Hence, Ericsson and IBM will research phased-array antenna techniques to develop prototype systems that will serve more mobile users, enable a multitude of new services on the same frequency, as well as offer data speeds that are orders of magnitude faster than today – competitive to existing cable and wired internet access speeds.
According to Ericsson, the phased-array design allows for more directional antennas that are electrically-steerable and will have significant weight and flexibility advantages over existing mechanical antennas.
Thomas Norén, Head of Product Management Radio, Ericsson says “Ericsson is performing world-class radio research that will enable the extremely high data rates that will be required in the future. We have already showed 5 Gbps over-the-air in trials back in July. We are also working to solve the size barrier and look forward to developing antenna technology with IBM that will open up possibilities for new uses. We recently launched the industry’s most flexible small cell, which allows for concurrent use of multiple technologies. Even with its tablet-sized footprint, the form-factor was limited by components inside. This research collaboration will help us enable mobile network builds that provide the right coverage and capacity even in the densest urban environment.”
Dr. Mehmet Soyuer, Manager of the Communication and Computation Subsystems Department, IBM Research says “we have accumulated over 10 years of experience in developing radio frequency (RF) integrated circuit and packaging solutions, demonstrating highly integrated phased arrays for various applications. We look forward to collaborating with Ericsson to help shape the future of mobile communications.”