2020 has seen a shift in the industry’s approach to mmWave 5G. A growing interest in using high-band frequencies for next generation deployments has seen the attitude move from ‘mmWave is too problematic for 5G’ to ‘mmWave is absolutely necessary for 5G’.
However, despite growing interest in making the most of the high-speeds and capacity that mmWave frequencies can offer, overcoming its limitations is still a hot topic.
mmWave has two big obstacles standing between Proof of Concepts, and commercial deployments. They are poor penetration – a wall, or even a user’s hand can block signal, and a limited range of only 300m (1000ft); that’s 2% of the range of 4G. A big leap forward for mmWave has been demonstrating how technologies such as beam-steering can help to overcome these issues. The downside is, traditional beam-steering technologies simply replace these physical challenges with a commercial one due to prohibitively high costs for the volume of equipment mmWave 5G will require.
This year has also seen ALCAN Systems take big steps forward in developing technologies that addresses the penetration and range limitations of mmWave, without leaving a high cost headache in its wake.
At a virtual MWC demonstration earlier this year, we demonstrated how ALCAN’s patented Liquid Crystal Phased Array Antennas can work as a low cost, low power, low profile solution to operators’ need for beam-steering relay antennas.
ALCAN’s product development has always had a symbiosis with scientific research into the potential Liquid Crystal Antennas hold when it comes to solving connectivity and RF challenges. A recent paper published in Microwave Journal takes a deep dive into the technical foundation on which our new range of 5G equipment is based.
Our ultimate aim is for the innovation coming out of ALCAN’s extensive R&D lab to solve the significant challenges our customers face as a result of network evolution. We spoke to Telecoms.com about the issues facing our service provider customers when it comes to mmWave 5G, and why they must look to innovative, rather than traditional solutions, to effectively overcome them.
To find out more about how ALCAN’s patented smart antenna technology can help accelerate mmWave 5G roll outs get in touch.