Many connected devices, films downloaded in seconds, autonomous driving: the extremely fast 5G should make all this possible. The problem is that the fastest form of 5G now requires very fast connections within the network, which only works at short distances.
New antenna technology has therefore been developed at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), making long-distance communication possible for this fast form of 5G and its successor, 6G. The first practical test was recently carried out from the roof of two buildings on the TU/e campus and proved successful.
The next generation of wireless networks, 5G, is expected to be rolled out commercially in 2020. This first phase, using relatively low frequencies, is slightly faster than 4G. But the higher the frequency, the more data you can send. This is why efforts are being made towards a form of 5G that works at much higher frequencies – 26 GHz, to be precise. The capacity then immediately increases by a factor of 100, which is required for self-driving cars (for example).
This increase in speed will require a similar increase in the capacity of the connections between the base stations of the network. Very high frequencies (80 GHz) will be used for these connections. “The problem with sending signals at these high frequencies is that they are only strong enough at a very short distance,” says Bart Smolders, Professor of Telecommunications.
Source: “New antenna technology for extremely fast 5G and 6G successfully tested on TU/e campus”, Eindhoven University of Technology