Ericsson said Monday morning that it is going to work with IBM on antenna technology that is expected to eventually become part of the 5G next-generation wireless specification.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) specifically plan to work on the development of phased-array antennas. This is an antenna array in which the signals of the separate elements are phase-shifted to create a very directional signal. For the end user, this should help to achieve faster downloads and can be delivered by vendors and operators via significantly smaller radios.
"The outcome of these technological advances will integrate [in] the order of a hundred antennas and radios on a single chip smaller than a credit card in size, greatly facilitating the use of these technologies for high-capacity small cells in indoor spaces and dense downtown areas," says Ericsson in a statement.
Even before this development work, the Swedish vendor has been running pre-5G tests in Stockholm this July with maximum download speeds of 5 Gbit/s. It expects that initial 5G technology will start to be deployed in 2020. At the moment, there is no actual 5G standard but there is a lot of research and hype going on ahead of the next-generation standard arriving.
Ericsson's CTO has previously told Light Reading that he expects that 5G will build on LTE-Advanced but also try and utilize new spectrum, such as 15GHz and 60GHz millimeter wave bands. (See Ericsson CTO: 5G Needs Broad Brush and The Many Faces of 5G .)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading