Samsung says that it will soon introduce miniaturized antennas and chipsets aimed at catching the first wave of 5G.
5G is the next-generation wireless technology intended to deliver data-over-the air at speeds up to 100 times faster than today's 4G networks. This means that a full movie could be downloaded in mere seconds.
Mobile operators and equipment vendors have said that one of the elements that could hold back 5G, which is expected to be in commercial deployment by 2020, is the lack of miniaturization of antennas and other components for the upcoming technology.
Crucially, Samsung says that it has developed an antenna, "which incorporates dozens of antenna elements in a module that is less than 1mm thick." One of the foundational concepts of 5G is using multiple antenna arrays to steer and speed up data transmissions over relatively short ranges, which means shrinking down the size of multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna arrays.
"Up until now, trial equipment has been fairly large, including the cabinet-sized base stations and 'user devices' that must be mounted on the top of a vehicle," Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, EVP and head of the Next Generation Business Team says. "Advanced chipsets will allow smaller devices and base stations and enable the ultra-broadband throughputs expected from 5G."
Samsung is very focused on developing its 5G-ready systems based on millimeter wave (mmWave) high-frequency technology. The company has alighted on 28GHz systems that are being tested by SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) among others. (See Verizon Hits 1-Gig+ in 5G Trials, Eyes Early Applications and SK Telecom Claims 5G Trial Milestone.)
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, Samsung had been using a 60GHz WiFi module with its Galaxy phones to give a concept of the capabilities of 5G. Cheun says that a prototype chipset using Samsung's preferred 28GHz frequency is coming in the "near future." (See Samsung Aims for Super-Fast 60GHz WiFi in 2015.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading