Qualcomm’s Tiny Smart Antenna for a Big 5G

1Q 2016 | IN-3975

At a recent 5G workshop, Qualcomm demonstrated a 28 GHz test setup with a 128 element antenna representing a base station, and a mock-up mobile with a smaller set of selectable antennas. The 128 element base station antenna was about 6”x8” and the ability to focus a radio beam was demonstrated under a variety of orientations. An antenna designed the same way for today’s LTE frequencies at 700 MHz would be about 20’x30’ and would not be feasible. An operator can hang an abundance of 6”x8” antennas in a place like New York’s Times Square. The bigger picture of 5G is more than just the spectrum, antennas, and a faster-better-cheaper mobile broadband, but the RF elements will determine 5G performance.

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