Collin Arocho
6 November 2019

TUE, together with spin-off Maxwaves, has completed its first practical tests of their new 5G and 6G antenna technology on campus. In anticipation of the rollout of the next-gen cellular networks, the collaborators have successfully employed electrically-controlled dish antennas to steer focused radio waves in specific directions over a long distance.

Ronis Maximidis (left) and Ali Al-Rawi from Maxwaves next to their demonstrator. Credit: Ksenia Korzun

At its release, 5G will use the same low frequencies (700 MHz – 2 GHz) as the current 4G network. 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, for example. The capacity then immediately increases by a factor of 100.

“The antennas bundle multiple signals into a very narrow, strong beam of radio waves, similar to a laser beam,” describes Ronis Maximidis, TUE PhD candidate and co-founder of Maxwaves. “Our system aligns the signals electronically so that the antennas don’t have to move mechanically.”