Plasma Antennas announced that it has joined the Small Cell Forum (SCF), the global industry body driving the widescale adoption of small cells and heterogeneous networks.
The new generation of 5G cellular networks will provide massive, instantly steerable bandwidth at mmWave frequencies and will rely on a much denser network topology where small cells will play a major part. However, the drive to making 5G a commercial reality is being held back by today’s phased array antennas. Once considered state-of-the-art, phased array technology does not provide the required range and has not developed to the point that it makes a commercial mmWave 5G service viable. These shortcomings are exacerbated when miniaturising base stations into small cells.
Plasma Antennas has solved the 5G antenna challenge and unlocked the 5G small cell potential at the same time. Proven for the U.K. defence industry, Plasma Antennas’ patented plasma beamforming technology is a market innovation for mmWave applications; transforming performance, costs and simplicity. According to the company, it has very low loss, low power consumption, no moving parts, no power limits, can switch direction in just a few hundred nanoseconds and costs a fraction of phased array technology.
The Small Cell Forum supports, promotes and helps drive the development and adoption of small cell technologies to improve the coverage, capacity and services delivered by mobile networks. By promoting their use in operator networks, the ever-increasing consumer demand for using mobile devices wherever we are, with ubiquitous coverage and an uninterrupted service, can become a reality. In 5G, URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communications) over mmWave links present particular challenges. Innovation will be required to meet the cost and performance goals that will make 5G attractive, usable and affordable.
“As the industry moves towards the 5G era, small cells have been accepted as critical in building out next generation networks, and antenna technology is a core component in making this a practical reality,” said David Orloff, chair of the Small Cell Forum. “We are delighted to welcome Plasma Antennas to the Forum and look forward to their involvement and input.”
Paul Phillipson, CEO of Plasma Antennas, said, “I come from a background of small cell technology with Ubiquisys, ipaccess and Lucent. I have known for a long time that small cells are the answer to coverage and performance. 5G presents challenges that demand innovation and new approaches. Plasma Antennas bring niche defence and security technology which elegantly switches sector and scales to deliver significant cost and performance advantages in mass market telecoms at mmWave frequencies.”