NEC Corporation claims to have developed a prototype of A4-sized massive-element Active Antenna System (AAS) for 5G small cell base stations. The new AAS can solve the heavy propagation loss in communications that happens in high frequency bands like those used in 5G communications.
The new AAS is designed to be compatible with low-SHF (Super High Frequency), radio waves at frequencies of 3GHz to 6GHz. It combines the antenna and RF components via a high-density printed circuit board and an IC that integrates the high radio frequency circuit with the digital circuit. Besides, the new compact AAS has achieved fully-digitized operation of antenna beam control and MIMO (Multi Input Multi Output).
The technology is capable to deliver high-capacity communications even when the user distribution is uneven within a cell or the user movements are frequent. This is because it enhances the accuracy of beams forming and achieves high spectral efficiency.
“NEC has focused on beam forming technologies which improve communication distances and reduce interference, and engaged in the research, development and demonstration of the massive-element AASs that enable more precise beam forming,” said Nozomu Watanabe, General Manager, Mobile Radio Access Network Division, NEC Corporation.
NEC-AAS is expected to be commercial-ready by 2020. The prototype was displayed at 2016 Mobile World Congress, Barcelona.