A prototype of a massive-element (approximately 500 elements) Active Antenna System (AAS) for base stations that supports 28GHz band has been developed by NEC Corporation, with a view toward the application of 5G, the next-gen wireless communication standard.
NEC's simulation trials of the newly developed AAS, which adopts beamforming, a technology for transmitting radio waves in multiple directions (to objects) while intensively and simultaneously using many antenna elements, achieved up to one kilometre in long-distance communications in 16 respective directions on 28GHz high radio frequency bands, at a communications speed of 30Gbps or faster per cell, and spectral efficiency 20 times greater than LTE on a per-communication area basis. In addition, original NEC technologies helped save several dozen watts of power and reduced the size by approximately 50%.
"The need for high-speed and high-capacity communication services is growing in pace with the distribution of 4K/8K video and the spread of new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality," said Katsumi Tanoue, Deputy General Manager, Mobile Radio Access Network Division, NEC Corporation. "It is important to build a mobile network that supports services based on these technologies, utilising high frequency bands and beamforming. NEC has achieved the creation of a power-saving and compact-size AAS by leveraging circuit design technologies such as component mounting and heat radiation, which it has accumulated over the years through the development of microwave communication systems on high frequency bands."