Thanks to the new method, the antenna can have even greater bandwidth, which leads to a higher data transfer speed and improved efficiency. These new antennas may also dispose of the analogue components that traditional antennas use to tune into the desired frequency. This facilitates antenna design and enables the creation of more compact antennas with better radiation efficiency.
With antennas designed using the standard technology, it is possible to obtain either a broad frequency range or high efficiency, but not both at the same time. Antennas' radiation efficiency has in recent times been falling because the frequency range used by mobile phones has been continuously increasing. Poor radiation efficiency leads to a short transmission range, for which network operators are then forced to compensate with a denser network of base stations. Energy is wasted in both the phone and the base station. In addition, increasing the network density is expensive.
Professor of Radio Engineering Ville Viikari believes that the new method will revolutionise the fifth generation of mobile phones and maintain Finland as one of the leading countries in the development of mobile phone antennas. For example, the antenna type developed by the Department of Radio Science and Engineering at the beginning of the 21st century is the main type in use in current phones. Now is the time to forge the solutions for a new generation of mobile devices.
'The next step in the development process is under way with the commencement of tests in cooperation with Huawei using fifth generation mobile phone devices. We are also developing together with Aalto University researchers digital electronic systems for controlling the antennas', Mr Viikari adds.
An article detailing the principles of the method has been published in journal IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters. Link to the article http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/LAWP.2016.2602006