Millimeter Frequencies Proposed for 5G

Researchers at Polytechnic Institute of New York University have assembled a consortium of government and business support to develop technology that could potentially increase cell phone capacity by more than 1,000 times. The 5G project hopes to develop the 80 GHz band using smaller, lighter antennas with directional beamforming to bounce signals off of buildings. The uncrowded millimeter-wave spectrum, has 50 to 100 times more user capacity is readily available. Smaller, smarter cells would cooperate rather than compete for spectrum.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the team an Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) grant of $800,000, matched by $1.2 million from corporate backers and industrial partners including InterDigital, National Instruments and faculty startup company Asension Laboratories.

“Bandwidth-hungry devices are doubling wireless spectrum demand every 12 to 18 months,” said Professor Shivendra Panwar, principal investigator on the 5G project, CATT director and professor in NYU-Poly’s Department of Electrical and Computer and Engineering. “The 4G wireless networks increased the efficiency of spectrum usage, but this project pursues disruptive technologies that will significantly relieve the pressure.”

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