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Ericsson, IBM collaborate on 5G tech

Two firms jointly working on phased-array antenna designs

Ericsson, IBM collaborate on 5G tech
the 5G cellular standard promises to provide many times faster data speeds

Ericsson and IBM announced today that they are jointly working on phased-array antenna designs for the 5G cellular standard, which promises to provide many times faster data speeds.

The two companies are working on phased-array antenna techniques to develop prototype systems that will serve mobile users, they said in a joint statement. These designs will enable new services on the same frequency, as well as offer speeds that are comparable to today's cable and wired internet access speeds, they said.

The phased-array design allows for more directional antennas that are electrically steerable and will have significant weight and flexibility advantages over existing mechanical antennas, the statement said.

The outcome of these technological advances will integrate on the order of a hundred antennas and radios on a single chip smaller than a credit card in size, allowing for the use of these technologies for high-capacity small cells in indoor spaces and dense downtown areas.

"Ericsson is performing world-class radio research that will enable the extremely high data rates that will be required in the future. We have already showed 5 Gbps over-the-air in trials back in July," said Thomas Norén, head of product management for radio, Ericsson.

 We are also working to solve the size barrier and look forward to developing antenna technology with IBM that will open up possibilities for new uses. We recently launched the industry's most flexible small cell, which allows for concurrent use of multiple technologies.

"Even with its tablet-sized footprint, the form-factor was limited by components inside. This research collaboration will help us enable mobile network builds that provide the right coverage and capacity even in the densest urban environment."

Dr Mehmet Soyuer, manager of the Communication and Computation Subsystems Department at IBM Research, added: "We have accumulated over 10 years of experience in developing radio frequency integrated circuit and packaging solutions, demonstrating highly integrated phased arrays for various applications. We look forward to collaborating with Ericsson to help shape the future of mobile communications."

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