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June 03, 2019
Aperture Tuning for 5G Smartphones

Antenna efficiency plays a critical role in overall smartphone RF performance. However, current broad trends in RF requirements – especially the forthcoming transition to 5G – and in smartphone industrial design, mean that smartphones must fit more antennas into less space. As a result, antennas are shrinking in size, which reduces antenna efficiency. Without compensating for this problem, the reduced efficiency can impact Tx and Rx performance, causing shorter battery life, lower data rates and connectivity problems.

5G: More Antennas to Deliver Faster Data Rates

The transition to 5G, which continues the quest to deliver higher data rates, will drive a significant increase in the typical number of antennas in each handset.

Two primary techniques for delivering higher data rates, CA and multiple input multiple output (MIMO), both require multiple antennas that operate simultaneously. 5G will further drive this trend because it mandates support for four independent downlink channels for most bands, requiring handsets to include at least four antennas operating simultaneously for cellular communications.

At the same time, handset antennas will need to support a wider range of frequency bands, largely due to the introduction of new 5G bands (Example – n78 & n79). 5G handsets may need to support frequencies ranging from 600 MHz at the low end to as high as 6 GHz.

To support these requirements as well as Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth, the typical number of antennas will increase from four to six in today’s LTE handsets to six to 10 in 5G smartphones. It is becoming increasingly difficult to fit all these antennas into the limited space available.

Another mobilityView Prediction Comes True – 5G Chipsets More Expensive

We made this prediction over 15 months ago; and supposed experts don’t even understand the fundamental impact of 5G at the device and infrastructure level.

The article below proves out what we have been saying for quite sometime; and only covers a fraction of the reasons why from a chipset level 5G will always be more expensive than 4G.

We predicted that on a like for like basis and a time for time basis that 5G will always be more expensive than 4G and that delta as a percentage increase will be VERY consequential.

What the article doesn’t get into is how the SBOM (Software Bill of Materials) will also be more expensive due to the increased complexity of the EBOM (Electronic Bill of Materials). EBOM and SBOM are absolutely linked.

Net effect = More expensive hardware and more expensive infrastructure Net effect = More cost to operator Net effect = More cost to operator’s customer (B2B & B2C)

Aperture Tuning for 5G Smartphones