5G On-Glass Antennas for Connected Vehicles

12 March, 2019 | Mobile Communications
Article by Matthias Pätzold

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) DOCOMO, Asahi Glass Company (AGC Inc.), and Ericsson have teamed up to demonstrate the performance of 5G and the novel use of glass-mounted antennas on vehicles traveling at high speeds.

Using glass-mounted antennas (also referred to as on-glass antennas) during a 5G field trail on 24 July 2018, the three partners achieved a communication speed of 8 Gb/s with a vehicle traveling at approximately 100 km/h.

The 5G 28-GHz, band-compatible on-glass antennas used in the field trial were designed and developed by Japanese glass manufacturer AGC, Inc. The on-glass antennas are not easily seen from the exterior and can be installed on glass surfaces with no negative impact on the vehicle design.

Because radio waves in the 28-GHz frequency band suffer from large propagation losses, 5G radio waves face difficulties when traveling long distances.

By installing an on-glass antenna on a vehicle, 5G radio waves can be transmitted and received using beamforming, a technique that concentrates radio waves in a specific direction in combination with MIMO techniques, which improves the communication speed by simultaneously transmitting different data from multiple antennas. This allows stable, high-speed communication, even for vehicles in operation.

For this field trial, 5G high-speed communications using both the beamforming function and the MIMO function were performed on a vehicle equipped with on-glass antennas. The trial was held at the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

While the vehicle traveled at approximately 100 km/h, a maximum communication speed of 8 Gb/s was achieved, and a maximum of 11 Gb/s was achieved at a vehicular speed of approximately 30 km/h. This trial confirmed that high-speed in-vehicle communications in the 28-GHz band can be achieved by using on-glass antennas.

NTT DOCOMO, AGC, and Ericsson will continue working toward using 5G in various environments, including in-vehicle communication modules, and hope to see 5G-connected cars become a reality.

Full article: IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Volume 13, Number 4, December 2018


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