NTT Docomo aims to install 5G glass antenna for better signals

NTT Docomo, AGC and Ericsson have achieved the 5G mobile telecommunications — using an antenna embedded in synthetic fused silica glass to transmit and receive 28 GHz 5G radio signals — in buildings, vehicles and trains.

Engineers at NTT Docomo have used the innovative glass antenna to verify 28 GHz 5G mobile communication with downlink speeds averaging 1.3 Gbps within a 100-meter range and reaching a maximum of 3.8 Gbps at 400 MHz.

NTT Docomo’s telecom engineers conducted the verification tests, using a vehicle fitted with multiple antennas and traveling about 30 km/h, in the Sumida area of Tokyo between April 22 and May 28.

Radio signals in the 28 GHz band that supports 5G are more linear than 4G signals and they are not strong enough to adequately penetrate windows in buildings, vehicles and railway cars.

The test has proved that engineers can attach the new glass antenna to window surfaces to receive and relay radio waves in ideal directions for high-speed 5G communications under challenging indoor and in-vehicle conditions.

NTT Docomo’s telecom engineers used antennas in several spots on the vehicle, including the windshield, side windows and rear window, transmitting and receiving data in ideal directions for maximum signal strength.

NTT Docomo, which is aiming to become a top 5G service provider in Japan, will be able to install the 5G glass antenna, which is transparent and small in size, in buildings, vehicles, etc. without impairing the installation object’s appearance or design.