by Art Aguayo, Senior Business Development Manager – Rogers Corporation
MPD: The fifth generation of cellular is rapidly approaching and the immense scope of 5G seems almost certain to present significant opportunities for the RF and microwave industry. What is your perspective on this issue?
5G will come in waves: it is no longer a matter of “if” as much as a matter of “when” now. Countries like Japan and South Korea have made public announcements about using 5G technologies during their respective Olympics in 2018 and 2020 and here at home the FCC has been freeing up airspace around 28 GHz to facilitate early adoption of these pre-standard technologies and help keep the U.S. at the forefront of the next generation of mobile communications like it did with 4G/LTE. Unlike previous technologies GSM/CDMA/WCDMA/LTE that operated in somewhat close frequency bands, 600 MHz to 3.5 GHz, 5G is looking to take advantage of as much spectrum as is available, some below 6 GHz. We also find 15 GHz to 40 GHz and +60 GHz will be used. Designing a network and user equipment that can operate at all these frequency bands will be a challenge, but then again not all of it may need to operate over all these frequency bands. Business cases to support this technology seem to be centered around three different common focus areas: Enhanced Mobile Broadband which requires multi Gigabit peak data rates, Ultra-reliable and low latency communications with latency times down to 1 millisecond, and Massive Machine Type Communications allowing for device connection densities in the millions per square kilometer. The technologies needed to develop these capabilities are building on what has been done in the defense market, except that now value is front and center. Here at Rogers, we have been following the developing 5G market and opportunities for several years now, and we see the need for high frequency materials more now than ever, and not only on the infrastructure side of the networks, but also on the side of the user equipment. IoT, self-driving vehicles, broadband to the home; 5G is beyond smart phones, it is about smart everything communicating with each other, driving for the next generation of communications systems through innovative use of new material sets being developed by Rogers Corporation.