Antenna to "revolutionise" telecommunications industry

Friday, 09 June, 2023

Antenna to "revolutionise" telecommunications industry

A new antenna technology developed at Utah State University will be tested by a national wireless provider for a pilot study that could enhance the telecommunications industry. Bedri Cetiner, a professor of electrical engineering, developed a new antenna called a multifunctional reconfigurable antenna that can adapt to locate a signal’s direction and frequency.

For more than a century, conventional antenna equipment was only capable of broadcasting and receiving signals in all directions. Cetiner’s design is reportedly more efficient because it sends and receives signals in a particular direction, shape and frequency, which saves energy and better utilises the electromagnetic spectrum. Improved antenna designs are critical to keep up with the increasing demands expected from mobile devices.

Cetiner said that the transition from 4G to 5G is not just a matter of retrofitting existing technology, as 5G is an entirely new paradigm. Massachusetts-based Verana Networks, licensee of Cetiner’s antenna, announced plans earlier this year that Verizon will trial its 5G base station equipped with the antenna module in large metro areas. “5G allows for higher frequency and more bandwidth, which translates to more data and more users on a network. We are no longer in the Marconi era, but one of directive and steerable communication,” Cetiner said.

In 2014, Cetiner launched i5 Technologies, a USU spinoff company focused on innovative telecommunications equipment. The licensing deal is a success for Cetiner and his company, which employs three of his former students. “Innovation allows me as a teacher to educate my students with the skills they need to work as the next generation of engineers. My research gives me the chance to bring my experience into the classroom. It’s all connected,” Cetiner said.

The new antenna technology helps reduce delay in sending and receiving data and creates new opportunities with applications in education, medicine and more. “Imagine a surgeon using a robot to perform surgery miles away; or teaching a classroom of students across the globe. You don’t want delays when you’re doing that kind of work. With improved antenna design and higher data transfer rates, we can do things we never thought possible before,” Cetiner said.

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