Japanese operator NTT Docomo and glass solution provider AGC Group have collaborated with Ericsson to complete what the companies believe to be the world's first trial of 5G communications using a glass-embedded antenna.
The trial used an antenna embedded in synthetic fused silica glass to transmit and receive 28-GHz 5G radio signals.
Validation testing used a vehicle fitted with multiple antennas and traveling about 30 km/h. Using the antenna, the companies achieved downlink speeds averaging 1.3Gbps within a 100 meter range, and maxing out at 3.8Gbps at 400 MHz.
The glass antenna prototype has the potential to overcome challenges associated with high-band 5G spectrum being unable to adequately penetrate windows, the companies said.
It could potentially be attached to window surfaces in buildings, vehicles and railway cars to enable stable, high-speed 5G communications under challenging indoor and in-vehicle conditions.