Plastics May Help 5G with Both Transparency and Camouflaging

Large-scale 5G is expected to roll out in major cities in 2020, and with that, the 5G category will be the fastest-growing sector of the global smartphone industry for the next decade, reported Plastics Today. According to Strategy Analytics, global 5G smartphone shipments will grow 250 percent year-on-year from two million units in 2019, reaching 1.5 billion in 2025.

The 5G revolution also presents an opportunity for the plastics industry, especially since up to 150 antennae will be required per square kilometer in the densest urban areas, according to Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). Camouflaging antennas within urban infrastructure will be a big business moving forward.  

According to Mikko Lassila, Product Business Owner, Telecommunication, at Finnish company Excel Composites Oyj, “For better radio signal permeability through walls and windows, interior and exterior materials will need to have low dielectric constant and loss tangent. Further, for better signal flow outdoors, the infrastructure needs to be as ‘transparent’ as possible.”  

Lassila has identified potential materials for the 5G era that will allow the transparency needed for the radio waves while staying camouflaged as well. “Composites deliver design freedom, are lightweight for ease of assembly onsite and offsite, [and] have low maintenance requirements…in addition to their superior radio frequency properties,” said Lassila.

January 11, 2018   

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