5G Communications

A Sustainable Solution for Improved Network Coverage

Next-generation 5G networks promise broadband speeds wirelessly and support for many more simultaneous connections. However, these high frequency signals have shorter range, even with line of sight, and are easily blocked or absorbed by objects in the environment. NANOWEB® transparent conductive film is able to reflect and redirect signals passively, without requiring power or a network connection, offering a more sustainable, aesthetic, and cost-effective solution compared to installing additional network hardware.

NANOWEB® Transparent Film Reflects Signals as Effectively as a Solid Metal Plate

These images from the video above show how a NANOWEB® transparent film is able to reflect a 5G signal just as effectively as a solid aluminum plate, aiding indoor signal propagation, without spoiling the décor or blocking the view.

NANOWEB® Can Also Reflect at Unusual, Design-Specific Angles

This second demonstration shows an incoming signal arriving almost perpendicular to the reflector. With the metal plate, the signal is almost entirely lost, while NANOWEB® is able to reflect at an unusual, design-specific angle, maintaining a strong signal.

A Sustainable Solution for the Promise of 5G in Dense Urban Environments

The general premise of high-performance 5G is to create wireless mobile networks able to handle a far greater number of simultaneous connections, to greatly reduce network latency, and to provide much higher data rates. However, these high-speed signals are highly directional, have reduced signal range, and are easily blocked by objects in the environment, such as buildings and trees. Deploying large numbers of small cells in dense urban areas to fill dead spots in network coverage, including providing access to power and fiber optic backhaul infrastructure, raises costs and creates challenges for wireless carriers. META and Sekisui are developing a passive, more sustainable solution to cost-effectively address this problem.

Combining a special 2D metasurface nano-patterned layer provided by META with Sekisui’s film processing technology, the new product is durable and transparent, yet diffusely reflects only radio waves, eliminating blind spots in communications. It has reflection characteristics which are equivalent or superior to those of aluminum materials used in antennas and is highly effective with high-frequency radio waves used in 5G and future 6G networks. This transparent film can be applied anywhere, without requiring connection to a power supply, and without spoiling the surface’s appearance, to improve the communication environment.

Improve Indoor Coverage without Blocking the View

In addition to dead spots created by dense urban architecture and outdoor obstacles, in-building penetration is also a challenge for the highest speed signals in the sub 6 GHz and millimeter wave ranges. META’s NANOWEB® transparent metal mesh designs can be optimized to help signals penetrate exterior windows and the transparent film applied in interior locations is able to reflect signals at design-specific angles to reach throughout the building.

NANOWEB® Software-Driven Design Enables Rapid Innovation

META’s technology platform is enabled by AI-software design tools, allowing rapid iteration and design optimization for customer-specific applications.