Kyocera pitches ‘metasurface’ solution for 5G, 6G service delivery

Ray Le Maistre
By Ray Le Maistre

Apr 19, 2022

  • Kyocera has developed a ‘transmissive metasurface’ 
  • It can help deliver non line-of-sight, high-frequency 5G and 6G connections
  • Can be used to expand 5G and eventually 6G service coverage

Japanese technology developer Kyocera has developed a Transmissive Metasurface technology that can “redirect wireless network signals in a specific direction to improve the coverage area and performance of 5G and eventually 6G networks” and help to overcome ‘line of sight’ issues for high-frequency wireless services.   

The panel (pictured above) “will help deliver high-frequency millimeter-wave” signals (in the 28 GHz and higher frequency bands) “to places where communication is impossible due to obstacles, expanding service areas beyond the capability of conventional Reflective Metasurface technologies used today.” 

As the vendor explains in this announcement, “radio waves striking a conventional Reflective Metasurface device can be redirected at a wide angle, but not at narrow angles beyond the metasurface. Kyocera’s new Transmissive Metasurface technology is able to bend at narrow angles in order to avoid obstacles that may block transmission, expanding 5G and eventually 6G coverage even further. For example, a large building may block 5G network transmission, but Kyocera’s Transmissive Metasurface device can redirect the signal downward to reach smaller buildings behind and below for better coverage.” 

The vendor says existing technology has not been suitable to develop metasurface panels of the kind of size needed for practical deployments, but that its proprietary technology allows it to “design any size... [making] it possible to install metasurfaces in more places, such as a home patio or apartment balcony.”

The company has tested the technology, claiming that it can deliver signal strengths via the metasurface that are practically the same as line-of-sight connections, but hasn’t shared when the technology might be commercially available for deployment.

In the meantime, Kyocera says it’s currently developing a transparent version of the panel that “is more landscape-friendly,” as well as a Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface (RIS) – panel tech that changes the direction of radio waves by electrically changing the phase of elements on a metasurface – that can “create a smart signal environment to change the signal direction adaptively depending on the devices in use.”

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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