June 5, 2019

5G at IMS2019

We recently attended the 2019 International Microwave Symposium conference and exhibition in Boston.  There was a lot of exciting new technology on display, in particular related to 5G.  Millimeter-wave beamformers and arrays, high performance filters, multi-level test equipment and high functioning RF front-ends were some of the more impressive technologies being exhibited.

A few years ago, we wrote an article for the IEEE Microwave Magazine on how RF over fiber will play a key role in 5G and 5G+.  The technologies on display at IMS2019 were indicative of how  microwave photonics, in particular RF over Fiber, will feature in future implementations of 5G and 5G+.  The wide spectral content of the now present and future networks requires technology that is not only inherently wideband in nature, but also low loss (or efficient) as a distribution medium.  Whether it be transporting 5G communication signals in small cells, providing efficient, scalable x-haul architectures, or distributing large amounts of signals on high altitude platforms, linear RF over fiber technology will play a vital role.

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