The capability of the next 5G and IoT networks could be improved thanks to a groundbreaking testing of a new hyper-sensitive quantum antenna technology utilising excited atomic states that was unveiled by BT in the UK.
Atomic Radio Frequency (RF) receiver technology is a ground-breaking new method of detecting radio waves that has the potential to pick up considerably weaker signals than traditional receivers. The receiver creates a very sensitive electric field detector by utilising a quantum phenomenon known as “electromagnetically induced transparency.” A digitally-encoded communication has never before been received on a 3.6GHz (5G) carrier frequency until BT’s testing. Simple music had previously been heard at far higher frequencies, but this study marks the first commercial use of digital modulation in one of EE’s primary 5G frequency bands.
With the help of this new kind of receiver, smart cities and smart agriculture might be supported at cheaper costs while also using less energy on mobile networks and Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are more durable and cost-effective. Future ultra-sensitive 5G receivers for usage in very low power passive mobile networks may be built using the new technology.
“Our programme has huge potential to boost the performance of our next generation EE network and deliver an even better service to our customers,” says Howard Watson, chief technology officer, BT. “Although it’s early days for the technology, we’re proud to be playing an instrumental role in developing cutting edge science”.
The equipment is now being miniaturised by researchers at BT Labs in Martlesham in order to identify the best RF modulation and signal processing for potential usage in upcoming radio network generations.