Revolutionizing Connectivity: Transparent Antennas Enter Production

February 28, 2024

As we enter the era of 5G, 6G, and beyond, we are embarking on a transformative journey with technologies promising multi-gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency, reshaping connectivity across various sectors such as intelligent transportation, digital healthcare and smart urban development. However, the deployment of these advanced wireless technologies, particularly in mmWave spectrum, faces unique challenges. While mmWave is adept at highspeed, large data transfers, its line-of-sight nature presents limitations: signals cannot effectively pass through buildings and other structures, posing challenges for penetration into indoor spaces and urban environments.

Transparent antennas are a potential boon in this regard.

At Mobile World Congress 2024 Feb 26-29 in Barcelona, CHASM is showcasing our innovative AgeNT® transparent antenna solutions. Utilizing carbon nanotube/copper hybrid technology, these solutions offer greater than 90% optical transparency and equivalent efficacy compared to low-loss, ceramic PCB-based antenna options. 

Transparent antennas are a stark contrast to traditional, visually intrusive models and tackle the hurdles posed by 5G and future technologies, blending into various environments, and offering unmatched flexibility in design and deployment for engineers and designers.

Seamless integration is crucial in urban architecture for maintaining aesthetic integrity and is vital in diverse applications including rural fixed wireless access (FWA), IoT, smart city infrastructure, automotive and satellite communication systems.

Last year at Mobile World Congress, CHASM debuted our groundbreaking AgeNT® performance films for transparent antennas. Now, at MWC 2024, it's exciting to report that AgeNT solutions have entered full production, addressing a variety of use cases. 

Highlighting Diverse Applications: Use Cases

1In security systems for homes, businesses and public facilities, cameras are often housed in metal for durability. Transparent antennas based on AgeNT® transparent conductive film, made from carbon nanotube/copper-based transparent conductive film and integrated into camera lenses, address placement challenges while ensuring stable and secure connections. These are essential for reliable surveillance.

2In the rapidly growing field of augmented reality, AR glasses require effective connectivity for digital interaction with the real world. Integrated transparent antennas offer high performance and low-latency connectivity, ensuring lightweight and unobtrusive glasses maintain seamless connectivity over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile networks, elements crucial for their functionality and user experience.

4In smart cities, the efficient management of urban services is heavily dependent on the IoT. Incorporating transparent antennas into existing urban structures, for example parking meters, can ensure continuous and reliable connectivity. This is vital for the real-time transmission and processing of data, essential for the streamlined functioning of smart city services.

6Public safety vehicles require advanced communication tools such as high-precision multi-band GNSS, 4G/5G and Wi-Fi 6 antennas, for always-on connectivity. Transparent, peel-and-stick antennas present a low-cost, flexible solution for easy upgrades. They are less maintenanceintensive than traditional non-transparent types, making them ideal for public safety applications where reliability and ease of use are paramount.

7For covert law enforcement operations, the need for discreet yet powerful connectivity is critical. Window-mounted transparent antennas meet this need, providing hardy connectivity across mobile, Wi-Fi and GNSS frequencies while maintaining a low profile. This makes them ideal for covert law enforcement vehicles, ensuring reliable communication and precise tracking without compromising their clandestine status.

Innovation Unleashed: The Next Chapter in our Journey

The applications outlined above showcase a fraction of the innovative efforts from the global community of antenna designers. While CHASM's single-layer transparent antenna solutions are now in full production, our innovation journey continues with work on designing higher power, low-loss and cost-effective transparent antennas for applications including FWA and small cells.

In collaboration with Cambridge Consultants, a renowned product development and technology consultancy firm, CHASM is further enhancing its capabilities in these areas. Additionally, for satellite communications, CHASM is partnering with leading organizations to further optimize product designs and functionality.

9One of the anticipated commercial applications is in FWA CPE for extended rural coverage by taking advantage of multilayer designs which incorporate phased array directed beam technology approaches. Window-mountable transparent, highgain, wide-view antennas effectively overcome indoor signal barriers caused by diverse home designs and materials.

8For Urban 5G Coverage, small cell antennas are indispensable, not only for mobile communication but also to support the heavy data demands of densely connected urban areas. Transparent antennas adeptly address the common challenges of aesthetics and regulatory compliance posed by nontransparent antennas in these environments. They allow for discreet integration within urban landscapes, offering a means of efficient network expansion without impacting the visual aesthetic of the city.

3In the realm of satellite communications, transparent multi-band satellite antennas provide a visually unobtrusive option for home broadband services. These antennas blend seamlessly into residential settings, avoiding the bulkiness of traditional satellite dishes. For automotive applications, these antennas integrate smoothly into vehicle designs, offering reliable GNSS and data communication crucial for connected cars and asset tracking. Moreover, their application extends to maritime, remote and UAV uses, enhancing satellite connectivity without sacrificing aesthetics or space.

Scaling New Heights: Production Accelerates to Meet Global Demand

It is important to note the significant strides being made in the production of transparent antennas. Manufacturing partners globally are ramping their capabilities, aligning with the growing demand from product designers and manufacturers.

This advancement is exemplified by companies like Kundisch and its parent company Phoenix Mecano, which are already involved in producing high volumes. They employ scalable and cost-effective methods to create high-performance transparent antennas tailored to diverse customer specifications.

This upscaling in production capacity marks a crucial industry turning point, demonstrating a strong capability to supply this cutting edge technology worldwide.

For more information about CHASM's AgeNT Transparent Antenna Solutions, download the product brochure. CHASM works with antenna and product designers to help them take advantage of transparency by utilizing AgeNT performance films in their own designs.



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