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Beam-steering 5G antenna

Efficient continuous beam-steering antenna of a simple and compact design

Published: 10th November 2021
Beam-steering 5G antenna


Today there are 98 5G base stations in the UK. A very conservative estimate of what the UK will need for 5G infrastructure requires around 30,000 5G base stations to be set up within and around UK cities. There is a massive demand in efficient and low-cost technologies that allow such wide-spread of the 5G connectivity, especially in high efficiency/low loss base station antennas. The traditional dipole technologies have extremely high energy losses, low steering angles that requires large arrays of antennas, making the devices bulky and unsuitable for a whole range of applications.

Technology Overview

The researchers from Metamaterials Engineering Laboratory at the University of Birmingham have designed a new continuously beam-steering antenna of high efficiency and wide steering angle that allows strong uninterrupted signal within its whole range, while offering simple minimalistic design and a potential to increase the frequencies into 6G range.

Stage of Development

TRL level 3 = demonstrator antenna available


  • Desirable frequencies: 30 GHz – 300 GHz, (with optimisation ~25 GHz – 3 THz)
  • Up to 94% efficiency (compared to conventional diode technology of 10%)
  • Continuous wide angle beam steering: offers approximately 80 degrees beam steering, so can do a full 360 in 5 sectors, or 180 degrees in 2-3 sectors
  • Reduced cost of elements
  • Reduced cost of running
  • High flexibility in design and application
  • Compact electronics configuration: less space required, easier to deploy, cheaper to install, allows for deployment in traditionally impossible places such as in road furniture, public transport etc
  • Wide range of applications


  • Sat-com
  • Internet of Things
  • 5G base stations
  • 6G various (VR, AR, telepresence)
  • Vehicular radar
  • Defence
  • Sensors/scanners


  • Partnership
  • Co‑development
  • Licensing
IP Status
  • Provisional patent
  • Patent application submitted
  • Development partner
  • Commercial partner
  • Licensing