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Next-gen Mobile Networks

Next-gen Mobile Networks

Electronic Components and Materials for 5G

The following report was prepared and published by our sister platform SPEEDA—April 2023.

Overview

Electronic Components and Materials: Backbone of 5G Infrastructure

The fifth-generation mobile communication system, commonly known as 5G, is currently attracting much attention worldwide as a technology that has the potential to radically change the lives of people and profoundly impact businesses. Furthermore, telecoms in numerous countries around the world have already started rolling out commercial 5G services.
Mobile communication systems evolve into a new generation every ten years on average, along with the evolution of mobile phones and the increase in data traffic. The mobile communication standards started with 1G, an analogue system primarily used in the 1980s. However, with the advance of digital systems, namely 2G, in the 1990s, data communication became more widespread, especially email. With the arrival of 3G in the 2000s, data communication speeds improved significantly, and it was during this period that communication standards were unified globally. The 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology, meanwhile, appeared around 2015 and has become a strong tailwind for smartphones, which are now in widespread use.
5G is characterised by three key features: higher speed and capacity, higher reliability and lower latency, and the support of a large number of simultaneous connections. The maximum speeds offered by 5G are more than ten times faster than the current 4G standard.
The standard for 5G has been updated to allow for higher-speed communications, and it creates many new technical requirements that have not existed in the past. One issue, in particular, is that 5G uses high-frequency bands that are prone to signal attenuation (reduction of signal strength during transmission). As a result, there is expected to be significant demand for components and materials that provide solutions for this issue going forward.
This report focuses on the technologies that enable the abovementioned three features of 5G, as well as electronic components and materials used in base stations and smartphones that cater to the growing demand for high-frequency bands.

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