Japan-based NEC developed a compact mmWave distributed antenna using a radio-over-fibre system which reduces power consumption, offering more affordable communication networks in indoor settings.

The company’s 1-bit fibre transmission method enables high-frequency analogue signals to be transmitted using a low cost electrical-to-optical converter for general-purpose digital communications, which lowers the cost of making distributed antennas.

NEC stated the method will allow lower-cost, stable mmWave communication networks to be deployed in high rise buildings, underground shopping centres, “factories, railways, indoor facilities and other obstacle-laden environments”.

It argued the development will promote the uptake of high-speed and large-capacity communications using mmWave as the industry moves towards 6G, adding about 80 per cent of mobile communication traffic occurs indoors.