The technology has been tested and is ready for licensing
Scientists from Edinburgh-based Sofant Technologies have unveiled a design for a miniature antenna that could transform the performance of smartphones and tablets.
Calling it the “world’s smallest smart antenna”, Sofant team hopes the technology will make poor reception, dropped calls and short battery life things of the past. the new antenna operates more efficiently, finding signals and extending battery life.
The revolutionary antenna is the result of seven years of hard work by the team that emerged from University of Edinburgh. The technology combines tunable RF Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (RF-MEMS) modules and Sofant Intelligent Software to take advantage of the full potential of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 4G connectivity.
Sofant wants to license its designs to global smartphone manufacturers and is projecting a turnover of over £10 million in five years time. The company has already licensed an early technology demonstrator to a large OEM and attracted considerable interest from several leading manufacturers.
“Antenna design has not kept pace with the rapid evolution of smart phone technology. New communication protocols, such as LTE and 4G, mean more pressure than ever on existing antenna technology, further impacting smart phone performance and user experience,” explained Sergio Tansini, CEO of Sofant.
The project was possible thanks to funding and support from Scottish Enterprise programme, a government initiative designed to help support local business growth.“As a result, every new generation of smart phone performs less well than its predecessor, resulting in dropped calls, lost signals, weak connections, slow internet and battery drain. Sofant’s high performance miniaturised steerable antenna will change the performance and user experience of smart phones forever,” he added.
“Smart antenna technology presents some very exciting opportunities for Sofant and Scottish Enterprise’s commercialisation team is actively helping the company raise the funds needed to turn these opportunities into realities,” commented Eleanor Mitchell, director of commercialisation at Scottish Enterprise.
Earlier today, Ofcom announced that the long-awaited 4G frequency auction will be brought forward five months, which means we could see O2, Vodafone and Three offering 4G services as early as spring.
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