Three of the goals for 5G mobile communications networks are to increase data capacity, decrease latency and connect many more devices. mmWave frequencies with large channel bandwidths are being used to help meet these needs. Indeed, release 15 of the 3GPP 5G specification includes frequencies in the 28 and 38 GHz bands. Drawbacks of these higher frequencies are increased path loss in clear air, in air with precipitation and in environments with higher reflectivity—especially with larger cells outside of dense urban environments.
Fortunately, the shorter mmWave wavelengths enable more directional antennas in both the base station and user equipment (UE) than is practical at lower frequencies. Antenna arrays for which the radiation pattern can be steered are particularly interesting because higher gain in the desired direction makes up for some of the added path loss, and the narrower beam-width can reduce same-cell interference. At mmWave, arrays become more practical, even for a mobile phone.
A significant metric for the performance of a mobile phone antenna is the gain in the direction of the base station. Since the orientation of a phone and direction toward the tower can vary greatly, the phone should be able to point its maximum gain in any direction. Hence, characterizing the ability of an antenna system to accomplish this is an important metric; one way to do this is predicting or measuring the effective or equivalent isotropic radiated power (EIRP) over all possible directions.