Story // 13.04.2022

Unleashing the full 5G potential with radio wave reflective film

The new mobile communications standard 5G is on the rise. And with new standards evolving, radio waves are reaching higher and higher frequencies, which are harder to obtain due to their high directivity (how sound waves are beamed into a room). In order to not destroy the high-potential standards and their effect, and to support the physics of the beams – especially in places with high network usage or poor conditions due to shielding objects like high buildings – SEKISUI has developed a transparent and flexible radio wave reflective film.  

The film supports 5G and 6G communications since it can reflect radio waves in the sub-6mm wave and THz range. It is not only suitable for millimetre waves, but also for a wide range from 2 to 60 GigaHertz and has a total light transmission of 95%. This strong value was achieved in collaboration with the Canadian company Meta Materials and its metamaterial technology NANOWEB® with nanopatterns, which was combined with the manufacturing technology RML®. The film consists of a metamaterial layer that has a high-frequency radio wave reflection structure. Furthermore, it consists of a highly transparent, invisible adhesive and a special coating that protects the film surface. An adhesive layer completes the film, making it easy to apply and make it almost invisible after installation.

An innovative, transparent and flexible film that can be attached to any surface

Wide range of applications – no maintenance

The possible field of application of the radio wave reflective film is wide-ranging: it is suitable for office buildings, corporate campus structures, smart cities – in general, for all places that require strong network coverage. The film can be applied to walls, windows, murals, clocks, curved surfaces or pillars. It has high transparency and does not require maintenance. If the film is applied, for example to a wall or ceiling, it reflects and diffuses all the radio waves that hit it, making it possible to reach even shielded areas. With the help of the film, a communication environment can therefore be improved in a very short time at very low cost compared to the installation of a base or relay station.

The advantages are therefore obvious: transparency and flexibility are given thanks to the low weight and operation without power supply. Therefore, SEKISUI is planning for the near future to review the specific areas of application in office buildings, factories, shopping centres, medical facilities, care areas, but also in sports facilities, farms and even rail vehicles and road infrastructure. Other possible applications that are not immediately obvious are also conceivable. SEKISUI is looking into the use at construction sites, campsites, and temporary locations such as accident sites for improved first aid performance.

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A contribution to efficiency and safety

One thing becomes clear: the reflective film is an innovative product that provides peace of mind for network users, supports the transformation in the Industrial Internet of Things and significantly improves the communication infrastructure. Efficiency is not the only important issue though: the more reliable 5G functions in the corporate network or a networked factory, the more secure the entire system is. 5G technology takes over important safety functions such as emergency stop for robot-controlled machines, detects critical conditions and monitors safety equipment. SEKISUI's radio wave reflective film provides the reliability that system operators expect and need. Sales of sample products are scheduled to begin in the current 2022 financial year. By 2026, SEKISUI plans a sales target of six billion yen – about 46 million euros.