A developer of fine ceramics based solutions, Kyocera, has signed a joint venture agreement with Japan’s industrial solutions provider, Ube Industries to manufacture ceramic filters for 5G base stations. Under the agreement, Kyocera will acquire 51% of the shares of Ube Electronics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ube Industries. Kyocera and Ube Industries will then establish a joint venture named Kyocera-Ube RF TEC, which will commence operations in December 2019.
5G mobile network technology will enable high-capacity, low-latency communications for more connected devices in smart homes, driverless cars, healthcare, and more. It generally involves two different types of base stations: “macro-cell base stations,” which provide coverage to relatively wider areas, and “small-cell base stations,” with coverage for highly populated areas to strengthen communications. The deployment of base stations containing multiple antennas is expected to accelerate as 5G expands. Consequently, further miniaturization of electronic components for base stations will play an important role in the success of 5G mobile networks.
Ceramic filters, which are among the main products manufactured by Ube Electronics, are key components enabling macro cell base stations. For base station applications, the ceramic filters paired with antennas remove unwanted signal elements and allow only the desired signal to be transmitted or received. In addition, because ceramic technology offers component miniaturization while ensuring high power output, ceramic filters are expected to replace metallic filters in 5G infrastructure.
By combining the filter design technology of Ube Electronics with Kyocera’s global ceramic components manufacturing expertise and sales network, the joint venture will seek to meet rising demand for these key components enabling the expansion of 5G technology.