• WaveAttoch - AGC
  • WaveThru

AGC: glass solutions to support connectivity12/05/2020

The imminent arrival of 5G in Belgium will increase the importance of telecommunications infrastructures. To support mobile operators in rolling out mobile networks, AGC, a global leader in flat glass for construction and the automotive industry, and whose global construction headquarters are in Belgium, is offering two innovative solutions. 

The first is WAVETHRU, insulating double glazing composed of a specific coating that is applied to the glass and allows it to receive radio waves inside buildings and thus improve mobile coverage, which is often worse due to increasingly insulating construction materials. This process is already being used, particularly in trains, to increase the connection capacity for passengers.

The second is WAVEATTOCH, a transparent antenna integrated into the glazed façades of buildings. This is an alternative solution to antennas placed on roofs in city centres; increasing numbers of these would be required in order to provide more mobile data services, at a higher speed and for a larger number of people. The integrated antenna developed by AGC aims to provide local coverage and will be installed at a lower height, therefore requiring less transmission power to cover dense urban areas; this will allow operators to comply with the strictest EMF (ElectroMagnetic Field) standards in the world, as in Brussels. These perfectly integrated antennae mean that building facades can guarantee operators a faster roll-out of 3 to 12 months. Their transparency allows them to be more discretely integrated into the urban landscape.

This technology arose from a collaboration between research centres in Japan and Belgium. It was validated using anechoic chambers such as those in the Group's Research and Development centre in Gosselies. This cutting-edge infrastructure was created to develop and test the technology of windows with integrated antennae (for buildings and cars) designed in response to increasing connectivity requirements. Their construction required a €10 million investment that was provided by Wallonia.

The AGC Group has already attracted a Japanese client, none other than DoCoMo, Integrated antennae have already been tested for 4G and demonstrated their effectiveness, so much so that DoCoMo wants to equip several cities.  And while Japan is the first client, Europe is not far behind in marketing the product, as operators who have expressed an interest will launch test phases on the ground.

WAVETHRU and WAVEATTOCH are both innovative solutions that can support stakeholders such as mobile operators, facility managers and office blocks, integrators, etc. whose goal is to guarantee cutting-edge digital deployment within an increasingly connected society. AGC is hoping to attract different partners so it can deploy its technology.

Contact person: Bernard Monville

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