5G technology will provide the backbone for a step-change in performance of mobile devices, allowing ultrafast download speeds and the ability to connect billions of devices through a network.
In particular, the IoT (Internet of Things) will be made much more powerful with 5G, as increased connectivity will allow real-time changes to power and resource needs. Outcomes range from improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions, to more efficient water use and less food waste.
“The build out of the 5G network has just begun and requires a different physical hardware to support the super-high frequency of the technology. This will require a massive investment and deployment of smaller antennas and fiber optic cables strategically placed close together to deliver its intended performance,” said Chris Pederson, President, Specialty Engineered Materials, Avient Corporation (NYSE: AVNT). “Over the next decade as infrastructure is put in place, we expect double-digit revenue growth of our composite solutions, which includes 5G applications.”
The global 5G infrastructure market was valued at $2.64 billion in 2020. It is expected to reach $80.5 billion by 2028, growing at a 49.8% CAGR (2021-2028), according to Grand View Research. As that infrastructure is deployed, industry experts estimate that overall broadband expansion will require the need for 28 million kilometers of fiber optic cable over the next five years (Source: CRU Group), and 36 million small cell antennae (Source: Small Cell Forum). In addition, local and state governments continue to allocate budgets and resources for broadband expansion, and the pending United States infrastructure bill includes $65 billion for broadband, including equipment that enables and expands access to high-speed communications throughout the country.
High-frequency 5G networks rely on the densification of transmission antennae, resulting in an increased number of fiber optic cables and components capable of performing in harsh conditions. Material solutions from Avient are meeting these challenges, fulfilling the promise of smart, connected technologies around the world.
Avient provides specialty materials in applications such as fiber optic cables, antennas, base stations, resonators, lenses, automotive radar, IoT devices, routers, and modems. These solutions allow the technology to operate safely and effectively, while reducing installation time and costs. Example materials from Avient include:
Fiber-Line Swellcoat™ Water Blocking Yarns, Strength Members, and Ripcord Yarns for complete cable construction, protecting 5G optical fibers from damage while reducing installation and splicing times.
PREPERM™ Low-Loss Dielectric Thermoplastics, allowing faster and more reliable data connectivity and signal transmission
Versaflex™ CE for 5G TPEs, providing signal transparency for mobile device accessories
“5G also promises to advance sustainability initiatives by improving connectivity so we can better steward and manage the resources required in areas like agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare,” added Walter Ripple, Vice President of Sustainability, Avient. “At Avient, we are investing in the technical and commercial resources needed to help bring this digital technology to life, and our sustainable solutions portfolio continues to grow as a result.”