MatSing provides lens antenna know-how for the inauguration of Biden
Although the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol building will be mostly empty on Wednesday, the country’s three largest airlines will benefit from MatSing’s unique lens antenna technology.
MatSing’s antennas provide LTE and 5G broadband coverage for President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural day. The antennas won’t look like previous inaugurations, but they will provide additional capacity for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers. The equipment will remain in place permanently after the ceremony and will be serviced by MatSing and the carriers.
The antennas for this year’s inauguration were ordered long before the decisions about restricted participation due to security threats and Covid-19. In addition to the expectation that there would be more demand for the mall, there was a belief that viewers would be carrying more powerful phones compared to the last inauguration. Of course, the equipment can now be used by members of the National Guard and others in a security role.
Approach the meta-challenge
MatSing was founded in 2005 by two brothers, Michael and Leo Matytsine, and their father, Dr. Serguei Matytsine, with a focus on developing a new type of metamaterial. Like others, the Matytsine family saw references to the spherical lens antenna in textbooks, but few pursued it because of the materials it needed.
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So they developed a new kind of metamaterial, and that put them on a journey that led to where they are now. In the wireless space, business initially started with AT&T and Verizon, but T-Mobile has been added in recent years.
In short, the main problem with using lenses has been the materials and weight, Leo Matytsine explained in a recent interview. Typically, an antenna includes a reflection, like an antenna, that picks up a signal and creates a narrow beam.
But if you need multiple beams going in different directions this is where the dish and most standard antennas fail, he said.
MatSing antennas were built into the catwalk of the Allegiant Stadium. (Image credit: Las Vegas Raiders)
It is similar to how the human eye works and how refraction works. “Our antenna will work on the same principle. It has a “spherical lens” made up of many different layers of metamaterial that can simultaneously and independently receive and transmit signals in any direction.
Instead of using many antennas, an operator can set up a lens antenna, which is equivalent to having many dish-style antennas. In fact, each MatSing single lens antenna can provide up to 48 high capacity coverage sectors and supports multiple frequency bands, replacing up to 48 traditional antennas with a single lens.
MatSing made their big breakthrough with mobile operators at Coachella 2014, where their antenna made its first commercial debut at AT&T. It was their way of getting a foot in the door in telecommunications, and back when outdoor music festivals were trending, it came in very useful. Since then, they have made strides in other outdoor events that require large amounts of access to data, including previous inaugurations of the US President.
RELATED: AT&T Introduces Its ‘Drum Set’ Antenna at Coachella
Leo Matytsine said her main focus is on making the antennas for frequencies below 6 GHz. Last spring they welcomed Bo Larsson as CEO of the company. He was on the Board of Directors for five years and previously held executive positions at Sony and Sony Ericsson.
MatSing’s Luneburg lens is part of the SuperCell technology that Facebook Connectivity developed to provide broadband coverage in rural areas. This concept uses super tall towers to cover large areas, but the towers cannot support much weight on top. The Lüneburg lens is just right because it is light enough and can pick up the rays if necessary.
RELATED: Facebook Connectivity aims for high coverage of rural areas with SuperCell
What’s behind the name? That may be obvious by now, but “materials” explains the first part of the name. Given that the company was founded in Singapore, this explains the second part. The offices will remain in Singapore, but the headquarters will be in Irvine, California. They are expanding business in and outside of the US and hope to manufacture much of the 5G product line in the US
They have already won several stadium deals with the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium and Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena and expect more in the future. The industry debated whether the radios should be installed under the seats in stadiums, which is more expensive, or whether a line of sight solution should be used. “We definitely want to be the first choice,” said Leo Matytsine.