Smart Antenna Technologies (SAT) is a spinout company from the University of Birmingham, established in 2013 based upon conceptual antenna technology developed by the CEO, Sampson Hu. SAT has designed, developed and patented a pioneering smart antenna technology which provides an efficient and low cost antenna solution to the mobile and portable device market. The market for this highly scalable technology is the global smartphone market with over one billion devices produced annually (with substantial growth forecast). The portable device market is estimated to reach $2.96 billion units per year by 2017 and the global antenna market reached $14.2billion in 2013 and $15.1billion in 2014. This market should grow to $19.9billion in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2014 to 2019.
Handset manufacturers are seeking an effective antenna solution suitable for implementing the next generation of cellular handset technologies, known as Long Term Evolution (4G LTE). At present, they are unable to achieve the desired antenna performance in a size which fits a cellular handset package at an acceptable volume cost. Current implementations from the leading handset manufacturers typically employ six antennae. The highly compact SAT technology could replace all existing antennae (DVB-H, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GSM, GPS, 3G multi-bands and 3.9/4G LTE) with just one. This would reduce the space taken up by antennae by up to 75% and could reduce the cost of the antennae in a handset by up to 50%. In addition, SAT provides a solution to 4G LTE with a frequency range from 450MHz to 6GHz, which could improve the battery life by up to 28% and could reduce the requirement of handset manufacturers to produce different handsets for different jurisdictions.
SAT has filed 29 patent applications covering USA, Europe, South Korea and Japan. SAT intends to operate under a licensing business model, benefiting from the patented technology.
SAT is engaged in commercial discussions with two global manufacturers of mobile devices, laptops and tablets who are interested in utilising its technology. It has also signed an agreement with a global portable device manufacturer to build a prototype, incorporating a simplified version of its antenna technology.
The board executive chairman is Colin Tucker, formerly the CTO and COO at Orange for its European business and main board director on its listing on the FTSE. He was also the founding CEO of 3 - the first 3G mobile operator in the UK.