5th-Generation Wireless Systems | 5G (abbreviated 5G) is the marketing term for technologies that satisfy ITU IMT-2020 requirements and 3GPP Release 15. Key features of 5G include high throughput, low latency, high mobility and high connection density. 5G will use additional spectrum in the existing LTE frequency range (600 MHz to 6 GHz)and new Millimeter wave bands (24-86 GHz), which can support data rates of up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbit/s. 5G infrastructure will use Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) to significantly increase network capacity.
ITU has divided 5G network services into three categories: enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) or handsets, Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC), which includes industrial applications and autonomous vehicles, and Massive Machine Type Communications (MMTC) or sensors. Initial 5G deployments will focus on eMBB and fixed wireless,which makes use of many of the same capabilities as eMBB
What Speeds Do You Get?
In addition to improvements in speed, capacity and latency, 5G offers network management features, among them network slicing, which allows mobile operators to create multiple virtual networks within a single physical 5G network. This capability will enable wireless network connections to support specific uses or business cases and could be sold on an as-a-service basis. A self-driving car, for example, would require a network slice that offers extremely fast, low-latency connections so a vehicle could navigate in real time. A home appliance, however, could be connected via a lower-power, slower connection because high performance isn’t crucial. The internet of things (IoT) could use secure, data-only connections.
5G networks and services will be deployed in stages over the next several years to accommodate the increasing reliance on mobile and internet-enabled devices. Overall, 5G is expected to generate a variety of new applications, uses and business cases as the technology is rolled out.
How 5G works
Wireless networks are composed of cell sites divided into sectors that send data through radio waves. Fourth-generation (4G) Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology provides the foundation for 5G. Unlike 4G, which requires large, high-power cell towers to radiate signals over longer distances, 5G wireless signals will be transmitted via large numbers of small cell stations located in places like light poles or building roofs. The use of multiple small cells is necessary because the millimeter wave spectrum — the band of spectrum between 30 GHz and 300 GHz that 5G relies on to generate high speeds — can only travel over short distances and is subject to interference from weather and physical obstacles, like buildings.
Previous generations of wireless technology have used lower-frequency bands of spectrum. To offset millimeter wave challenges relating to distance and interference, the wireless industry is also considering the use of lower-frequency spectrum for 5G networks so network operators could use spectrum they already own to build out their new networks. Lower-frequency spectrum reaches greater distances but has lower speed and capacity than millimeter wave, however.
The Future of 5G Wireless Technology
The capabilities of 5G wireless technology and event-driven networking hold the promise for telecom’s future but solving the remaining challenges will determine the outcome.
The future of any part of the vast, technology space is determined by the interplay between problems and opportunities that create customer demand and the technology developments that rebuild the framework of supply. The telecom industry is no exception. And despite the general vastness and disorder of the industry, a big part of telecom’s future will depend on how two technology advances — 5G wireless and event-driven networking — intersect the problem-and-opportunity space. Get wireless