History ……. 2G provided voice. 3G provided data. 4G provided video. Now 5G is coming, which promises high-quality video, and gigabit speeds.

What will 5G deliver ?

 

5G promises performance that enables a fully mobile and connected society. Anticipated uses for 5G include high capacity / high performance outdoor and indoor broadband access, greater user mobility, M2M connectivity ,ultra-reliable communication and broadcast quality. For those interested there are info- graphics available from “State of 5G 2017 & Beyond” https://cradlepoint.com/sites/default/files/5g-report-final.pdf by Cradlepoint.

The goals for 5G are:

  • Upto Gigabit per second data rates delivered simultaneously to thousands of users
  • Thousands of wireless sensor connections
  • Improved spectral efficiency compared to 4G
  • Expanded coverage
  • Enhanced signalling efficiency
  • Lower latency compared to LTE/4G

 

5G requirements have been defined in six distinct areas:

  • User experience
  • System performance
  • Devices supported
  • Enhanced services
  • Business models for application
  • Network deployment & operation. 

5G cell site towers

  • 5G deployment will probably be via small cells. Small cells are low-powered cellular radio access points that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum that have a range of 10 meters to a few kilometers. They are “small” compared to mobile cellular systems. Small cell technologies make best use of available spectrum by re-allocating the same frequencies many times within a geographical area. This is an important method of increasing cellular network capacity, quality, and resilience.

 

5G Standards

  • The Standards for 5G will be completed sometime late 2018. Standards will allow coordinated handoffs between network operators roaming mobility including mobiles, tablets, and vehicles. The standards will provide infrastructure providers and device makers guidance when designing their solutions.

 

5G … When ??

  • Fixed wireless 5G exist today. The fixed wireless is designed to replace fibre, cable, and DSL connections especially for last mile connectivity. It seems unlikely in the short to medium term that 5G will replace Wi-Fi but may become a competitor in many instances .Negative aspects of 5G include the fact that the high-frequency spectrum which is allocated for 5G is NOT proficient at penetrating walls, people, leaves, and other materials and therefore WAPs will continue to be used in locations where this is an issue.
  • Do not expect major 5G deployment for the mobile networks until about 2020. One challenge is the antenna systems as they will have to be small probably not much bigger than a standard WAP. This means a lot of development has to occur before 5G can be deployed. It also means that the small units can more easily be installed on telephone poles, on top of building, as well as inside buildings. This should also avoid construction of large mobile towers which many people object to.
  • Do not expect any 5G mobile phones in the next year or two. Initial penetration of the market will probably be only fixed wireless transmission.
  • Most vendors are working on products to deliver 5G capabilities. Some are not waiting for the standards to be completed so they can get first user advantage. .Some providers are already using 5G technologies to pass large amounts of data from one fixed point to another as an alternative to fibre connections. True mobile wireless 5G however is likely to be years away.
  • The 5G architecture will be supporting a range of devices, (mobile/ fixed) infrastructure & network functions. It will provide enhanced antenna technologies for multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) operation at frequencies below 6Ghz. New antenna designs with smaller and practical form factors are needed since a large number of antenna elements at higher frequencies will be deployed.