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5G technicalities

Highly Interconnected, Speedy World With 5G

The new generations of mobile networks have been presented approximately every ten years since 1982 when the 1G system appeared.

5G vs. 4G

The set of techniques devised by them to enhance the present wireless connection specifications is known as 5G (5th generation of wireless systems).

Although the development started far back in 2008, there is no official 5G standard, because to build a new high-speed and reliable network to connect all the stuff we use now and in the nearest future (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), increased industrial automation, the Internet of Things, smart cities and e-health) is getting tougher.

To add more complexity, the system is being researched and tested by a myriad of dominant telcos that should somehow agree on what the new generation should look like. Nevertheless, certain requirements have already been brought out for the system to be a true 5G network, and the main of them should stick to these rates:
  • peak data rate – 10 Gbps vs. 4G’s theoretical 300 Mbps
  • latency -
  • network capacity 10 000 times capacity of current 4G network.

The rates may vary under differing conditions, e.g., latency may be more in the high-speed train(up to 5 ms), or availability may lessen up to 95% in crowded places.

So 5G will be much, much faster than 4G, such as even high-speed fiber coverage seems to lag behind. To assess its power, imagine an entire HD film downloaded only in 10 seconds.

5G will cooperate with 4G, and the reason to this is that 5G is supposed to work in much higher frequencies than 4G, so its signals can’t travel as far as ones of lower frequency bands and, to that,  they are not  good at passing through buildings.
More precisely, 5G will have a frequency spectrum above 24 GHz(known as millimeter wave) and very large bandwidth, so it will provide ultra-high capacity and very low latency.
Spectrum at very high frequencies above 24GHz is commonly known as millimeter wave (mmWave) and has very large bandwidths that will provide ultra-high capacity and very low latency. Cells at mmWave frequencies will have very small coverage, so 5G buildout in this spectrum will focus on specific locations requiring very high capacity or areas with high traffic demands.

Technologies behind 5G

To form a new generation standard, technologists should typically modulate it with such properties as new frequency bands and a wider bandwidth per frequency channel. Thus, the IEEE Access Journal decided to use the millimiter wave frequencies for urban mobile communications(the higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength, the more data can be sent). Apart from it, there are aspects, that may constitute the future 5G:

-large number of antennas yields massive MIMO that results a bigger amount of messages transmitted over the same time-frequency resource(i.e. without requiring more wireless spectrum) and Three Dimensional Beamforming(3DBF): an incremented number of antennas(hundreds) at base station which performs in millimeter wave spectrum, results in a highly directional antenna beam that can be steered to a desired direction(faster connection for multiple users);

-advanced channel coding;

-wireless network virtualization that enables sharing of infrastructure and radio spectrum resources.

5G is expected to make a reality of the following concepts:

-pervasive networks that provide shifting between several wireless types of connectivity. The access technologies might be Wi-Fi, WPAN, 2.5G, 3G or 4G networks;

-efficient support of machine-type devices to enable the IOT with potentially higher numbers of connected devices, as well as novel applications, such as mission-critical control or traffic safety, requiring reduced latency and enhanced reliability(latency must be less than 5 ms);

-multiple-hop networks: by means of repeaters and macrodiversity techniques(schemes used to relay the same signal over several transmitter/receiver antennas) they attempt to make available high bit rates in a larger portion of cell, where users’ devices can act as potential nodes;

-cognitive radio - due to this engine which is capable of configuring radio-system parameters(“waveform, protocol, operating frequency, and networking”), your device can find unused spectrum, tap into it and transmit/receive data more efficiently while preserving battery capacity.

Wireline dependency

5G’s network will be organized in small cells with radius measured in meters. So the medium, fiber, should be deeper. The need in it is overwhelming, so substantial investments ($130-150 billion, as Deloitte estimated) are urgent. But the wireline telecommunications companies, whose endowment is so important for 5G development, see more perspective in areas other than fiber deployment, including satellite TV, advertising, content, and advanced business services. Similarly, infrastructure funds and real estate investment trusts are making few investments in telecommunications assets. So new monetization schemes must be proposed to attract investors, otherwise the potential of 5G implementation can be lost.

5G consumer equipment

To use a brand-new technology, your phone should be equipped with chips maintaining the network. These are under development by two chip-manufacturing titans Intel and Qualcomm. They have already revealed their modems and Qualcomm’s is considered as more advanced, so that it can be mounted also in vehicles to connect it to the other ones, traffic lights and pedestrians  making the road more human-independent and safe.
The speed the chipset will maintain is insane 500 km/h at differing road conditions. Audi and the PSA Group, which oversees Peugeot and Citroën, will test it.
As for mobile phone manufacturing companies, Apple is reportedly working on incorporating Intel 5G chips, that are said to be supplied in 2019 or 2020.

The cost of 5G for consumer 

The darkest side of 5G is that its consumption may be a pricey one. The cost of 5G deployment is estimated to be between $130-150 billion. Not only the implementation of 5G is expensive, so will be the usage of it. The new devices will cost you an arm and a leg, sums on the wireless bills also will grow, since more devices should be served. Regarding this fact, some specialists doubt whether we need 5G or can seamlessly get along only with Wi-Fi and 4G. And this we can figure out for sure when 5G will serve people at least some years.