5G—the next generation after 4G is all set to begin in 2019. It has the potential to reform societies, economies, and our fast-paced lifestyle.
FREMONT, CA: Every year, digital technology takes a significant leap beyond the world's expectations. After 4G, fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the buzz word in the market. It is the current iteration of cellular technology, engineered to offer faster speeds and more authentic networks on smartphones and other devices than ever known before. However 5G won't replace 4G, but will follow 4G networks with vastly enhanced capacity, reduced latency and faster speeds as 4G networks simply won't be able to handle the increasing world's mobile data traffic.
The 5G networks will operate between the range of 28 GHz and 60 GHz i.e., high-frequency band of the wireless spectrum, which is known as the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. 5G will also add unlicensed frequencies, which means a higher bandwidth will be available to the public.
In addition to superior bandwidth, the 5G networks will possess a thick, distributed network of base stations in the microcell infrastructure. This will enable more processing, resulting in reduced latencies.
Downloading full-length HD movies in seconds is just the beginning of the journey, soon it will allow people, enterprises, and the world as a whole to be more connected, become smarter and sustainable.
The new level of 5G will offer network management capabilities, which will enable numerous virtual connections within one 5G network. These multiple virtual connections will allow IT departments and providers to support business requirements and data-intensive processes.
How does 5G work?
Wireless networks are comprised of cell sites, which are split into sectors that send information through radio waves. 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology holds the foundation for 5G. However, where 4G needs massive, high-powered cell towers to radiate signals across longer distances, the wireless signals of 5G will be transmitted quickly through a large number of small cell stations situated in places such as building roofs or light poles. It is necessary to use multiple small cells because 5G relies on the millimeter-wave spectrum—the band of spectrum, between 30 GHz to 300 GHz to generate high speeds and the mmWave can travel across short distances and is susceptible to disturbance from weather and physical obstacles, like buildings.
Earlier generations of wireless technology used bands of spectrum that were of low frequency. In order to offset mmWave challenges relating to interference and distance, the wireless industry also gives consideration to the usage of lower-frequency spectrum for 5G networks, so that network operators can use spectrum that they presently own to build their new networks. Though the spectrum of lower-frequency covers greater distances, it has lower speed and capacity in comparison with millimeter-wave.
Following is an example of a local server in a 5G network area, providing speedier connection and lower response times.
Network Slicing: Network slicing allows an intelligent way to segment the connection for a specific industry, enterprise, or other applications. For example, emergency services can work on a network slice single-handedly from other users.
Network Function Virtualization (NVF): NVF is the capacity to instantiate network functions without any delay at any location within the cloud platform of the operator. Network functions that used to operate on dedicated hardware like a firewall and encryption at the organization premises can now run on software on a virtual machine. NVF plays a vital role in enabling speed efficiency and support new enterprise applications and is an essential technology for a 5G ready core.
How 5G benefits you?
• Greater bandwidth can be used with the aid of carrier aggregation feature.
• Data rates that are about 10 Gbps or higher can be achieved. This offers better customer experience due to higher downloading and uploading speeds.
• Latency of less than 1 ms can be attained in 5G mm-wave. This results in immediate network establishment and releases with 5G connection on 5G smartphones. Hence, the traffic load is reduced on 5G base stations.
• The improved 5G network architecture handoff is smooth, which does not let data transfer be effected when the users change their cells.
• Dynamic beamforming is hired to deal with the path loss at higher frequencies.
The flipside of 5G
• 5G smartphones are expensive. Hence, it is difficult for a common man to afford it, and it will take time to adopt the technology and utilize it.
• Coverage length of up to 2 meters (in indoor) and 300 meters (in outdoor) can be attained because of more significant losses at high frequencies (like millimeter waves). 5G millimeter wave suffers from many losses like this (attenuation because of rain, penetration loss, foliage, etc.).
• It needs expert engineers to install and sustain a 5G network. Moreover, 5G equipment being expensive, increases the price of deployment and maintenance as well.
• Part of the 5G frequency expansion will hit in the 6 GHz range, which is already dense and could reduce the real net transmission pace.
• Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks will increase for 5G will promote IoT's participation in enterprise systems.
What kind of 5G services will you be getting?
The network operators are building two kinds of 5G services:
1. 5G Fixed Broadband Facilities provide internet access to houses and organizations using wireless connections to the premises. Network operators install New Radios (NR) in small cell sites near buildings to send signals to a receiver on a rooftop or a windowsill, amplified within the area. This approach eradicates the requirement to roll out fiber-optic line to each residence. So, fixed broadband services are supposed to make small cell sites less costly for operators to provide broadband services to houses and businesses.
2. 5G cellular services will offer customers access to 5G cellular network of operators. These services will begin in 2019 on the commercial availability of the first 5G enabled devices.
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