July 29, 2016

5G — Faster than the Fast

From basic Wireless Technology to 5G, Mobile Communications have come a long way. Going farther than its predecessors, 5G wireless access is expected to use modern technology components to deliver high data rates, very low latency, improved energy equations, elevated device densities and a highly reliable mobile network. Using LTE in combination with the less explored radio-access techniques, 5G sets out to make the most of higher frequency bands with flexible spectrum usages and proficient device to device communication technologies.

With a rollout expected before the end of the current decade, 5G is set to be a turning point for a truly networked society.

5G- Ushering in a Truly Networked Society

5G is expected to have the potential to support a networked society by enabling an ecosystem catering to a rising population of connected devices and facilitating concepts of smart homes, smart cities and smart living. These devices are a part of the Internet of Things (IoT) — synchronizing the savvy Wearables and complementing infrastructure & human interactions to support critical operations like traffic controls, industry automation and more with controlled impact on the environment.

Refraining from remaining restricted to only being a simple radio-access technique, 5G emerges as a synergy of sorts between networking solutions for the necessities of modern living.

The 5G Ecosystem

Global wireless data traffic is expected to grow at a CAGR of 53% (nearly eightfold) reaching 30.6 exabytes per month by 2020. To provide an unparalleled User Experience, competent technologies are needed to support the 5G ecosystem.

Enabling an Enhanced User Experience

A Systematic & Efficient Mobile Network

High frequency or millimeter wave deployments used today have two big disadvantages — small cell radius due to propagation limitations at high frequencies and a larger CAPEX due to having to cover more ground with smaller cells. 5G technology is bound to offer a network that is continually optimized for state-of-the-art performance as well as remaining in sync with market demands and user expectations to support emerging and established technologies like IoT and Cloud. The end user will be able to experience extensive bandwidth and better efficiency, and at a relatively lower cost of investment, the 5G network will deliver a superior performance. 5G technology with its advanced spectrum sharing is all set to be the first global level implementation of Dynamic Spectrum Access.

Complementing Technologies

The 5G ecosystem is dependent on contemporary techniques like mobile technologies, communications and also Big Data & Analytics. Topologies of radio nodes are effectively designed by prudent analysis of statistical data collected using Big Data. On the other hand, to achieve actionable insights into the huge volume, velocity and variety of data within the network, Advanced Analytics needs be put to use.

The Key Performance Indicators Envisaged

This new communication ecosystem working on global standards is expected to offer practical solutions to the end users with affordable costs.

Parameters indicating the fulfillment of the aims of this revolutionary communication method will act as the measures of its success. Some Key Performance Indicators (KPI) estimated for 5G are shown at the right.

5G Use Cases — Innovative & Practical

5G with its increased mobile connectivity will help propel businesses and make emerging technologies like the Internet of Things more feasible. Enterprises, industries and businesses of all sizes are expected to leverage benefits of anytime anywhere information with increased reliability and truly wireless offices.

5G — Industry Researches & Initiatives

Japan, South Korea and North America are currently the early adopters of 5G technology. South Korea is emerging as a leading market with multiple vendors planning trials by 2017.

mmMAGIC

As a very important part of investments and research in 5G technology, the project mmMAGIC was launched in July 2015. This project is expected to ensure fast broadband services for the mobile community, ultra-responsive cloud availability and state-of-the art immersive 5G based applications. Focusing on global standardization of 5G techniques, mmMAGIC is led and coordinated by Samsung with Intel, Fraunhofer HHI, Nokia and Huawei leading critical aspects of the project.

Telstra & Ericsson

At MWC 2016, Telstra & Ericsson announced that a trial run of the 5G network will be a possibility at the Commonwealth Games (2018). Ericsson's Sweden based labs will accommodate Telstra's engineers for the research activities, and the plan is to test services, features and network functionality at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia.

DOCOMO

Experimental trials are being conducted by DOCOMO with industry pioneers to explore further feasibility in the field of mobile communication technologies. DOCOMO has been researching 5G since 2010, and one of its key concept for implementing 5G is phantom cell architecture — a multi-layer network architecture that splits the control plane and the user data plane between macro cell and small cells using different frequency bands.

5G in the United States

Our Take

Emerging as a communication network which is faster, more efficient and highly flexible, 5G is expected to be the solution for the next-gen devices and offers a trustworthy platform for Video, IoT & Virtual Reality. It is expected to offer transparent and easily manageable solutions for users across the ecosystem, fulfilling the requirements of a modern society.

However, the necessary bands needed to deploy 5G in each country may not be readily available for a while since those bands are currently in use. For example, in the US, they are occupied by satellite & fixed line deployments and clearing the spectrum will take time. Though the implementation of 5G is very important today due to increase in mobile devices and increasing implementation of IoT, the deployment costs and spectrum clearance will make 5G a technology for Early to Mid-2020's.