Get ready for the Blazing Speeds of Future Wireless Waves — Get things done in a flash by gearing up with ‘5G’

Sunil Raj
Sunil Raj
Jun 8 · 10 min read

Introduction:

5G is generally seen as the fifth generation cellular network technology that provides broadband access. It will take a much larger role than previous generations. 5G will elevate the mobile network to not only interconnect people, but also to control machines, objects, and devices. It will deliver new levels of performance and efficiency that will empower new user experiences and connect new industries.

5G will deliver multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, and massive capacity. It is the next generation of wireless network technology, designed to meet today’s growing data demands of the future while also expanding the scope of mobile technology beyond the capabilities of LTE. It will be transformative, fueling innovation across every industry and every aspect of our lives.

Over time, 5G technology will revolutionize the way we live, work, and play. Hotly anticipated 5G is expected to be a step-change in mobile networking promising exponentially faster download speeds and data-sharing in real time.

Firstly, let’s retrospect how we ended up here:

  • 1G: These phones were analog and were the first mobile or cellular phones to be used. Offered very low levels of spectrum efficiency and security
  • 2G: These were based around digital technology and offered much better spectrum efficiency, security and new features such as text messages and low data rate communications (e.g., CDMA)
  • 3G: Provides high-speed data. The original technology was enhanced to allow data up to 14 Mbps and more (e.g., CDMA2000)
  • 4G: This was an all-IP based technology capable of providing data rates up to 1 Gbps. 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile Internet

5G networks are digital cellular networks, in which the service area covered by providers is divided into a mosaic of small geographical areas called cells. Millimeter waves have a shorter range than microwaves, therefore the cells are limited to a smaller size. 5G can support up to a million devices per square kilometer, while 4G supports only 4000 devices per square kilometer.

To put it epigrammatically, 5G brings three things to the table are Greater speed, Lower latency, and Unparalleled connectivity

5G is also advanced in terms of:

· High increased peak bit rate

· Larger data volume per unit area

· High capacity to allow more devices connectivity concurrently and instantaneously

· Lower battery consumption

· Lower cost of infrastructural development

· Higher reliability of the communications

How does it work?

All wireless communications carry over the air via radio frequencies or spectrum. 5G will use higher radio frequencies that are less cluttered and capable of carrying more information at a faster rate. Although higher bands are faster, they are less well suited to carrying information over long distances, in part because they are easy to block with physical objects such as buildings and trees.

5G will employ multiple inputs and multiple output (MIMO) antennae to boost signals and capacity, and will also rely on lots of smaller transmitters stationed on buildings and street furniture rather than singular stand-alone masts. 5G technology works by using a variety of innovations in wireless broadband technology, such as mm-wave communications, full duplex data transmission, and a number of other advancements that make ultra-fast, ultra-low-latency communications possible.

It uses a 5G New Radio interface, along with other new technologies, that utilizes much higher radio frequencies to transfer exponentially more data over the air for faster speeds, reduced congestion, and lower latency.

Prerequisites:

  • 5G New Radio (NR): It is used for the 5G radio access network. It consists of the different elements needed for the new radio access network. 5G NR utilizes modulation, waveforms and access technologies that will enable the system to meet the needs of high data rate services, those needing low latency and those needing small data rates and long battery lifetimes amongst others
  • mm-Wave technology: It refers to signals with a wavelength that’s measured in millimeters. millimeter wave technology promises higher data capacity than we currently have now. Millimeter wave technology would offer the bandwidth for orders of magnitude of improvement over LTE
  • Latency: With 5G, that latency gets reduced to 1 millisecond, or about the time it takes for a flash in a normal camera to finish. It is nothing but the lag or delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction
  • Network Slicing: As 5G will require very different types of network for the different applications, a scheme is known as network slicing has devices using SDN and NFV, it will be possible to configure the type of network that the individual user will require for his application
  • Low-Band Spectrum: It is also called a sub 1GHz spectrum. It is primarily the spectrum band used by carriers for LTE and is quickly becoming depleted. They offer great coverage area and penetration
  • Mid-Band Spectrum: It provides faster coverage and lower latency than you’ll find on low-band. It does, however, fail to penetrate buildings as well as low-band spectrum
  • High-band spectrum: It is often referred to as mm-Wave. It can offer peak speeds up to 10 Gbps and has very low latency. The major drawback of high-band is that it has low coverage area and building penetration is poor
  • Unlicensed Spectrum: It consists of frequencies that anyone can use, like a Wi-Fi connection. There’s not really a limit on the use here, as its freely available and locally hosted
  • Licensed spectrum: The government holds a highly competitive auctioning process so that companies can own certain frequencies across the country for their cellular networks. Companies bid based on frequencies and locations that they’d like to own, both of which are variables that depend entirely on the specific company’s intentions
  • Shared spectrum: It is a juxtaposition of Licensed and Unlicensed spectrums
  • Fixed 5G wireless broadband: Carriers deploy 5G New Radios in small cell sites, such as on streetlights and telephone poles, to deliver signals to wireless modems installed inside buildings and residences
  • Small cells: These are low-power base stations that cover small geographic areas and operate in licensed and the unlicensed spectrum that has a range of 10 meters to a few kilometers. With small cells, carriers using mm-Wave for 5G can improve overall coverage area. Combined with Beamforming, small cells can deliver very extremely fast coverage with low latency
  • Beamforming: It is used to direct radio waves to a target. This is achieved by combining elements in an antenna array in such a way that signals at particular angles experience constructive interference while others experience destructive interference. This improves signal quality and data transfer speeds. Because of the improved signal quality, 5G uses beamforming
  • Flexible Numerology: The ability to assign smaller amounts of bandwidth to devices that don’t need much, such as sensors
  • MIMO: An acronym for multiple inputs, multiple outputs. Basically, it’s the idea of jostling more antennas into the phones and on cellular towers. 5G will take full advantage of Multi-User- MIMO, MU-MIMO where it will provide multiple access capabilities to MIMO by utilizing the distributed and uncorrelated spatial location of the various users
  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband: 5G will not only make our smartphones better, but it will also usher in new immersive experiences, such as VR and AR, with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and cost-per-bit. It also handles heavy traffic more efficiently and guarantees at least a 100Mbps data transmission rate when the signal is weak
  • Massive Machine Type Communications (m-MTC): It enables the machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. MMTC would seek to restore that service level by implementing a compartmentalized service tier for devices needing downlink bandwidth as low as 100 Kbps but with latency kept low at around 10ms
  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth targets are at least 100 MHz, and up to 1GHz for higher frequency bands
  • Software-defined networking (SDN): With these, it’s possible to run the network using software rather than hardware. This provides significant improvements in terms of flexibility and efficiency
  • Network Functions Virtualization (NFV): When using SDN’s, it is possible to run the different network function purely using the software. This means that generic hardware can be reconfigured to provide the different functions and it can be deployed as required on the network
  • Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC): URLLC was created to provide real-time services that require extremely low latency (or delay). Its primary use is for mission-critical tasks like remote surgery, autonomous vehicle interaction, and industry automation
  • Spectral efficiency: It is essential that any modulation scheme adopted for 5G is able to provide a high level of spectral efficiency
  • Energy efficiency: Leveraging whatever technological gains there may be for both transmitters and servers, cooling costs must be reduced drastically
  • Speed: 5G is expected to be able to reach speeds in excess of 1Gbps eventually, that’s 100 times faster than standard 4G, and 30 times faster than advanced 4G standards like LTE-A

Features:

  • In comparison to previous radio technologies, 5G has the following features:
  • Super speed i.e. 1 to 10 Gbps and Latency will be 1 millisecond
  • 1,000x bandwidth per unit area
  • Feasibility to connect 10 to 100 devices with 100% Worldwide coverage
  • About 90% reduction in network energy usage
  • The whole World will be in the Wi-Fi zone
  • Use cognitive radio technology allowing different radio technologies to share the same spectrum
  • Use High altitude stratospheric platform station (HAPS) system
  • 5G technology can offer bidirectional large bandwidth and high resolution
  • 5G technologies will provide a large broadcast of data in Gigabit which will be capable of supporting 65,000 connections
  • Li-Fi a massive MIMO visible light communication network will help in the advancement of 5G

The Future of 5G

  • More devices connected to networks would mean more data. More data with which to train algorithms could mean better AI applications
  • Carriers around the world are now turning to what’s known as the “mid-band” of the wireless spectrum, which includes many of the frequencies used by Wi-Fi routers and some mobile phone networks. Less oversight and fewer carriers could translate into higher prices and less availability for 5G
  • Once we make the leap from 4G to 5G, the world as we know it will substantially change
  • So 5G still feels distant. But the bits and pieces are coming together. Powerful mobile networks mean that our future is quite unpredictable

Advantages:

  • Better revenue for the service providers
  • Interoperability and More secure
  • Smoother streaming of online content, Higher-quality voice, and Video Calls
  • Flexible architecture based on SDR (Software Defined Radio)
  • Higher system spectral efficiency, Harmless to human health and Better QoS
  • Possible to provide uniform, uninterrupted, and consistent connectivity across the world

Disadvantages:

  • Many of the old devices need to be replaced with new ones
  • Developing infrastructure needs high cost, Security and Privacy issues
  • Shorter range increased susceptibility to obstructions and High frequencies are also more susceptible to humidity and rain
  • The planning, deployment, management, operation, and optimization of more flexible network architecture on virtualized infrastructure will challenge operators in new ways and require new expertise
  • Interference problems, Espionage concerns, Radiation fears, and Marketing concern

Applications:

  • Retail, E-Commerce, Shopping Experience, Public safety, Telesurgery, The Tactile Internet, Education and An Enhanced Experience of Learning
  • Self-driving cars, Smart cities, Simpler, Faster Web Development
  • Constant Connectivity, Ambient Computing, Enhanced AR and VR Experiences and IoT
  • AI, ML, Fixed Wireless, Edge Computing, Video Delivery Services, Automobiles, and Automation

Developer Take-A-Ways!

Conclusion:

5G has all the potential to be a game changer when it comes to global connectivity. It presents both commercial establishments with unique opportunities to increase the productivity of the systems and enhance service delivery. Hence, it will promote the IoT ecosystem and spread its use throughout society

I’m going to share a bunch of tools for developers at the Developer Take-A-Ways Section of the story, and feel free to comment, share or send me any other interesting content or links you might have found. I hope you found this article useful.

If you feel like this story was useful or informative and think others should see it too, make sure you hit the ‘clap’👏 button. See you soon! 👋 Bubyee…

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