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5G and Beyond Mobile Wireless Technology

UN_Geneva_DSC_0096
(United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)

 

5G Wireless Network and 5G Technologies


Mobile revolution has changed everything. Our future is a world of connected devices. That means enormous needs for infrastructure, speed and support. The next-generation wireless telecommunications technology known as 5G, which will operate at vastly higher speeds and be able to handle tens of times more devices than existing 4G networks. 5G standards are not yet finalised and the most advanced services are still in the pre-commercial phase. In fact, we probably won’t see any commercial 5G services before at least 2020. The actual 5G radio system, known as 5G-NR, won't be compatible with 4G. But all 5G devices, initially, will need 4G because they'll lean on it to make initial connections before trading up to 5G where it's available. 4G will continue to improve with time, as well. 

5G will achieve speeds of 20 gigabits per second, fast enough to download an entire Hollywood movie in a few seconds. It also will reduce latency - the measure of how long it takes a packet of data to be transmitted between two points - by a factor of 15. 5G networks will combine numerous wireless technologies, such as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and millimeter wave technology. 5G will also leverages cloud infrastructure, intelligent edge services and virtualized network core. 

5G wireless technology will provide the backbone for IoT (e.g., Health IoT) that greatly improves data transfer speeds and processing power over its predecessors. This combination of speed and computing power will enable new applications for mobile technologies, especially in health care. By 2020, the 5G network will support more than 20 billion connected devices, 212 billion connected sensors and enable access to 44 zettabytes of data gathered from a wide range of devices from smartphones to remote monitoring devices. Healthcare organizations are eager to embrace IoT devices because they save money by keeping patients out of the hospital. If IoT devices can diagnose people in advance then that saves huge costs. 

5G networks open up new avenues for the delivery of health care. Instead of bringing patients to a doctor for treatment, 5G networks can connect patients and doctors from across the globe. Digital imaging can be sent anywhere in the world for analysis, expanding access for patients who live far away from health care providers. 5G might be used for wireless remote surgery. The point of care will move rapidly into the home, With ubiquitous mobile broadband-enabled internet access, connectivity and networking are becoming completely independent of location. 

5G technologies will make it possible to interconnect with billions of devices and sensors globally, further fueling the growth of large scale dynamic decentralized/distributed data processing business models. These dynamic models will generate significant business opportunities as well as potential liabilities from failure to comply with centralized data protection requirements like those under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

 

5G New Radio (NR)

 

It’s official: 5G New Radio standard is ratified by 3GPP. In a milestone that ushers in the next generation of wireless technology, the Third Generation Partnership Project has officially ratified the first release of the 5G New Radio standard in early December, 2017, with further updates through 2018. The non-standalone 5G NR specification, or NSA 5G NR, will rely on an operator having an LTE network in which to anchor its 5G NR carriers for boosting throughput speeds and cut network latency. 

[Qualcomm]: 5G NR will redefine everything. Our 5G development efforts are focused on creating a 5G network that takes on a much larger role than previous cellular generations—connecting new industries, enabling new services and empowering new user experiences. At the foundation of this next generation cellular network is 5G New Radio (NR), the global 5G standard for a new OFDM-based air interface designed to support the wide variation of 5G device-types, services, deployments and spectrum.

 

What is 5G?

 

[IEEE SPECTRUM]: Over the last several years, researchers have been hard at work exploring new concepts and technologies to answer the question “What is 5G?”. 
 
The 3GPP, 3rd Generation Partnership Project, is the standards body that publishes agreed upon specifications that define our wireless communications standards.  They have outlined a timeline for 5G, and the first phase of definition for 5G, called New Radio or NR, just passed in early December 2017, with further updates through 2018.
 
Although NR Phase 1 will be different from the LTE protocol commonly used in today’s mobile communications, there will be similarities as well. The most stark differences between LTE and NR is the carrier bandwidth and operating frequency. In addtition, NR adds new beamforming capabilities – both in the analog and digital domains....
 

Instead of point-to-point communications provided by legacy mobile networks, 5G will move packets of data following the most efficient path to their destination. This shift enables real time aggregation and analysis of data, moving wireless technology from communication to computing. Four factors distinguish 5G from its predecessors: connected devices, fast and intelligent networks, back-end services and extremely low latency. These qualities enable a fully connected and interactive world with a variety of applications. 

5G will achieve speeds of 20 gigabits per second, fast enough to download an entire Hollywood movie in a few seconds. It also will reduce latency - the measure of how long it takes a packet of data to be transmitted between two points - by a factor of 15. 5G networks will combine numerous wireless technologies, such as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and millimeter wave technology. 5G will also leverages cloud infrastructure, intelligent edge services and virtualized network core. 

5G wireless technology will provide the backbone for IoT (e.g., Health IoT) that greatly improves data transfer speeds and processing power over its predecessors. This combination of speed and computing power will enable new applications for mobile technologies, especially in health care. By 2020, the 5G network will support more than 20 billion connected devices, 212 billion connected sensors and enable access to 44 zettabytes of data gathered from a wide range of devices from smartphones to remote monitoring devices. Healthcare organizations are eager to embrace IoT devices because they save money by keeping patients out of the hospital. If IoT devices can diagnose people in advance then that saves huge costs. 

 

How 5G Works

 

Like other cellular networks, 5G networks use a system of cell sites that divide their territory into sectors and send encoded data through radio waves. Each cell site must be connected to a network backbone, whether through a wired or wireless backhaul connection. 5G networks will use a type of encoding called OFDM, which is similar to the encoding that 4G LTE uses. The air interface will be designed for much lower latency and greater flexibility than LTE, though. 5G networks are much more likely to be networks of small cells, even down to the size of home routers, than to be huge towers radiating great distances. Some of that is because of the nature of the frequencies used, but a lot of that is to expand network capacity. The more cells you have, the more data you can get into the network.

 

5G Wireless Network Slicing

 

The grand objective of 5G wireless technology is to support services with vastly heterogeneous requirements. Network slicing, in which each service operates within an exclusive slice of allocated resources, is seen as a way to cope with this heterogeneity. 

Network slicing has received significant attention among telecom operators, especially with the commercialization of 5G networks on the horizon. Based upon the principles of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), network slicing is expected to play a major role in 5G architectures.

Network slicing enables telecom operators to partition a single, physical network in various virtual networks, where each slice represents an independent virtualized end-to-end network. It enables operators to meet diverse service requirements for different customers. Telecom operators have become attracted to the technology as a way to provide networks on an as-service basis, allowing them to increase operational efficiency while reducing time-to-market for new services.

An end-to-end network slicing framework for 5G wireless, which includes slicing 5G radio access network (RAN) and the 5G core network, is needed to deliver a range of service requirements. 5G RAN slicing can be accomplished by logically abstracting physical radio resources, including physical hardware and spectrum. Core network slices can also be built leveraging NFV and SDN. Both types of slices kind be devoted to a particular class of service users or shared among different classes of service users.

The three generic services of 5G include: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC).

 
 

[More to come ...]


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