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Three 5G Key Features and Use Cases

(The Three Key Features of 5G - Qualcomm)


5G Network Deployment and Emerging Services


- 5G Network Deployment

Unlike past historical transitions in wireless architecture, 5G represents an ongoing evolution of existing networks rather than the wholesale replacement or “forklift” approach to deployment that was utilized for LTE, with limited financial payback for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). 5G will be deployed over a number of years, spreading as new equipment is finalized. It will require new transmission infrastructure, including thousands of cell towers and tens of thousands of antenna – known as small cells and DAS (distributed antenna systems) – that will be deployed on utility poles and other urban infrastructure. It will also need fiber – lots of fiber.

The 5G wireless rollout will have a major impact on both the number and types of ICs in end-user devices, and on the base stations and repeaters needed to transmit the higher frequency signals. Looking into the future there is no reason to doubt that mobile communications will continue to develop, reaching segments of the industry such as microelectronics, automotive, manufacturing, logistics, energy, as well as sectors such as financial, healthcare and others that are not currently fully exploiting the potential of mobile services. The capabilities of 5G also will impact the amounts of data generated in a 5G ecosystem, increasing demand for servers, storage, and photonic devices.


- 5G Emerging Services

Breakthrough technologies that are integral to 5G, such as Massive MIMO, network slicing, beamforming and network function virtualization (NFV) necessitate phased approaches to new 5G network deployment, as well as significant investment, with telecom operators expected to spend upwards of US $300 billion on new 5G core network deployment over the next decade.

5G network will enable emerging services that include remote monitoring and real-time control of a diverse range of smart devices, which will support machine-to-machine (M2M) services and Internet of Things (IoT), such as connected cars, connected homes, moving robots and sensors. 5G networks will deliver richer content in real time ensuring the safety and security that will make the wireless services more extensive in our everyday life. Some example of emerging services may include high resolution video streaming (4K), media rich social network services, augmented reality, and road safety. 

The sub-optimal use of the mobile network is due to the diversity, and even conflicting, communications requirements of such businesses. One business customer, for example, may require ultra-reliable services, whereas other business customers may need ultra-high-bandwidth communication or extremely low latency. The 5G network needs to be designed to be able to offer a different mix of capabilities to meet all these diverse requirements at the same time.


- All 5G is Not the Same – Sub-6, mmWave and Unlicensed Spectrum

Without getting too deep into the weeds with respect to Low-band, Sub-6 and mmWave, at a high level, Low and Mid-band (Sub-6) 5G generally has longer reach and coverage, whereas mmWave offers higher capacity and faster multi-gigabit performance, but requires a denser population of cellular base deployment because its reach is only a few hundred meters and it has challenges with penetrating walls. The reality will be that the US will deploy a mix of 5G technologies with AT&T and Verizon driving mmWave deployments initially, while T-Mobile and Sprint appear to be driving low-band spectrum for a coverage play. Regardless, the other intrinsic benefit of 5G technology in general is latency. Where 4G can have ping times in the range of 25 - 50ms or so, 5G has the promise of single digit millisecond latency. And when it comes to next generation 5G applications, latency will be critical.


[More to come ...]


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