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The 5G and Beyond-Wireless Ecosystem

Geneva_Lake_DSC_0181
(Geneva Lake, Switzerland - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)
 
 

 

5G, Edge Computing, Cloud Computing, and Automation

 

As with its predecessor 4G, 5G was developed in a direct response to the growing number of mobile devices seeking an Internet connection; The rise of 5G coincides with the explosion of connected devices and systems associated with the Internet of Things (IoT). Medical wearables and vehicles, for example, all bring with them large amounts of data. For some industries, the need for rapid processing extends beyond customer satisfaction. In the case of medical wearables, for instance, a lag in data processing could create a life or death emergency.

In addition to more processing power, 5G promises speeds 10 times faster than those of 4G. Processing these high volumes of data, at a faster speed, will require new antennas, new devices, and new applications for wireless data. No matter what the setup looks like, the influx of additional data - which will need to be processed in real-time - will drive the need for edge computing. 

Edge computing refers to infrastructure that enables data processing as close to the source as possible. It allows for faster processing of data, reducing latency and improving customer experiences. The adoption of 5G and edge computing will drive new expectations for an always-on, high performing network and services, which will lead many enterprises to embrace automation. The emergence of 5G will transform the way enterprises manage their networks and meeting these new challenges will require automation as a critical component of any network management strategy. Real-time monitoring of network and data centers will become imperative.

With lower latency, it will be possible to have video games and movies and other apps do a lot more in the cloud before delivering information to the mobile device. The wireless link makes possible applications that don't depend solely on mobile capabilities, but that can split computing effort between the device held in one's hand and the enormous computing facilities at the other end of the computing link.

 

The Evolution of Security in 5G

 

5G technology is more secure than 4G, the current highest mobile internet standard. One of the reasons it's more secure is that the tech encrypts data in a way so advanced that hackers would need a "quantum computer." In addition, the data protection rules in the European Union known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May, 2018. The law requires companies that handle data to have a very high standard of data protection or face potentially huge fines. With massive amounts of data expected to be flowing along 5G networks, GDPR is likely to become even more important for the business world.

 

5G Deployment in Rural Areas

 

Rural agricultural communities are demanding high-capacity, low-latency network services to support bandwidth-intensive applications used in various operations, including water supply management, precision agriculture and food production.  5G access could help rural economies grow and add more high-tech jobs, but the cost and return on investment of installing infrastructure is a major barrier. 

5G wireless will likely struggle in rural areas, particularly ones with lots of trees and foliage, and could encounter other issues due to low population density. We see two possible solutions for this issue. First, network service providers can deploy fiber in strategic positions closer to rural areas, delivering the necessary backhaul connectivity for 5G technology enablement and small cell deployment throughout agricultural communities. The second solution is to deploy fixed wireless combined with 5G. Either solution will pave the way and enable rural areas to get the data speeds they need, even where communities are small. 

Satellites can also bring 5G to areas where terrestrial connectivity companies consider it too expensive to build fiber-optic cables. Rural areas especially stand to benefit from satellite connectivity. There are ranchers and farmers in sparsely populated area that would desire existing broadband or mobile service and it’s not there today. It’s hard to envision that 5G is going to create a business model that is going to put small cells on every fence post in areas like that. Satellites can link central 5G stations to small cell stations in rural communities, a service known as trunking. Satellites can also “backhaul” connections directly to local cell stations for extremely remote locations like islands.

The possibility for satellite 5G is to cover areas that will not be covered by terrestrial 5G. Inherently, terrestrial 5G will never be able to reach the coverage of 4G in the next five, perhaps even 10 years, as it requires densification of the radio network - base stations - which will be achieved mainly via small cells. We're still years from realizing the true potential of rural 5G. Airplanes, trains, boats and other vehicles that frequent regions of the planet beyond the reach of cellular companies will continue to rely on satellite links.

 

 Possible Research Topics

 

 

 [More to come ...]



 

 

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