The introduction of 5G wireless technology marks the leap into a new age of “hyperconnectivity”, enabling the connection and interaction of billions of people and things while promising to unleash the potential of technology fields such as Artificial Intelligence. While this long-term perspective is quite remarkable, in the coming years it will mean above all faster network connections with Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services.
Table of contents
- 5G Technologies
- What is 5G Technology?
- How does 5G Technology Work?
- What can 5G Offer?
- How will 5G Shape Future Technology?
- What are some of the Possibilities with 5G?
- What is the Difference Between 4G and 5G?
- 5G and Smart Factories
- The Future of 5G and Cybersecurity
- The Future Applications of 5G Technology
- Advantages of 5G
- Top companies leading the 5G network
Like 4G, 5G was developed in the 3GPP standardization body. Its work on 5G began in 2015, with the first specification released in 2017. In June 2020, Release 16 was released, focusing on the needs of verticals such as Automotive, Industrial IoT and Operation in unlicensed bands.
Release 17, expected in June 2020, will focus on three main families of use cases: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC), and massive machine-type communications (mMTC ). This will support the expected growth of mobile data traffic as well as the customization of NR for automotive, logistics, public safety, media and manufacturing use cases.
Below is an overview of the latest 5G technology.
What is 5G Technology?
5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology. It is a generational leap in technology where everything is new: new spectrum frequencies, new radio and new core network. While the speed and capacity of 4G has accelerated the app economy and mobile video, 5G is a platform for entirely new innovations.
5G technology has a theoretical maximum speed of 20 Gbps, while 4G’s maximum speed is only 1 Gbps. 5G also promises lower latency, which could improve the performance of business applications as well as other digital experiences (such as online gaming, video conferencing and self-driving cars).
While previous generations of mobile technology (such as 4G LTE) focused on providing connectivity, 5G takes connectivity to the next level by providing cloud-connected experiences to customers. 5G networks are virtualized and software-driven, and they use cloud technologies.
The 5G network will also simplify mobility, with seamless open roaming capabilities between cellular and Wi-Fi access. Mobile users can stay connected while moving between external wireless connections and internal wireless networks without user intervention or the need for users to re-authenticate.
The new wireless standard Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) shares features with 5G, including improved performance. Wi-Fi 6 radios can be placed where users need them to provide better geographic coverage and lower cost. At the core of these Wi-Fi 6 radios is a software based network with advanced automation.
5G technology should improve connectivity in rural areas and underserved cities where demand may exceed today’s capacity with 4G technology. The new 5G networks will also have a dense and distributed access architecture and move data processing closer to the edge and the user to enable faster data processing.
How does 5G Technology Work?
Wireless communication systems use radio frequencies (also known as spectrum) to transmit information through the air.
5G works the same way, but uses higher radio frequencies that are less cluttered. This allows him to retain more information at a much faster rate. These higher bands are called ‘millimeter waves’ (mmwave). They were previously unused but have been opened up for licensing by regulators. They were largely untouched by the public as the equipment to use them was largely inaccessible and expensive.
While higher bands are faster at carrying information, there may be problems with sending over long distances. They are easily blocked by physical objects such as trees and buildings. To overcome this challenge, 5G will use multiple input and output antennas to increase signals and capacity throughout the wireless network.
The technology will also use smaller transmitters. Placed in buildings and street furniture, as opposed to using a single mast. Current estimates say that 5G will be able to support up to 1,000 more devices per meter than 4G.
5G technology will also be able to ‘split’ a physical network into multiple virtual networks. This means that operators will be able to offer the right part of the network, depending on how it is used, and thus better manage their networks. This means, for example, that an operator will be able to use different slice capacities depending on importance. So a single user streaming a video would use a different part of a business, while simpler devices can be separated from more complex and demanding applications, such as controlling autonomous vehicles.
5G technology will bring advancements to the entire network architecture. 5G New Radio, the global standard for a more capable 5G wireless air interface, will cover spectrum not used in 4G. The new antennas will include technology known as massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), which enables multiple transmitters and receivers to transfer more data at the same time. But 5G technology is not limited to the new radio spectrum. It is designed to support a converged, heterogeneous network that combines licensed and unlicensed wireless technologies. This will increase the bandwidth available to users.
5G architectures will be software-defined platforms in which network functionality is managed through software rather than hardware. Advances in virtualization, cloud-based and IT technologies, and business process automation enable the 5G architecture to be agile and flexible and provide anytime, anywhere user access. 5G networks can create software-defined subnet constructs known as network slices. These parts enable network administrators to dictate network functionality based on users and devices.
5G also improves digital experiences through automation enabled by machine learning (ML). Fractional-second response time requirements (such as those for self-driving cars) require 5G networks to use automation with ML and, eventually, deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Automated provisioning and proactive management of traffic and services will reduce infrastructure cost and improve the connected experience.
What can 5G Offer?
There are five areas that underpin 5G’s transformative power:
- Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) – 5G delivers high bandwidth and speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second to enable ultra-high-definition video and data volumes. High-speed mobile broadband enables applications that require rich data transfer in both upstream and downstream directions, like virtual reality and extended reality (XR).
- Massive Internet of Things (mIoT) – 5G can provide simultaneous connectivity of up to 1 million connections per square kilometer. This dense connectivity is key to implementing advanced massive IoT applications.
- Mission-critical services (MCS) – Mission-critical applications like remote intensive care units demand reliability and speed. 5G can carry network traffic with latencies as low as a millisecond when that time is the difference between life and death.
- Private wireless – Private wireless networks offer an on-premise and purpose-built network solution that secures business-critical operations. A private 5G network supports indoor and outdoor operations without the impact of legacy and ad hoc wireless designs. Of the executives in our Accenture study, 84% plan to invest in a new campus network or modernize the existing one, and 67% are planning to set up a 5G campus network.
- Network slicing – A network slice is a useful solution for wide area networks. It allows a connectivity provider (e.g. a carrier) to create a fit-for-purpose connectivity solution in which the customer (e.g. a utility company) gets a “slice” of the public network tailored to their goals.
How will 5G Shape Future Technology?
The first and most obvious advantage is that it is faster and more reliable than 4G or 3G. While this means you’ll be able to download a movie to your home 5g broadband in seconds, or stream a 4K movie without buffering, there will also be an improvement in virtual and augmented reality applications . Due to 5G’s high capacity and low latency, advanced processing will be able to be handled remotely rather than relying on mobile devices and headsets for local handling.
This greater capacity will enable an increase in Internet of Things devices, with goods including refrigerators, lights, cars, and even billboards able to connect and communicate with each other. While Internet of Things devices are already taking hold in the market, 5G will improve the speed and capacity with which almost any device can be connected and become “smart”.
While these improvements are all advances in existing technologies, they should also enable the creation of entirely new markets, including autonomous vehicles. The reduced latency offered by 5G means these vehicles will be able to connect to each other and the internet without delays.
Autonomous vehicles are not the only technology that will make critical use of 5G, as remote surgery would also be enabled with doctors able to control medical robots to perform procedures from anywhere in the world.
As previously mentioned, there has already been a successful trial of an excavator being controlled across continents, but 5G looks set to transform the world of industry through the ability to monitor and control robots, drones and entire factories in real-time and with a bigger one. ladder. of connection.
What are some of the Possibilities with 5G?
Better internet experiences are a direct result of this network. Beyond this, the fifth generation of mobile broadband will bring many benefits, most of which can be defined by the following:
- Upgrading to a massive Internet of Things (IoT) will further tech-based growth for both industry and consumers. While many IoT devices are already in use, they are limited by the current internet framework. 5G means battery-powered devices can stay active and connected with fewer tune-ups, permitting new completely wireless uses in remote, inconvenient, or hard-to-reach areas. Everything from smart thermostats and speakers, to sensors in industrial cargo and city power grids, will have its role to play.
- Smart cities and Industry 4.0 aim to give us more efficient, safer, productive work & lives. 5G-supported IoT is key to providing cities better infrastructure monitoring. It will also be used for smart automation in factories — dynamically shifting work processes.
What is the Difference Between 4G and 5G?
There are a few notable differences that allow 5G to do things 4G LTE cannot.
Compared to 4G LTE, 5G brings the following benefits:
- 5G is faster than 4G with more bits-per-second able to travel the network. With the new upload and download speeds, you could be downloading movies in seconds versus minutes.
- 5G is more responsive than 4G with lower latency, which refers to the time taken for device-to-network communications. Since devices can “talk” to the network faster, you’ll get data more quickly.
- 5G uses less power than 4G since it can rapidly switch to low-energy use when cellular radios are not in use. This extends the device battery life to let devices stay unplugged for longer.
- 5G gives secure, fast service more reliably than 4G due to better use of bandwidth and more connection points. With less stress on the network, data costs can fall lower than 4G networks.
- 5G can carry more devices than 4G as it expands the available radio waves. Congestion issues that lead to slow service will be reduced once 5G steps in.
5G is a massive step forward for cellular. Similar to the legendary switch from wired dialup to high-speed broadband, we will rethink what mobile data can do.
That said, there is one major downside keeping 4G from being entirely replaced right now:
5G is hard to install and deploy. More transmitters are needed to cover the same area as current 4G networks. Providers are still working on placement for some of these “cells.” Some regions have physical challenges like protected historical sites or rough geography.
Slow rollout might seem negative for the future of 5G. However, the prolonged upgrade might end up giving providers time to address another big concern: security.
5G and Smart Factories
A white paper, published by HMS Labs, has concluded that 5G will revolutionize manufacturing processes on the factory floor. It is believed that the technology will lead to safer and more efficient production systems with greater flexibility.
This new smart factory model will enable more automation, which will not only reduce costs, but also improve product quality by eliminating room for human error. These smart factories will also be able to offer flexibility around customized products to meet demand quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. The white paper claims that all this will be made possible by the reliability, scalability and performance offered by 5G.
5G will enable automation of logistics, material handling and factory automation through wireless technology and machine-to-machine communication. This communication, coupled with the increased automation provided by 5G, would allow everything from material shipments, through manufacturing and warehousing, and the delivery of finished products to be controlled and monitored remotely. However, not all factory applications will necessarily benefit, as the HMS white paper noted, “The only area not suitable for 5G within industrial manufacturing is motion control with sub-millisecond cycle time requirements. ” .
The Future of 5G and Cybersecurity
To stave off widespread weaknesses in national mobile networks, technology developers will have to be extra attentive to 5G security.
- 5G security foundations are needed in networks first – Network providers will begin focusing on software protections to cover the unique risks of 5G. They will need to collaborate with cybersecurity firms to develop encryption solutions, network monitoring, and more.
- Manufacturers need an incentive to up their security efforts – 5G security is only as strong as its weakest links. But the costs of developing and implementing secure tech do not motivate all manufacturers to focus on cybersecurity. This is especially true in low-end products like kids’ smartwatches and cheap smart baby monitors. If manufacturers receive benefits that offset their bottom-line losses, they may be more likely to boost their consumer protections.
- Consumer education on IoT cybersecurity is necessary – The wide variation in security quality means product labeling standards will be needed. Because users have no way to easily know how safe IoT devices are, smart tech manufacturers might start to be held accountable with a label system. The FCC grades other forms of radio transmission, so the growing market of IoT devices may soon be included. Also, users need to be taught the importance of securing all internet devices with software updates.
Efforts to improve security are happening alongside the initial rollout of 5G. But because we need real-world results to refine the protections, work will continue long after 5G is deployed.
The Future Applications of 5G Technology
There are many ways 5G technology will be used in the future, taking advantage of its fast data transfers. For example, in the public domain, video game consoles are predicted to become obsolete as users rely on cloud technology to access games and software. Due to reduced latency and ease of access, and with every remote action becoming muffled and much more precise thanks to 5G technology, video games and video consoles as we know them today will disappear, potentially changing everything the economic structure of the industry.
Outside of the public domain, the opportunity for 5G technology is endless. From autonomous cars to smart cities, medicine and remote operations or Industry 4.0, all industries can see major changes with the introduction of 5G technology.
Advantages of 5G
The main advantages of 5G are a greater speed in transmissions, a lower delay and therefore a greater capacity of remote execution, a greater number of connected devices and the possibility of implementing virtual networks (network sharing), providing connections more adapted to concrete needs. .
- Faster transmission speed – Transmission speed can reach 15 or 20 Gbps. Being able to enjoy a higher speed, we can access files, programs and remote applications in a completely direct way and without waiting. By intensifying the use of the cloud, all devices (mobile phones, computers, etc.) will depend less on internal memory and data collection, and it will not be necessary to install a large number of processors in several facilities , because the calculation can be done in the Cloud.
- Lowest latency – Latency is the time that elapses from when we give a command to our device until the action takes place. In 5G the delay will be ten times smaller than in 4G, being able to perform remote actions in real time. Thanks to this low latency and increased sensors, it is possible to control the machinery of an industrial plant, to control logistics or transport at a distance, surgical operations in which a doctor can intervene on a patient located on the other side of the world with the help of of remotely managed precision instruments or full control of remote, automated and driverless transport systems
- The largest number of connected devices – With 5G, the number of devices that can be connected to the network increases greatly, it will go to the scale of millions per square kilometer. All connected devices will have access to instant Internet connections, which will exchange information with each other in real time. This will favor IOT. It is predicted that a shared home will have a hundred connected devices that send and receive information in real time. If we think about industrial plants, we are talking about thousands of connected devices. This greater number of connected devices will enable smart cities and the autonomous car.
- Cutting the network – 5G also allows the implementation of virtual networks (network slicing), the creation of subnets, in order to provide connections more tailored to specific needs. The creation of sub-networks will give specific characteristics to a part of the network, being a programmable network and will enable the prioritization of connections, such as emergencies in front of other users, by applying for example different delays or by prioritized in the network connection so that they cannot be affected by possible mobile network congestion.
Top companies leading the 5G network