What will the next generation of connectivity make possible? The advent of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile wireless technology will take wireless communication to new heights, supporting the proliferation of devices and the inexorable growth in mobile data.
5G is more than just increased speed or bandwidth; it is about meeting the need to execute thousands of machine-type transactions, maintaining ultra-low latency, and efficiently using the radio spectrum across diverse operating environments.
Does 5G have the potential to revolutionize the mobile industry?
Each new generation aims to improve network performance for both operators and subscribers. Essentially, 5G will drive a new set of technology services, from autonomous cars to smart buildings. It will provide deeper coverage, enhanced connectivity, and constant data collaboration called for by the Internet of Things (IoT).
Gartner forecasts that 3% of network-based mobile Communications Services Providers (20 to 30 mobile network operators) will launch 5G networks commercially by 2020 and 20.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide.
New network infrastructure will power the fully standardized 5G networks and the massive rise in the number of IoT devices and sensors. It will be the key driver in bringing large-scale IoT projects to fruition and building a steady, interconnected world.
What will the next-generation of mobile technology focus on?
Intelligent network: as products and services are moving towards automation and autonomous decision, there is a need for resources that can handle the resulting deluge of data. 5G will direct data traffic flow in ways that facilitate easy navigation and decision making. It will infuse intelligence throughout the network and support an increasingly diverse set of services, application, and users.
Computing at the edge: 5G innovations will provide the means to carry out computations near the source or in the cloud, depending on the immediate need. It will allow applications to swiftly process massive amounts of content from several users across a wide array of devices and deliver user experiences that are more responsive.
Low latency: latency refers to the time taken by a packet of data to move from one designated point to another. Currently, the time required to process emails and web surfing is around 50 to 80 milliseconds. 5G will reduce this time to a few milliseconds. This means that mobile applications or web pages will load faster than ever before and transactions will be processed instantly.
Immediacy: the speed of the 5G network will make available applications such as interactive television, virtual reality, social gaming, 3D videos, driverless cars, advanced manufacturing, and much more. On this next-generation mobile network, the duration to download a movie will take as long as one second.
Impact of 5G on Global Industries
IoT and Smart Cities
IoT is changing the way cities manage infrastructure, systems, and services. Communication is shifting towards machines by connecting multiple digital devices with each other. Implementation of 5G will improve industries and enhance the overall living standards to make our homes, offices, and cities more smarter.
During the first phase of 5G to be rolled out in 2020, billions of devices will be connected to high-speed mobile networks. These sensor networks with higher speed and larger capacity to collect and analyze data will present smart facilities in urban areas. higher speed and larger capacity to collect and analyze data will present smart facilities in urban areas. Some of the facilities to look forward to will be:
- Smart traffic management: intelligent street lights will monitor the traffic flow. The smart car navigation systems will guide drivers to avoid roads with traffic jams and the availability of parking lots
- Smart grids: it will balance the load of the cities, reduce electricity peaks. During power cuts, it will perform real-time diagnosis and shift the load to a different transformer or device.
- Smart homes: 5G will allow users to connect and control devices including air conditioners, refrigerators, lighting, and heaters, remotely using a smartphone.
- Smart healthcare: The 5G network enables new possibilities including imaging, diagnostics, data analytics, and treatment. Also, superfast connectivity and data capabilities of IoT devices will be able to minimize response time and offer quick emergency services. Wearable devices will monitor, report vital signs to a central command center and protect the user from risking their health.
Today, wireless communication issues and latency problems with 4G technology undermine the safety of automated automobiles. Whether it is advanced diagnostics or artificial intelligence-powered driver assist technologies, it requires bandwidth. 5G technology resolves this problem by dramatically reducing latency and providing smart cars with reliable, ultra-low latency bandwidth.
Utilizing the speed and in-depth coverage that the 5G network offers, vehicles will be able to connect with each other on the road, exchange data, alert drivers of potential collisions, and even change the timing of traffic lights.
5G-ready solutions will no longer have to operate as "islands," but rather as components of a much larger and substantially connected traffic system. Also, the quick response that data centers provide to cars will be useful in making the vehicles significantly safer.
The next generation of connected vehicles will become the ultimate Internet of Things through vehicle-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-infrastructure (V2X) communications.
Network requirements: to support the escalation in mobile data consumption and traffic volumes, 5G networks will have to deliver data speeds of 100Mbit/s and more. 5G network deployments are unlikely to be uniform across their coverage area. Collaborations and partnerships are key, as different technologies, spectrum, and architectures will be deployed in different locations, applying whichever technologies and spectrum are most suitable.
Wireless technology: the 5G network will incorporate the capabilities of existing wireless technologies such as 4G LTE-Advanced, HSPA+, and WiFi. In the coming years, capabilities of LTE will be extended by deploying it in new frequency bands, applying new LTE-Advanced enhancements, and improving its integration with WiFi. However, this will not be enough on its own. It is likely that implementing new radio techniques, signaling protocols, along with new technologies, that operate in the new spectrum above 6GHz will meet some of the challenging requirements.
Spectrum: licensed spectrum will be the backbone of 5G networks, and will continue to rely on core spectrum, reserved for the use of individual network operators. However, this core spectrum will be supplemented with shared spectrum to bolster capacity and throughput depending on the locations.
Will 5G be a game changer in an increasingly mobile world?
Offering higher network capacity and performance in myriad applications of IoT in the most diverse contexts, 5G is set to bring the reliability, latency, scalability, and security required for several mission-critical services in the IoT space.
The implementation of 5G wireless technology will drive:
- Economic growth
- Improved standards of life
- Smart home and office environment
- Better communication
5G might be an extension of LTE and LTE-Advanced networks, but its widespread, instantaneous connectivity will unlock everything from smart wearables to high-definition AR and VR. Built on entirely new network architecture, it offers more than just impressive data rates. It holds the capability to function upon existing assets of organizations and might be ubiquitous in 10 years from now; the chance is real.
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