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What is 5G technology and who benefits?

A look at how 5G technology could affect our lives and

why an industry thirsty for new revenue streams needs it
to work.
06 Mar 2018 07:10 GMT Business & Economy, Internet, Science & Technology, United Kingdom

Technology companies are promising to change people's lives with super-fast wireless
mobile networks. So-called 5G systems were the main focus of the Mobile World
Congress in Barcelona last week.

"5G is the next generation of mobile technology," Daniel Gleeson, a consumer

technology analyst at London-based digital consultancy, Ovum, tells Al Jazeera.

"It's going to be faster and more reliable internet speeds on your phone. But more than
that, it's all about having very reliable and quick responding connections, and that's
going to be very important for enabling new use cases for this technology," he says -
referring to self-driving cars, virtual reality, delivery drones, smart cities and billions of
interconnected devices.

5G is the next generation of

mobile technology, it's
going to be faster and more
reliable internet speeds on
your phone, but more than
that, it's all about having
very reliable and quick
responding connections,
and that's going to be very
important for enabling new
use cases for this

Daniel Gleeson, consumer technology

analyst, at London based digital consultancy,

While this technology is considered revolutionary, it's also going to be expensive as
carriers will have to upgrade their infrastructures in order for 5G to travel on super high
frequencies airwaves. They can't travel through walls, windows and get weaker over
long distances.

"This is probably going to be a big problem for operators in terms of how exactly they're
going to roll it out - it is going to be very expensive," says Gleeson. "Every part of it [will
be expensive] - from licensing the spectrum on day one to building out small networks in
urban areas and eventually bridging that digital divide."

Millions of people already don't have reliable access to the internet, so there are
concerns that many
countries will not be able to afford 5G, thus widening the global digital divide. As a
result, they'd be locked out of the digital economy and jobs market.

"There's always this risk, but one of the big things that operators are doing with 5G is,
they are using it in very high frequency spaces, what's known as milimeter wave. And in
this area you have very high amounts of bandwidth, which is perfectly suitable for doing
point-to-point communications to rural communities and to isolated areas," explains

"This is ideal for helping provide that last mile connection which fibre band simply
cannot do due to the cost involved. So that's one of the big promises of 5G - in that very
high frequency bandwidth it can help bridge that gap in a way that previous mobile
technology simply were not able to."

According to Gleeson, "5G technology is very, very secure. The main issues in terms of
privacy and security come really on the application level in terms of what your apps are
doing and who you're sending your data to."

Currently, industry leaders, the United Nations and governments are trying to work out
policy, standards and regulation; and due to the high costs, 5G will not be ready for
consumer use until 2020. Thus, industry leaders are targeting large entitities.

"The case for growth isn't very, very strong, and that's why operators are looking at
these automotive, industrial and IOT-related use cases for 5G to really be the bulk of
the business case. They may not be very glamorous, or the most demanding in terms of
bandwidth, but they are sensitive in terms of security, in terms of reliability, in terms of
latency, and that's really the strength of 5G compared to 4G," says Gleeson.
Source: Al Jazeera

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Posted by: Margaret Rouse


Contributor(s): Kate Gerwig and Matthew Haughn

Fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, is the latest iteration of cellular technology,

engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless
networks. With 5G, data transmitted over wireless broadband connections could
travel at rates as high as 20 Gbps by some estimates -- exceeding wireline
network speeds -- as well as offer latency of 1 ms or lower for uses that require
real-time feedback. 5G will also enable a sharp increase in the amount of data
transmitted over wireless systems due to more available bandwidth and
advanced antenna technology.


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In addition to improvements in speed, capacity and latency, 5G offers network

management features, among them network slicing, which allows mobile
operators to create multiple virtual networks within a single physical 5G network.
This capability will enable wireless network connections to support specific uses
or business cases and could be sold on an as-a-service basis. A self-driving car,
for example, would require a network slice that offers extremely fast, low-latency
connections so a vehicle could navigate in real time. A home appliance, however,
could be connected via a lower-power, slower connection because high
performance isn't crucial. The internet of things (IoT) could use secure, data-only
5G networks and services will be deployed in stages over the next several years
to accommodate the increasing reliance on mobile and internet-enabled devices.
Overall, 5G is expected to generate a variety of new applications, uses and
business cases as the technology is rolled out.

How 5G works

Wireless networks are composed of cell sites divided into sectors that send data
through radio waves. Fourth-generation (4G) Long-Term Evolution
(LTE) wireless technology provides the foundation for 5G. Unlike 4G, which
requires large, high-power cell towers to radiate signals over longer distances,
5G wireless signals will be transmitted via large numbers of small cell stations
located in places like light poles or building roofs. The use of multiple small cells
is necessary because the millimeter wave spectrum -- the band of spectrum
between 30 GHz and 300 GHz that 5G relies on to generate high speeds -- can
only travel over short distances and is subject to interference from weather and
physical obstacles, like buildings.

Previous generations of wireless technology have used lower-frequency bands of

spectrum. To offset millimeter wave challenges relating to distance and
interference, the wireless industry is also considering the use of lower-frequency
spectrum for 5G networks so network operators could use spectrum they already
own to build out their new networks. Lower-frequency spectrum reaches greater
distances but has lower speed and capacity than millimeter wave, however.
wireless features

What is the status of 5G deployment?

Wireless network operators in four countries -- the United States, Japan, South
Korea and China -- are largely driving the first 5G buildouts. Network operators
are expected to spend billions of dollars on 5G capital expenses through 2030,
according to Technology Business Research Inc., although it is not clear how 5G
services will generate a return on that investment. Evolving use cases and
business models that take advantage of 5G's benefits could address operators'
revenue concerns.
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5G market landscape

Simultaneously, standards bodies are working on universal 5G equipment

standards. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) approved 5G New
Radio (NR) standards in December 2017 and is expected to complete the 5G
mobile core standard required for 5G cellular services in late 2018. The 5G radio
system isn't compatible with 4G radios, but network operators that have
purchased wireless radios recently may be able to upgrade to the new 5G
system via software rather than buying new equipment.

With 5G wireless equipment standards almost complete and the first 5G-
compliant smartphones and associated wireless devices commercially available
in 2019, 5G use cases will begin to emerge between 2020 and 2025, according
to Technology Business Research projections. By 2030, 5G services will become
mainstream and are expected to range from the delivery of virtual reality (VR)
content to autonomous vehicle navigation enabled by real-time communications
(RTC) capabilities.

What types of 5G wireless services will be available?

Network operators are developing two types of 5G services.

5G fixed wireless broadband services deliver internet access to homes and

businesses without a wired connection to the premises. To do that, network
operators deploy NRs in small cell sites near buildings to beam a signal to a
receiver on a rooftop or a windowsill that is amplified within the premises. Fixed
broadband services are expected to make it less expensive for operators to
deliver broadband services to homes and businesses because this approach
eliminates the need to roll out fiber optic lines to every residence. Instead,
operators need only install fiber optics to cell sites, and customers receive
broadband services through wireless modems located in their residences or

Margaret Rouse asks:

Why would enterprises consider

moving to 5G fixed broadband
services to replace Wi-Fi?
Join the Discussion

5G cellular services will provide user access to operators' 5G cellular networks.

These services will begin to be rolled out in 2019, when the first 5G-enabled (or -
compliant) devices are expected to become commercially available. Cellular
service delivery is also dependent upon the completion of mobile core standards
by 3GPP in late 2018.

This was last updated in April 2018

Continue Reading About 5G

 The capabilities of 5G wireless technology and event-driven networking will

influence telecom's future
 The 5G wireless evolution is expected to bring several benefits, but is the cost

 As the reality of 5G wireless builds, enterprises are looking toward new ways
of doing business with higher speed and increased capacity

 How to prepare for 5G mobile technology in networking

 In order to make it worth the investment, network operators need a lifecycle

automation roadmap for 5G wireless that leads to revenue-producing
business cases

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Margaret Rouse - 26 Mar 2015 4:55 PM

Why would enterprises consider moving to 5G fixed broadband services to replace Wi-Fi?



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5th generation technology offers a wide range of features, which are

beneficial for all group of people including, students, professionals (doctors,
engineers, teachers, governing bodies, administrative bodies, etc.) and
even for a common man.

Important Advantages
There are several advantages of 5G technology, some of the advantages
have been shown in the above Ericsson image, and many others are
described below −

 High resolution and bi-directional large bandwidth shaping.

 Technology to gather all networks on one platform.

 More effective and efficient.

 Technology to facilitate subscriber supervision tools for the quick action.

 Most likely, will provide a huge broadcasting data (in Gigabit), which will support
more than 60,000 connections.

 Easily manageable with the previous generations.

 Technological sound to support heterogeneous services (including private

 Possible to provide uniform, uninterrupted, and consistent connectivity across
the world.

Some Other Advantages for the Common People

Parallel multiple services, such as you can know weather and

location while talking with other person.

You can control your PCs by handsets.

Education will become easier − A student sitting in any part of world

can attend the class.

Medical Treatment will become easier & frugal − A doctor can treat
the patient located in remote part of the world.

Monitoring will be easier − A governmental organization and

investigating offers can monitor any part of the world. Possible to
reduce the crime rate.

Visualizing universe, galaxies, and planets will be possible.

Possible to locate and search the missing person.

Possible, natural disaster including tsunami, earthquake etc. can be

detected faster.

Disadvantages of 5G Technology
Though, 5G technology is researched and conceptualized to solve all radio
signal problems and hardship of mobile world, but because of some security
reason and lack of technological advancement in most of the geographic
regions, it has following shortcomings −

 Technology is still under process and research on its viability is going on.
 The speed, this technology is claiming seems difficult to achieve (in future, it
might be) because of the incompetent technological support in most parts of the

 Many of the old devices would not be competent to 5G, hence, all of them need
to be replaced with new one — expensive deal.

 Developing infrastructure needs high cost.

 Security and privacy issue yet to be solved.

Previous Page
Next Page

Advantages of 5G | Disadvantages of 5G
This page covers advantages and disadvantages of 5G technology. It mentions
benefits or advantages of 5G technology and drawbacks or disadvantages of 5G

Introduction to 5G technology:
The specifications of 5G are specified in 3GPP Rel. 15 and beyond. 5G is the
short form of fifth Generation. The 5G technology based devices operate in
different bands from 3 to 300 GHz.
The frequency ranges below 6 GHz is used for 5G macro optimized, 3 to 30 GHz
for 5G E small cells, 30 to 100 GHz for 5G Ultra Dense and 30 to 300 GHz is
used for 5G millimeter wave.
Many technologies fall under 5G. It includes LTE-U (LTE Unlicensed), C-V2X
(Cellular Vehicle to Everything), LTE for IoT, cellular drone etc. Refer 5G tutorial
Benefits or Advantages of 5G technology
Following are the advantages of 5G technology:
➨Data rates of about 10 Gbps or higher can be achieved. This provides better
user experience as download and upload speeds are higher.
➨Latency of less than 1 ms can be achieved in 5G mm wave. This leads to
immediate connection establishment and release with 5G network by 5G
smartphones. Hence traffic load is decreased on 5G base stations.
➨Higher bandwidth can be used with the help of carrier aggregation feature.
➨Antenna size is smaller at higher frequecies. This leads to use of massive

MIMO concept to achieve higher data rates.

➨Dynamic beamforming is employed to overcome pathloss at higher

➨Due to improved 5G network architecture handoff is smooth and hence it does

not have any effect on data transfer when mobile user changes cells.
➨Typically 5G offers 10x throughput, 10x decrease in latency, 10x connection
density, 3x spectrum efficiency, 100x traffic capacity and 100x network
Drawbacks or Disadvantages of 5G
Following are the disadvantages of 5G technology:
➨It requires skilled engineers to install and maintain 5G network. Moreover 5G
equipments are costly. This increases cost of 5G deployment and maintenance
➨5G smartphones are costly. Hence it will take some time for the common man
to make use of 5G technology.
➨The technology is still under development and will take time before it is fully
operational without any issues.
➨Coverage distance of upto 2 meters (in indoor) and 300 meters (in outdoor) can
be achieved due to higher losses at high frequencies (such as millimeter waves).
5G mmwave suffers from many such losses (penetration loss, attenuation due to
rain, foliage loss etc.)
➨It will take time for security and privacy issues to be resolved fully in 5G