The world’s connectivity needs are changing. Global mobile data traffic is expected to multiply by 5 before the end of 2024. Particularly in dense urban areas, the current 4G networks simply won’t be able to keep up.
That’s where a new G comes into play. With 5G commercial networks being switched on, the first use cases are enhanced mobile broadband, which will bring better experiences for smartphone users, and fixed wireless access, providing fibre speeds without fibre to homes. 5G smartphones are already in the market from the beginning of 2019.
Being able to download a full-length HD movie in seconds and share your wow-moments with friends that’s just the beginning. The true value of 5G is the opportunity it presents for people, business and the world at large: industries, regions, towns and cities that are more connected, smarter and more sustainable.
With 5G, data transmitted over wireless broadband connections could travel at rates as high as 20 Gbps 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.
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 is not crucial. The internet of things (IoT) could use secure, data-only connections.
So, how does 5G technology achieve all these cool features? How 5G works?
Well, 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 millimetre 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.
The introduction of 5G will make it possible for communications service providers to improve their business in various ways. Just as 4G shook up the landscape, whereby data packages became more important than voice and SMS packages, 5G brings opportunities for communications service providers to offer new services. 5G will also improve cost-efficiency. A study suggests that 5G will enable 10 times lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G networks.
5G fixed wireless broadband services could deliver internet access to homes and businesses without a wired connection to the premises. To do that, network operators deploy NRs(5G New Radio is a new radio access technology (RAT) developed by 3GPP for the 5G (fifth generation) mobile network.) 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 fibre-optic lines to every residence. Instead, operators need only install fibre optics to cell sites, and customers receive broadband services through wireless modems located in their residences or businesses.
5G also presents an opportunity for operators to tap into revenue streams emerging from the digitalization of industries. Enabling new use cases, new services new business models and new eco-system which can add up to 36% growth in revenues.
5G is enabling a new wave of innovation. It has the potential for changing the world, further powering the hottest trends in tech today: IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AR (Augmented Reality) – among many more.