5G technology has broad expectations of initial standards and it’s aime to be available by 2020. With further development, mobile technology with 5G services will be equipped with a very high bandwidth and will have the ability to change how we use our phones. So what are the 5G challenges?

The common user has never experienced such a high value in technology, and their awareness on cell phone technology is continuously increasing. 5G includes all types of advanced features, making it a more powrful service that will be in high demand in the near future.

5G will not only be an evolution of mobile broadband networks, it will also bring upon new and unique networks with greater service capabilities. First, it will ensure that the user experience is not interrupted in previously challenging environments such as rapid transportation (e.g. in super-trains), very dense or sparsely populated areas, and journeys covered by heterogeneous technologies.

“5G is more than an evolution of mobile broadband”

As the 5G standardization advances, the 5G challenge emerges. Initial 5G definitions have centered on market requirements that networks will support. 5G is unlike previous wireless technology generations that focused largely on delivering broadband services, bandwidths and improving the network. The

5G is focusing in IoT as well, and its requirements include: low latencies, energy efficiency, spectrum flexibility, high reliability, network function virtualization and massive user scale.

While 4G was designed for improving capacity, user data-rates, spectrum usage and latency with respect to 3G, 5G is more than just of an evolution of mobile broadband. It will be a key enabler of the future digital world, the next generation of ubiquitous ultra-high broadband infrastructures that will support the transformation of processes in all economic sectors and the growing consumer market demand.

The following paragraph intends to give an insight into what makes 5G so special. It’s the reason why this tech has become a political matter for the European Union; the future of the new developer ecosystem depends on the evolution of 5G.

But what exactly is 5G?

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European Comission Report

5G radio access technology will be a key component of the Networked Society, capable to support massive numbers of connected devices and meet the real-time, high-reliability communication needs of mission-critical applications satisfying, at the same time, the incremental bandwidth requirements.

5G will integrate networking, computing and storage resources into one programmable and unified infrastructure. This unification will allow an optimized and more dynamic usage of all distributed resources, and the convergence of fixed, mobile and broadcast services. In addition, 5G will support multi tenancy models, enabling operators and other players to collaborate in new ways. Leveraging on the characteristic of current cloud computing, 5G will push the single digital market further, paving the way for virtual Pan-European operators relying on nationwide infrastructure

“ The main objective of 5G is to provide
ubiquitous connectivity for any kind
of device and any kind of application
that may benefit from being connected.”

 

5G will provide wireless connectivity for a wide range of new applications and use cases, including health and telemedicine system, high resolution video, smart homes, traffic safety/control, critical infrastructure, industry processes and very-high-speed media delivery. As a result, it will also accelerate the development of the Internet of Things. The main objective of 5G is to provide ubiquitous connectivity for any kind of device and any kind of application that may benefit from being connected.

5G networks will not be based on one specific radio-access technology that it was in past with the all wireless technology, even LTE or 4G. The 5G technology is a portfolio of access and connectivity solutions, addressing the demands and requirements of mobile communication beyond 2020.

The key technology components of 5G

5G will include the development of a new flexible air interface and the Virtualization of The Network Function. The evolutions of 4G LTE air interfaces are only one way in which LTE technologies will support and be integrated into 5G. Carrier aggregation, cell density improvements and virtualization are all being applied to LTE and should help operators cover the gap that will be created between 4G and 5G service capabilities.

Beyond the 4G extending operation, the most important key technologies components to make successful the 5G are: device-to-device communication, access/backhaul integration, flexible spectrum usage, multi-antenna transmission, and user/control separation, Network Function Virtualization.

1 – Device-to-device communication
The possibility of limited direct device-to-device (D2D) communication has recently been introduced as an extension to the LTE specifications. In the 5G era, support for D2D as part of the overall wireless-access solution should be considered from the beginning. Direct D2D communication can be used to offload traffic, extend capabilities and enhance the overall efficiency of the wireless-access network.

2 – Flexible spectrum usage
In the 5G era, allowing operators to provide high-quality connectivity in a controlled-interference environment, is an important requirement to be solved; its demand flexibility use of spectrum and take advantage of other frequencies, different than the traditional mobile spectrum

3 – Multi-antenna transmission
Multi-antenna transmission already plays an important role in current generations of mobile communication and will be even more central in the 5G era, due to the physical limitations of small antennas. Path loss between a transmitter and receiver does not change as a function of frequency, as long as the effective aperture of the transmitting and receiving antennas does not change. The 5G radio will use hundreds of antenna elements to increase antenna aperture beyond what may be possible with current cellular technology. In addition, the transmitter and receiver will use beam forming and smart antenna criteria to track one another and improve energy transfer over an instantaneously configured link.

4 – User/control separation
Another important design principle for 5G is to decouple user data and system control functionality. The latter includes the provisioning of system information; that is, the information and procedures needed for a device to access the system. Such a decouple will allow to separate scaling of user-plane capacity and basic system control functionality. The User/control separation is an important component for future radio-access deployments relying heavily on smart antenna for user data delivery

5 – Network Function Virtualization
Since the beginning of this decade the telecom and IT industries have been integrated towards a common very high capacity ubiquitous infrastructure. In order to assure the required scalability and flexibility, the network functions will be more and more “virtualized” on general purpose, programmable while bringing specific high performance hardware that will offer resources for data transport, routing, storage and execution. The 5G Network will be completely virtualized, based on software and using IT standards.

5G will make possible the fundamental shift in paradigm from the current “service provisioning through controlled ownership of infrastructures” to a “unified control framework through virtualization and programmability of multi-tenant networks and services”.

A larger ecosystem, startups and other sector players

5G will integrate telecom, compute and storage resources into one programmable and unified infrastructure which will allow for an optimized usage of all distributed resources. According to the UMTS forum, the wireless part of global network connectivity will grow from 45% in 2012 to 75% in 2020 with Wi-Fi covering close to 50% of total connectivity. Consumers as well as vertical business segments, will want to use a unified wireless and wire line telecommunication network for an extreme variety of services. Being unified, 5G infrastructure will offer natively converging capabilities for fixed and mobile accesses, as well as for broadcast and broadband networks.

“5G is a combined evolution of multiple kinds of mobile technology  and a revolution in the mobile industry”

5G systems have to resolve the fundamental challenge of handling the anticipated dramatic growth in the number of terminal devices, the continuous growth of traffic and heterogeneous network layouts without causing an abrupt increase of power consumption and management complexity within networks. As a result, 5G will have to be designed to be a sustainable and scalable technology and will open the ecosystem for technical and business innovation. Business models will involve more and more partners delivering a part of the value. The extension of the cloud computing model to the telecom industry will unleash innovation and allow new players to access the ecosystem.

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Fidel Salgueiro
Fidel is a visionary and Innovative CMO/CEO professional. He has an extensive career in the telecommunication industry in Latin and Central America and the United States, where as a Senior Consultant he led major shifts in established telecommunication companies. In AkuaroWorld, he is the specialist in 5G and everything related to Network virtualization.