Latency in the case of 5G refers to over-the-air latency, between the user device and the radio access network radio. To reduce overall latency, service providers will need to put data much closer to end-users, which is why some MENs are considering leasing space at their cell sites to host data and applications for content providers, particularly in large urban centers. Ultimately, the placement of data and processing will be determined by the supported 5G application. The Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) initiative will play a major role in addressing this important challenge.
IPv6 will have a big place in 5G, primarily because of the Internet of Things (IoT), which will add tens of billions of new devices to this mobile network as it’s roll out. IPv4 cannot cope with the number of unique IP addresses that will be required, but IPv6 can. IPv6 also introduces the Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) that enables multiprotocol interoperability between IoT devices. So, both the number of addressable addresses in IPv6 and the features of the protocol will be critical to the success of 5G.
Small cells may play a big role in 5G. NGMN 5G white paper assumes the use of small cells in 5G, notes RCR Wireless, but those cells will need better security. Concepts like cell densification are poised to shake up mobile network design, and one way things could go would be architecture that natively supports small cells, unlike LTE.
Yes, as there will be significant and time-consuming upgrades to the existing 4G wire line network that will ease 5G deployments, as soon as the latter technology arrives. There are many things that MOMs can do today, such as deploy more fiber to small and macro cells, that are compatible with both 4G networks of today, and 5G network of tomorrow.
Data received at the 5G radio located in a cell site won’t go anywhere without fiber. That’s why many large MOOns are buying large fiber footprints. They know that fiber and its geographic footprint will ultimately dictate the performance and commercial success of their 5G services and applications. 5G will need fiber, and lots of it.
For example: Next Generation Mobile Network Alliances work on 5G concepts (such as its white paper published in February) focus heavily on virtualization. As Fierce Wireless Europe editor Anne Morris notes, NGMN couches this concept in the term “network slice” or “5G slice.” She interviewed Ericsson 5G radio product strategy head Haskin Anderson, who explained that “slice” is just a replacement for the term “virtual network,” intended to avoid confusion with existing VPNs and other “virtual” networks. She defined “5G slice” as a virtual network designed to support uses cases proposed for 5G, allowing operators to provide appropriate levels of network capabilities based on demand. Somewhat related, RAN sharing will likely be a key strategy to keep Capes of a new RAN in check.
Wireless network operators in four countries -- the United States, Japan, South Korea and China -- are largely driving the first 5G build outs. 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.
That will depend on MNO’s rollout patterns, how many users are on the network, and what limits they’ll set on speeds. Today MNOs typically feed a 1 Gb/s Ethernet line to a 4G cell sites, of which an average of 200-300 Mb/s is being used. With 5G, that same macro tower may need 10’s to 100’s of gaps, which will require an enormous capacity upgrades to those towers.
5G is expected to be deployed strategically in different locations, especially in the early days. If consumers are expecting all 3G and 4G networks to be replaced with 5G, they’ll be disappointed. 5G is expected to complement 3G/4G where it makes sense. And depending on where service providers believe applications and use cases will be most lucrative, they can roll out speeds of up to 10 GB/s.
This me if you’re in a rural community, chances are you probably won’t get 5G in the early days. In cities and metro areas you’ll see potential applications like enhanced mobile broadband, self-driving cars, video broadcast services, and other use cases that will require high-bandwidth and/or low-latency. So, service providers will deploy 5G in geographic areas where it makes economic sense.
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 trmitted 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.
in the real world, operators and customers mostly care about solving problems, not technology without specific applications (yet). Mobile Experts Principal Analyst Joe Madden touched on this recently when he dared to point out that nobody cares about IMT definitions; actual investment in technology is the important thing. So, while 5G purists might be waiting for the official ITU-R definition (IMT-2020) later this year, operators are preparing for another round of big investments by considering what business models they predict will be profitable. They’ll pick technology that seem a pretty sure bet for supporting profitable services. Follow the money.
In North America today, most 4G MNOs purchase backhaul from third-party service providers. This market will likely continue for 5G, albeit at much higher rates. I believe it will be increasingly done using dark fiber rather than packet-optical-based services, at least for the higher supported rates.
In the ideal scenario, MNOs would ship a 5G fixed access node to an end user and have it up and running quickly. That user may have to install the node on their wall, but once it’s turned on, it auto-discovers the mobile network and it’s good to go. It also me using new spectrum, and if service providers introduce mobile broadband access into a home, it opens the network to every device, sensor and “thing” in the house using high-bandwidth applications such as HD audio, video, or virtual reality, which will place an enormous burden on the RAN side of the network. The same goes for installing a 5G fixed radio access point on the side of a building serving tens to hundreds of employees.
we don’t know yet. Some of the proposed concepts for 5G get so deep into technical specifications and challenges around meeting specific metrics (like sub-1ms latency) that is seems network users become the forest lost for the trees, to co-opt an old adage. But that’s not necessarily what operators and vendors intend. Fierce Wireless notes that, during the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2015, speakers and panelists put effort into sharing their focus on use cases rather than technology. That said, it’s hard to predict the future so those use cases are “imagined;” the industry really doesn’t know yet where the money will be.
Definitely. This is mainly because 5G will use higher frequencies, which don’t travel as far and don’t travel as well through obstacles, such as buildings so prevalent in concrete jungles (cities). This me Mobile Network Operators must install 5G radios, and a lot of them, closer to end users. Small cells won’t be required day one, as they can be installed over time. But there’s no getting around the fact that rolling out 5G to large geographic areas will require a tremendous number of new small cells.
yes, at least in a limited context. Some of the proposed benefits of 5G are only possible if technology is developed that allows full depleting (sending and receiving, or uplink and downlink) simultaneously on a single chip small enough to fit into a Smartphone. This seems really difficult or impossible to achieve, since signals so physically close to each other inevitably interfere. A team from Columbia University seems to have developed a preliminary solution, by embedding interference-cancellation circuits in what they call a ‘noise and leakage canceling receiver’ that works between 0.3 and 1.7 GHz on a CMOS design chip, The Register reports.
Not physically. If, for example, a service provider has a 4G cell and wants to add 5G radios to that macro towers, they would likely end up sharing the aggregation and core network back to the data center, perhaps over different wavelengths or different parts of the network, L2/L3 VPNs, or Optical VPNs. Rolling out completely separate networks for both it would become cost prohibitive quickly and much harder to get to ROI. Some parts of the network will be only for 5G, and some shared.
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 window sill 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 businesses.
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.
That’s a good question because the voice portion of cell networks is rarely discussed anymore. There are a lot of over-the-top (OTT) VoIP applications today that are at the mercy of the network because existing 4G networks operate at best effort. This me the performance of these OTT applications is often unreliable. If there was a guaranteed service level assigned to a VoIP service, users would get the same performance level as today with wire line networks. MNOs could deploy their own VoIP applications (to replace VoLTE) giving them a guaranteed level of quality of service using network slicing, and by taking advantage of the much lower latency of 5G networks.
Direct communication between cells is planned for 5G networks, skipping the connection to the packet core wherever possible, which would offload a lot of traffic. Those cells might be wired together directly in the shortest path, but I think traffic will mostly home back to a central location.
Yes. A lot of people are looking at what part of the spectrum will be required, and different frequency ranges are being proposed. To complicate matters, different frequencies are being suggested in different countries. It’s too early to say if this will cause problems for 5G radios, but there definitely will be new wireless spectrum required to achieve the download capacities and associated coverage.
Given the optical technologies available today, we can easily ramp the capacity of a fiber into the terabits per second, but the economics of doing so towards the network edge still needs to be worked out. MNOs concerned about diversity will probably use multiple fibers, but capacity can be delivered with just one pair. For MNOs less concerned with diversity, a single bidirectional fiber may also be an option, albeit likely a more unpopular one, given the amount of capacity a 5G-enabled cell can carry.
Yes. The Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) that is expected to achieve the require geographic coverage for 5G will include a wide variety of cells such as picot, femto, micro, small, and even Wife, which all serve a smaller area than traditional macro cells via spectrum reuse. People will still want to use Wife to avoid affecting their cellular usage caps, with many of those coffee-shop Wife access points being owned by MNOs.
It depends on what you classify as a “thing”. If it includes HD surveillance camera, for example, that runs on a cellular network, then yes, and lots of it. Smaller things, such as temperature sensors, will generate far less traffic, but there may be billions of them deployed, so it adds up quickly. For the most part, the challenge of IoT will likely be about the number of individual services, not capacity.