How fast is 5G?
The next-generation mobile network (NGMN) is within sight! 5G stands for a new wireless Internet and mobile telephony standard, the next evolution step after 4G-LTE networks. The new standard allows for significantly higher mobile data rates of up to 20 Gbit/s, and a latency of less than 1ms. This can deliver, for instance, real-time connectivity for critical and potentially life-saving devices and applications. The 5G network is an ambitious objective and is being developed on the basis of a broad global collaboration.
5G advantages and objectives
- Higher speed: Ultra-high speed radio access, allowing for download speeds of up to 20 Gbit/s
- Shorter response time: extremely low latency of less than 1ms
- Scalability and connectivity: It is estimated that more than 50 billion connected IoT devices will be available by 2020.
With its enormous bandwidths, low latency, and great scalability, 5G will play a decisive role in the creation of real-time experiences and will serve us as a smart assistant or take over important, yet tedious tasks for us. These include everyday chores, like the control and automation of our house and garden (smart home), and production tasks in the industry. Thanks to its short latency, however, in future 5G technology will also allow more advanced applications like autonomous driving.
Our suppliers in this category 5G:
QUECTEL focuses on the wireless M2M market sector designing and manufacturing variety of wireless modules to fulfill different industrial standards and requirements.
The evolution of mobile networks
- 1G (analogue cellular) was introduced in 1979.
- 2G (digital cellular) was launched in 1991 and was used for telephony and data transmission in the 900MHz range.
- At the beginning of the 21st century, Apple and Google created a mass market for smartphones as part of the development of 3G (data-driven network)
- 4G (Long Term Evolution) was introduced in 2008 for an improved network coverage
- It was followed by 4G-LTE+ in 2010, which aimed at further increasing speeds and coverage
The developments in the last 40 years have led to massive improvements in performance. The new 5G generation, however, can hardly be described as an evolutionary development. 5G technology is a "revolution" that will bring huge changes in its wake. Though it is often described just as a radio technology with higher bandwidth, 5G is far more than that. The 5G network will fundamentally change mobile communication, paving the way to a more networked world. It will become THE network for energy-efficient devices and sensors (IoT devices), and also play an essential role in low-latency applications.
A vision of the future: 5G New Radio (5G-NR)
The term 5G New Radio (5G-NR) is used to describe a native 5G technology that is not yet fully standardised (release 15 specification). This is a completely new technology (physical, wireless connection technology), which is necessary to meet the requirements of 5G.
5G New Radio helps achieve the following objectives:
- Extreme bandwidths: 5G NR aggregates 8 component carriers (CC)
- Low latency time: 100 to 200 µs
- Higher MIMO: Expansion to up to 256 antenna elements
- Massive IoT: Devices no longer require an extended node (gateway) to transfer data
5G New Radio will cover most diverse services and requirements for a large number of devices with different characteristics: These include high bandwidths, performance and latency requirements, and support for a wide range of functions such as, for instance, traditional macro-to-hotspot deployments. In addition, 5G NR will also address distance and location issues with low-power IoT devices, using a new technology called multi-hop mesh to implement uplink connections through nearby devices. It will achieve that by allowing different mesh networks to be linked without disturbing or interfering with one another.
There are two 5G NR versions:
- "Non-Standalone" (NSA): This version uses the existing 4G LTE radio network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage, and adds a new 5G carrier. In this mode, the connection is anchored in 4G LTE, while 5G NR carriers are used to increase data rates and reduce latency. Initially, this configuration will be used for 5G NR applications.
- "Standalone" (SA): This version uses the new 5G core network architecture (5GCN), including the full control and user-level flexibility offered by 5G.
The 5G frequency range
The major leap and decisive improvement associated with 5G is the larger bandwidth of the carrier, which was expanded from 20 MHz in LTE to up to 400 MHZ. The standard defines three frequency bands, which are the same worldwide and will be or have already been auctioned in many regions.
- Low frequency below 2 GHz: The focus is currently on 600-700 MHz (band 71 and 82). This is the best possible spectrum that helps mobile network operators achieve a fast coverage penetration, since several IoT can be operated with very low power, making them ideal for the sub-1 GHz spectrum.
- Medium frequency range 2-6 GHz: This is a new spectrum allocated to 5G.
- mmWave spectrum bands: The 3GPP consortium agreed on frequency bands above 26GHz. The new spectrum covers a licensed 3.85 GHz spectrum from 27.5 - 28.35 GHz and 37 - 40 GHz, and an unlicensed 7 GHz spectrum from 64 - 71 GHz. These high-frequency bands have a wavelength of 4 to 10 mm.
5G vs 4G standard
5G will continue to coexist alongside 4G LTE for quite some time, because the 4G network has a lot to offer for many current applications such as speech recognition, data, and even IoT. In contrast, 2G and 3G systems will be gradually switched off by mobile telephony operators in the coming years.
CODICO will be happy to keep you up to date on the latest developments in the area of 5G. Our supplier QUECTEL is continuously working on expanding its product portfolio of NB IoT to 5G modules. QUECTEL's objective and mission statement is to connect the unconnected things and build a highly connected smart world.