Fifth generation wireless network technology (5G) is expected to be 100 times faster than 4G and more responsive. With less than one millisecond latency, 100% coverage, and up to 100x number of connected devices per unit area, 5G will bring you faster and more reliable service. The main focus is increasing bandwidth, the maximum rate of data transfer. By increasing bandwidth, the amount of information that can be transmitted also increases. It is possible that 5G will offer 1000x bandwidth per unit area.
When looking at the download speed, the rate at which data from the internet can be transferred to your cell phone, the typical download speed of 5G is 150-200Mbit/s. This is much larger than 4G’s download speed of 15Mbit/s or even 4G+ at 90Mbit/s. 5G will offer cellphones and other devices faster speeds and a more reliable wireless network.
Launching 5G Networks
In the United States, phone companies are all at different points with transitioning to 5G services. T-Mobile still has not announced any 5G services or phones despite the claim that they would bring 5G to multiple cities. On the other hand, AT&T launched 5G in 19 states but has not yet offered any 5G phones. Verizon, the first to launch 5G globally, has only launched in Chicago and a few other locations but offers three 5G phones. Currently, Verizon offers the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, Samsung galaxy S10 5G, and Motorolo Moto z4.
AT&T is currently offering 5G Evolution (5G E as a transition before they can offer 5G. Don’t be fooled by the name, 5G E does not give all the perks of 5G. In order to have full 5G access, your phone requires a proper chip which only 5G phones have.
AT&T claims that 5G E will offer 2x faster speeds than their standard LTE, increased capability and coverage, and will lessen network latency.
5G New Radio
5G New Radio (5G NR) wants to create a unified, 5G wireless air interface. As users go about their daily lives, 5G NR allows an effortless handover from one base station to another in order to keep your mobile devices connected. The goal is to improve performance and flexibility of current mobile networks.
In order to discover how 5G would need to function, three primary 5G New Radio (5G NR) use cases were established. These three use cases, Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Ultra-Reliability and Low Latency, and Massive Machine to Machine, are categorized by what performance each completes.
- Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): high data rates for large coverage area
- Ultra-Reliability and Low Latency (URLLC): requirements for better reliability and low latency, support mission-critical applications
- Massive Machine to Machine (M2M): Support multitudes of devices within a small area. Involves Internet of Things which allows interconnected devices to send and receive data
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)
Qualities of eMBB: faster data rates (downloads), 360 degree video screening, VR and AR aplications that are even more immersive.
Use cases showed that, in order for 5G to efficiently deliver the above features, it will need to have higher user mobility, enhanced connectivity, and higher capacity. Higher mobility will support broadband signals in moving vehicles such as buses, cars, and planes. Enhanced connectivity means that broadband access needs to be consistent and located everywhere. Higher capactity is similar to enhanced connectivity with its importance on broadband access both indoors and out.
Ultra-Reliability and Low Latency (URLLC)
URLLC’s main focus is on advanced services such as autonomous driving, factory automation, or robotic surgeries. Low latency is important for the automated gadgets, like the robot surgeries. It allows large amounts of data to be processed with small amounts of delay (latency), giving 5G the ability to change data in real time. The service of ultra-reliability and low latency will make data sharing more efficient, faster turnaround, and uplink transmission which will help to reduce user latency.
Massive Machine to Machine (M2M)
M2M allows a large amount of devices that are linked together or connected to the internet and can easily communicate with each other. The main target is to offer low cost devices within a large area which will consume low power while still supporting multiple services.