5G means “FIFTH GENERATION” and it refers to the set of requirements, for devices and networks, that define the compatibility with a certain standard.
It describes the technologies required to operate a certain type of communication. 5G should be rolled out by 2020.
- 1992: The second-generation networks (2G) were born in 1991 and it was concentrated to standardise the mobile side
- 2001: The third generation, 3G, focused on the voice but also on the mobile Internet, video calls and mobile TV
- 2010: The new 4G generation was designed to improve aspects such as IP telephony VoLTE (or VoIP), video conferencing and cloud computing, as well as on the video streaming and online gaming
5G could become up to 1000 times faster than 4G!
Our expectation for the future is to reach speed of 10 Gbps or even more… By the way, the actual Customer Experience is totally different if compared with the service perception feel using older mobile generations.
Expectation are different from reality
Of course, even before there was talk about 4G LTE speeds up to 300 Mbps and today you are still not able to reach it. Nowadays the real speed you could experience is around 30 Mbps download and 15 Mbps in upload on average. During 2015, laroccasolutions performed some test in Rome and we have been able to reach maximum speed at more than 200 Mbps, of course in a multi carrier aggregation environment!
Furthermore, 5G will not just increase throughput but will become the new technology to full fill any needs for a more efficient communications between different devices. As example, a smart-home with many connected sensors 5G would not need a large throughput to send data across the world, but for sure a LOW LATENCY connection will be a must!
Any new 5G device could be able to identify the right frequency for each type of message, so that the efficiency will increase considerably during the next years.
As a simple consequence, there are two HOT points that animates the development of 5G:
- first one is to “simply” increase the network performances: Coverage, Quality, Throughput, …
- second one is to have a global network able to manage billions of connection made by people and devices (IoT)
An important point that will have to be consider is about the difficulties connected to the new upcoming technology. It is true that higher technology brings higher throughput but as well higher complications.
Today, mobile manufacturer already have some issue to integrate LTE-A antennas into new UE models. In the future, if a different technology will not comes out, this problem will become even worst. In fact realise a 5G UE with 128 antennas now seems to be impossible…
By the way, Smartphone and Tablets are just a “drop in the ocean”, anythings can become a M2M device!
4G/5G & Wi-Fi OFF-LOAD
There is still something to consider… The Wi-Fi OFF-LOAD!
The Wi-Fi offload is just a way to unload the mobile network and relieving the congestions on it with additional capacity from unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum. Seamless Wi-Fi offload is the new mass-market business opportunity for mobile operators (MNOs). MNOs today can provision combined carrier-class Wi-Fi and mobile services and obtain better profit by offering to their customers great service improvements with convenient ‘always-on’ data connectivity. The drivers for Wi-Fi offload are well known: Wi-Fi-capable devices are everywhere and more than a billion of them are equipped with SIM cards.
For many users of tablets, smartphones and laptops, studies indicate that Wi-Fi has become the preferred wireless technology. Furthermore, just as example, the 802.11g standard offers high bandwidth (54 Mbps maximum throughput, 30 Mbps in practice) on the 2.4 GHz frequency range. How many points an MNO could install “without any issue”?
In fact, many of the world’s biggest MNOs already recognise Wi-Fi as a business-critical, strategic technology and they already started to provide it!