Mobile communications is arguably the most adopted technology worldwide. Globally, there are 3.649 billion unique mobile users and 3.010 billion active internet users as at 2015. Despite these advances in communication systems, about 30% of the world is still unconnected. Furthermore, majority of the individuals experiencing these services are not enjoying the best communication services.
5G communication network simply means fifth generation communication network. It aims to address the challenges of current communication networks such as the 3G and 4G networks. A number of bodies have been instituted to research the 5G network. They include the EU’s “Mobile and Wireless Communications Enablers for the Twenty-Twenty Information Society” (METIS) and the Chinese “International Mobile Telecommunications Twenty-Twenty” (IMT 2020). It is slated to be in use by 2020.
Importantly, 5G is an evolution of 4G. Therefore, it incorporates some of the technology components of 4G. 5G promises higher speeds, low power consumption, increased spectral efficiency and many more. There are expectations from 5G in the following areas:
Each generation of mobile technology has improved user experience through the ability to utilize additional frequency bands and wider transmission bandwidths. This increases both traffic capacity and achievable data rates. As such, 5G will also utilize additional spectrum and frequency bands.
5G modulation waveforms must be capable of handling high data rate, provide low latency transmissions, be capable of fast switching between uplink & downlink, and enable the possibility of energy efficient communications.
A number of modulation techniques are being considered for the 5G network. However, the overall 5G modulation scheme will be adaptive thus, enabling the system to switch to the most optimum form of modulation for the given situation. Amplitude Phase Shift Keying (APSK), Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK), and 16 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) are likely modulation techniques for 5G.
Techniques and Coverage
Techniques are the technologies deployed in achieving specific network requirements One of the key ideas of designing the 5G cellular architecture is to separate outdoor and indoor scenarios so that penetration loss through building walls can somehow be avoided. This will be achieved using Distributed Antenna Arrays (DAS) & Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO). While geographically distributed antenna arrays will carry tens or hundreds of antenna elements, the massive MIMO systems is designed to exploit the potentially large capacity gains that would arise in larger arrays of antennas.
The overall aim of the fifth generation network 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. 5G access technology will be backward compatible with the technologies of previous communication networks.
Applications of 5G Globally
- Self-driving vehicles
- Virtual Interactive Reality
- Synchronous data transmission
- Cloud-controlled robots, thus increasing industrial mechanization
- In-built wireless communication with AI (Artificial Intelligence)
If the 5G technology delivers up to 50% of its expectations, everyone, everywhere would be connected. Hospitals and clinics, including Winnipeg homecare, would experience low mortality rate as surgeries can be done remotely and in real-time. 5G will give birth to the next phase of human possibilities, bringing about the automation of everything. This automation, driven by a smart network, will create new businesses, give rise to new services and ultimately free up more time for people.