Nine myths about 5G technology: Keysight Technologies

5G is the next generation in wireless broadband technology and will be a huge advance in global connectivity. Although it is not due globally until 2020, there is a great deal of excitement about the opportunities the new technology will provide. The cellular standards evolution from 2G GSM to 5G New Radio has brought on major changes in technology that have enabled a seismic shift in how people live and work. Virtually everything in the world with a microprocessor will be connected in the future, and these devices rely on a high-quality, fast, and secure network. However, we are only just beginning to understand the implications of this new technology to business and society at large. Some of these benefits are obvious, others are subtle. And, as it evolves and hype surrounding it spreads, many myths grow as well. Here are nine common myths about 5G and the reality behind them: 1. Higher speeds to users. One of its key goals is to provide high-speed data to users, however low latency and massive scale are other key objectives. 2. It requires less than one millisecond latency. Although the goal is for 5G networks to deliver less than one millisecond of latency eventually, the networks will be deployed before that target is achieved. 3. Smartphones will lead the charge to 5G. Smartphones were established in the 3G era and virtually exploded. However, 5G will not only enable faster and better smartphones, it will also lead to mass-market consumer devices, sensors, and applications for smart homes and cars, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. 4. It is only for short-range, line-of-sight communication. 5G uses mmWave bands, which are ideal for very short ranges. However, ongoing experiments demonstrate how techniques such as beamforming can achieve greater ranges to users in challenging environments beyond line-of-sight. 5. It will only be used in very high bands. Although 5G will be deployed in very high millimeter wave (mmWave) bands, it will also re-use spectrum in lower bands, both licensed and unlicensed. 6. 4G LTE will be replaced. 5G will coexist with 4G LTE for a long time to come. 4G has plenty to offer for many current applications such as voice, data, and even IoT. 7. 5G will be a revolution, not an evolution. There is still plenty of evolution from LTE-A Pro technologies such: as carrier aggregation (CA); massive multiple input/multiple output (MIMO); quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM); unlicensed spectrum (LTE in unlicensed spectrum or LTE-U, License Assisted Access or LAA, and MulteFire, among others); IoT; and virtualisation. 8. It will be required to drive IoT. IoT will initially be driven by LTE-A Pro where NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) is specified. In addition, other low-power technologies, such as Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) and Sigfox have been defined for IoT. 9. The winners will be the operators and vendors. Mobile network operators, network equipment manufacturers, and smartphone manufacturers were the primary business beneficiaries of 4G LTE. However, 5G will transform many industries, including car manufacturing, agriculture, health and medicine, and many more. While the technologies that will constitute 5G are still being worked on, it is clear to see that there will be three main usage scenarios for it. These are enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), which will deliver a faster and more enjoyable connected experience to us humans, massive machine-type communications (mMTC) that will create an environment for coffee cups to tell the coffee machine when their payload needs to be recharged, and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC), which will enable robotic surgery, autonomous driving, and maybe even drone delivery of pizza. There is an exciting new future on the way based on these technology changes.
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