5G is the next generation of technology, bringing much improved speed, connectivity, and enhanced functionality compared to 4G. The future 5G network will unlock many new use cases and applications for wireless, including:
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) – 5G will propel mobile computing performance, enabling higher speed, cloud-connection experiences, and real-time responsiveness.
Ultra-Reliable Low Latency (URLLC) – The future 5G systems will improve latency down to five milliseconds, and eventually to one millisecond, for a data packet to travel end-to-end.
Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) – IoT and other devices can enable a million connected devices per kilometer squared and improve analytics, active tracking, and monitoring.
Mobile network operators (MNOs) are continuously building out the early path to 5G, which is still developing. Currently, MNOs are leveraging 5G New Radio (NR) in low-, middle-, and high-band frequencies in two deployment models, non-stand alone (NSA) and stand alone (SA).
SA: Utilizes 5G NR end-to-end to core
Provides more diversity
Flexibility with greater capacity
More upfront costs and highly configured
Virtualization and cloudification
NSA: Utilizes 5G NR to a 4G core/EPC
Faster to market
Less costly for those easing into 5G
Focuses more on coverage area than capacity
Later upgrades to 5G via software
MNO build outs are actively using different methods to include Centralized, Cloud, and Virtualized RAN, among other technologies, in 5G networks to provide a better and more efficient user experience at reduced costs. MNOs are leveraging the benefits of higher frequencies like:
C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz)
Phase 1 spectrum availability provides up to 100 MHz of A block in 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency. Initial C-band roll outs will target urban areas and take advantage of the physical layer technology known as massive MIMO or mu-MIMO. This can include 8T8R panel antennas or integrated 64T/64R active antennas with multiple steered beams at base stations to simultaneously serve many autonomous user equipment (UE). Massive MIMO advantages include vertical beam steering for tall buildings, higher capacity, and an integrated unit that reduces system losses.
Millimeter Wave (mmWave)
mmWave spectrum can be used for fixed wireless access (FWA) as a 5G service technology. Generally used at higher frequencies, typically 28 and 39 GHz, and offers very high capacity at short range. It is typically deployed on rooftops, streetlights, and utility poles and used for strategic densification at large venues and high-traffic points in urban environments.
5G Indoor DAS and Small Cell Overlays
While higher frequency solutions provide more capacity and throughput, they come with challenges like in-building signal and coverage penetration. 5G overlays can address poor cell penetration, interference, voice, and lagging data traffic capacity to create an exemplary user experience.
The continuous increase in data growth and current shift from carrier- to enterprise-funded models in today’s market offers several benefits to building owners and offices alike.
Private LTE will be a strong part of 5G by utilizing the 3.5 CBRS band, enabling end users to define and maintain their own communications and security while handling proprietary data in house. For more information regarding CBRS, visit our solutions page.
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