What is 5G?
Although, the fifth generation of cellular mobile technology, is not supposed to get off the ground until 2020, the future communication standard has been generating much talk in the telecommunications industry for some time. Many of the panelists believe that in 5G only the maximum possible speed in the gigabit / second range is raised, but that’s only half the battle.
5G network should not only be faster, but also better, more reliable and more personal, according to the industry. People are no longer largely alone in the network, but many machines and things “talk” about the network permanently directly with each other common examples include cars, heaters and even bins or containers are “on air” and sometimes have very different requirements than we human beings.
4G as a basic building block for 5G
The industry is currently assuming that 4G will be part of a generic 5G standard, providing the foundation for future networks. However, the upcoming fifth generation of the global communications standard 5G differs from its predecessors in many ways. 5G is much more flexible than previous generations of mobile handsets and designed to meet people’s communication needs as well as the future needs of networked machines and devices.
Strictly speaking, there is therefore no longer “one network” – but parallel, virtual networks based on a common, physical infrastructure. So 5G will become the network of networks that will meet the individual needs of all participants and create new opportunities not previously known.
Network Slicing: Suitable network “parts” for man and machine
These requirements are different and at first glance incompatible. The new network infrastructure is getting smarter, the magic word is “network slicing”. So far, networks have been inflexible. The customers had to take what was available and all the networks were quite similar in terms of their possible network services and offerings.
5G technology aims to make the networks smarter and more flexible. Network slicing – a kind of network in the network – tailors them to the specific needs of their customers. A student wants to send only WhatsApp messages, he is satisfied with a stable connection below 1 MB / s. Now comes an important video, what he needs for the school, of course, gets more speed and can be looked smoothly. The planning data for the metal workshop are transmitted at a higher speed, later it could slow down again. A gamer or an industrial robot needs extremely short response times (ping). A video freak wants a very high data rate for high-definition (UHD) television. Simple sensors need an energy-saving and far-reaching narrowband connection (Narrow Band IoT), for which maintenance-free communication with the first battery should be possible for years to come. Billions of sensors are already on the move worldwide or will come to that.
Low reaction times and communication of machines
Latency, latency or reaction time is the time between an event and the occurrence of a visible reaction to it. In telecommunications, especially the physics of latency limits – so determine the length of the paths that have to cover data in the networks, the duration until the reactions are felt by the user. Let’s take the mobile virtual reality (VR): Which moves with the corresponding VR glasses in reality-like virtual worlds, expected in a head movement a corresponding reaction: one Change in the field of vision that corresponds to his movement and thus to the expectations. The head movement is transferred to a remote server, calculated and the image sent back to the new environment. The user should not notice the process as much as possible.
The rule of thumb is simple: the lower the delay, the more real the user perceives the virtual worlds. The same applies to online gaming. A trick to make the networks faster, In the future, servers will be closer to the customer also known as the process of “EDGE computing”. Other areas, such as autonomous driving, also need extremely short reaction times. The information, such as when a vehicle in front brakes behind the crest or curve or even stops with a breakdown, must flow through the network in an instant, processed and distributed. So the following vehicle can react accordingly if it received the information in time. Otherwise, it would be a disaster. For the industry, it is also of considerable importance that the low response times of the network are not only achieved from time to time, but reliably guaranteed on a permanent basis. This guaranteed latency (maximum delay time) is one of the most important 5G features. The current testing of 5G networks are now achieving extremely low reaction times and promise that they will remain stable. Depending on the need and service level, the 5G latency can be flexibly selected by the customer.
Wideband and Narrow Band IoT in coexistence
The network infrastructure must also be able to support machines, cars and countless other elements in the Internet of Things. In the future, it will no longer be just a few hundred smartphones in a radio cell to receive or transmit, but in addition a few thousand devices or sensors.
The Narrowband (NB) for the Internet of Things is a worldwide standard that enables the IoT solutions that would be unimaginable with “normal” mobile, because the power consumption is far too high and the networks are under the weight of thousands Devices or sensors in a radio cell would collapse quickly. This narrowband communication uses a simpler and more robust wireless protocol that is designed to provide extra-wide coverage. At the same time, it should be able to penetrate thick concrete walls better and so even remote angles of a building to reach deep into the ground, such as in an underground parking garage. Since the sensors usually transmit only small data packets every hour or every day, their energy requirement is low. So they can be operated for years without battery change. A typical application example is gas and water meters, which – unlike smart electricity meters – are not connected to the mains. They are also often installed in basements where the mobile reception is usually weak or almost nonexistent. With battery-powered Narrow Band IoT modules, the vendor can remotely read these meters without the customer having to be at home.
5G in the Smart City
In a smart city (the networked city of the future), narrow-band technology can be used to control street lighting. For example, road lights equipped with appropriate modules can independently report defects or can be switched on or off remotely, for example if a sensor registers pedestrians, cyclists or cars there. By networking parking spaces via NB-IoT, their capacity utilization can be optimized: An intelligent parking guidance system guides drivers to the next available parking space on the shortest route.
Flexible for the future
Autonomous driving, smart parking, and remote reading of gas or water meters: all this already exists or it will come soon. What happens after that? Previously, a new technique had some typical features – and then everyone who wanted to work with it had to judge. At 5G it should be the other way round. The application specifies the demand and the network should react flexibly. Which application scenarios can still be achieved by means of 5G over time is not yet completely predictable. According to Telecom’s thought leaders, “An intelligent network is the foundation for the network that adapts to visionary ideas.”
One thing is clear: in order for the 5G network to work and become a success, a great many new and additional broadcasting stations need to be built, much more than is currently available today