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5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap

The Louvre_Museum_France_082318A
(The Louvre Museum, France - Ching-Fuh Lin)

  

 

The 5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap

 

- Technology Roadmap

A technology roadmap is a flexible planning technique to support strategic and long-range planning, by matching short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions. It is a plan that applies to a new product or process and may include using technology forecasting or technology scouting to identify suitable emerging technologies. It is a known technique to help manage the fuzzy front-end of innovation. It is also expected that roadmapping techniques may help companies to survive in turbulent environments and help them to plan in a more holistic way to include non-financial goals and drive towards a more sustainable development. 

Beyond thinking of 5G as a faster network, deployment of 5G comes down to the cost-per-bit. It cannot be just a 10X improvement, because data consumption will go up 10X during the time frame that 5G deploys. It [cost-per-bit transmission] has to improve exponentially.The 5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap will identify design drivers and challenges for technologies to simultaneously provide wireless communication, massive connectivity, the tactile Internet, quality of service and network slicing.  The collaboration among the various roadmap teams will also identify technology enablers and potential solutions to evolve the Beyond 5G ecosystem.

 

- Evolving Networks

Growing computing power is pushing the evolution of ideas, initiatives, investment, and infrastructure across cyberspace. The exponential growth of the Internet and the increase in the use of computers in different shapes, sizes, and forms have forced the planning of information and communication networks to accommodate the design of new emerging technologies, platforms, and the rapid movement of growing digital data. This is because, in order to create a smart world, there is a need for smart infrastructure, smart roads, and networks. 

So, based on the technological capability we have today, the infrastructure that integrates fiber wireline and 5G wireless is becoming a basic requirement for any smart initiative in the connected human ecosystem. It’s not surprising that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) worldwide are looking to densify their networks. Not only is it a logical step to improve geographic coverage while adding much need additional capacity, it’s also a significant step to address changing end-user demands.

As seen, fiber optic technology, a type of high-speed wireline network offering improved speed, security, and bandwidth over legacy copper systems, is on its way to revolutionizing telecommunications and proving to be a more efficient means of transmitting both data and voice for considerably longer distances, with less interference than traditional copper technologies. The question then emerges: why not just use fiber for high-speed networking? While it would be ideal to have all computers in different shapes, sizes, and forms directly connected to the fiber backbone, the fundamental need to manage the mobility needs of the exploding Internet of things is pushing the revolution of wireless networks to evolve even further. 

 

Wireless 5G - Vision for the Next Generation of Connectivity

 

- The Three Leading Wireless 5G Technology Enablers

Mobile is the largest technology platform in human history. The next-generation wireless super-fast networks known as 5G, which will operate at vastly higher speeds and be able to handle tens of times more devices than existing 4G networks. 5G is about more than fast data rates and greater capacity. It's about the seamless, real-time interaction between humans and billions of intelligent devices. 4G turned mobile phones into movie-streaming platforms, but 5G promises more than speedy downloads. It could pave the way for surgeons operating remotely on patients, cars that rarely crash, and events that can be vividly experienced from thousands of miles away. 

The next generation wireless cellular 5G network is aimed to address the demands of users and emerging use cases set by industries and academia for beyond 2020. Hence, The next generation 5G networks need to achieve very high data rates, ultra-high reliability, extremely low latency, energy efficiency and fully connected coverage. To meet these demands, ultra-dense networks (UDN) or ultra-dense heterogeneous networks (UDHetNet), millimeter wave (mmWave) and multicell cooperation such as coordinated multipoint (CoMP) are the three leading technology enablers.


- 5G Standards Are Not Yet Finalised

5G wireless technology promises a rich, reliable, and hyperconnected world. But from new bands to wider bandwidth and new beamforming technology, The actual 5G radio system, known as 5G-NR (New Radio), won't be compatible with 4G. But all 5G devices, initially, will need 4G because they'll lean on it to make initial connections before trading up to 5G where it's available. 4G will continue to improve with time, as well. 

5G standards are not yet finalised and the most advanced services are still in the pre-commercial phase. 5G needs spectrum within three key frequency ranges to deliver widespread coverage and support all use cases. The three ranges are: Sub-1 GHz, 1-6 GHz and above 6 GHz. - Above 6 GHz is needed to meet the ultra-high broadband speeds envisioned for 5G. Players (AT&T, Verizon, ..) in the (U.S.) national wireless industry are developing their 5G networks and are working to acquire spectrum. AT&T is gearing up to launch the first standards-based 5G services in multiple U.S. markets by the end of 2018.

5G will achieve speeds of 20 gigabits per second, fast enough to download an entire Hollywood movie in a few seconds. It also will reduce latency - the measure of how long it takes a packet of data to be transmitted between two points - by a factor of 15. 5G networks will combine numerous wireless technologies, such as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and millimeter wave technology. 5G will also leverages cloud infrastructure, intelligent edge services and virtualized network core. 


- Four Factors Distinguish 5G from Its Predecessors (4G, 4G LTE)

Instead of point-to-point communications provided by legacy mobile networks, 5G will move packets of data following the most efficient path to their destination. This shift enables real time aggregation and analysis of data, moving wireless technology from communication to computing. Four factors distinguish 5G from its predecessors: connected devices, fast and intelligent networks, back-end services and extremely low latency. These qualities enable a fully connected and interactive world with a variety of new applications. 

4G (Fourth Generation) is a specification laid down by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2008. Since there was such an enormous gap between the old 3G standard and the new 4G, companies wanted to make sure their customer base knew they were receiving better service than just the same old 3G, so they came up with a workaround. That workaround was LTE (Long-Term Evolution.) The original idea was that it represented a "Long-Term Evolution" toward the 4G standard. As there is no true standard for LTE, it covers the entire range of minimum download speeds from 3G’s 20 Mbps to 4G’s 100 Mbps, giving it a massive range of potential speeds. However, 5G will not replace 4G. There are too many benefits to 4G  4G phones will be unable to receive the boosted data speeds in the limited number of 5G enabled cities, but will still function with 5G. Unless you live in one of these areas and sit around outside watching movies a great deal, don't bother upgrading your 4G phone to 5G just yet.

5G technology is more secure than 4G, the current highest mobile internet standard. One of the reasons it's more secure is that the tech encrypts data in a way so advanced that hackers would need a "quantum computer." The data protection rules in the European Union known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May, 2018. The law requires companies that handle data to have a very high standard of data protection or face potentially huge fines. With massive amounts of data expected to be flowing along 5G networks, GDPR is likely to become even more important for the business world. 


- 5G is the Primary Catalyst for Next-Generation Internet of Things (IoT) Services

Leveraging state-of-the-art communication network architectures, 5G is touted to be the primary catalyst for next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) services. 5G will provide the backbone for IoT that greatly improves data transfer speeds and processing power over its predecessors. This combination of speed and computing power will enable new applications. These include connected cars coupled with augmented reality and virtual reality platform, smart cities and connected devices that revolutionize key industry verticals.

By 2020, the 5G network will support more than 20 billion connected devices, 212 billion connected sensors and enable access to 44 zettabytes of data gathered from a wide range of devices from smartphones to remote monitoring devices. Healthcare organizations are eager to embrace IoT devices because they save money by keeping patients out of the hospital. If IoT devices can diagnose people in advance then that saves huge costs.   

 
 
 

[More to come ...]


 


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