Fifth Generation Cellular
Fifth generation (5G) cellular represents the latest stage in the evolution of mobile communications. It is also a new standard that relies upon various supporting technologies including millimeter wave (mmWave) propagation, IPv6 transmission protocol, and many others still in the R&D stage with major infrastructure providers.
Some technologies will become standardized and well-known components of a 5G system whereas other aspects may be optional and even proprietary adjuncts to a standardized system. As with all game-changing technologies of the past, software, platform, and infrastructure providers have a lot at stake in terms of the prospect of their offerings becoming part of the de facto standard or being left behind with stranded R&D expenditures.
Unlike LTE /4G, 5G represents a purpose-built technology with a network-centric approach. Among the major differences with LTE, 5G will provide substantially higher data rate in a range of several gigabits per seconds (Gbps). 5G is also being standardized to provide improvements to the Internet of Things (IoT).
5G will be an enabler of many next generation applications and services. Consumers will enjoy significantly faster data speeds for existing services as well as enhancements that transform apps profoundly. For example, Virtual Reality (VR) will provide a substantially more realistic user experience as wells as the prospect for anytime, anywhere usage.
5G is expected to reduce network latency significantly, which will enable many previously tethered-only capabilities such as streaming 4K video, real-time remote control, haptic or tactile communications, and more. Coupled with the deployment of gigabit Ethernet fiber, 5G will transform the VR market, leading to a fully immersive experience with haptic capabilities becoming imbedded in many applications.
Looking beyond the consumer, 5G will be a facilitator and an accelerator of the next industrial revolution, often referred to as Industry 4.0. For example, 5G will provide the communications and bandwidth necessary to allow various industries to leverage the next phase of robotics evolution. 5G will also facilitate untethered expansion of telerobotics, teleoperation, and other aspects of Industry IoT (IIoT).
There is a need to look beyond smart factories, intelligent products and services towards enterprise as a whole and the unique benefits of high capacity urban wireless applications. Enterprise users will capitalize upon new and enhanced automation capabilities to enable new use cases and improved work flow. Many business processes will change as enterprise becomes savvier about the flexibility of equipment and tools that are uninhibited by bandwidth constraints.