Encash 5G Mobile Networks: 5G Features, Use cases and Adoption Trends

World's next mobile network, the 5G mobile network, comes with a promise of blazing speed as well as bandwidth for growing number of connected devices without being a drain on our device batteries. While technical standards of the 5G mobile networks are still being worked out, lets take a look at more details on what to expect from the technology.

What is 5G?
5G stands for fifth-generation mobile networks or fifth-generation wireless systems. It will be the successor to 4G, the current top-of-the-line network technology first introduced commercially in 2009.

The promise of blazing 5G speeds (and what it could mean)

5G could end up being 100 times faster than 4G, with speeds that could reach 10 gigabits per second. So what does this mean in relative terms? This would allow a full-length HD movie to be downloaded in seconds. This would have a tremendous use case in autonomous driving where the speedy 5G networks could send commands to a driverless car faster than a human could react. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications could allow cars to keep a safe distance from one another and hence directly result in fewer car accidents and less traffic congestion. A use case for benefits in telemedicine domain could involve near-instantaneous transmission of video and data that would allow surgeons to operate remotely using a robotic scalpel.

The promise of 5G bandwidth benefits (and hence more interconnected devices)
5G will also increase total bandwidth, which will be needed to accommodate added demand from the "internet of things" the ballooning number of objects ranging from refrigerators to traffic lights to dog collars sending and receiving data.

What brings speed and bandwidth to 5G
5G likely will use the existing mobile spectrum space and extend it by also using higher frequencies, called millimeter waves because they're 1 to 10 mm long. Millimeter waves can carry more data but travel only short distances. So they'll require many small base stations to receive signals and send data. Base stations will relay signals among themselves, and to and from 5G towers, using technology called Massive MIMO, or multiple-input, multiple-output. 5G towers will have perhaps 100 antennae ports, compared with about a dozen ports on a 4G cell tower. Phones will have the ability to transmit to various frequencies. And instead of broadcasting signals in every direction, as current mobile antennae do, 5G would use beamforming to send focused signals; algorithms would plot the best route to and from each device. Millimeter waves will carry more data and the numerous base stations will reduce the time it takes waves to travel to and fro and allow some connections to stay local. More antennae on towers and the fact that data can be transmitted and received at the same time should allow for more connections with almost no delay (known as low latency). And 5G should be able to pick up lower-powered radio signals from devices, which would save battery life.

Where are we today with 5G
  • AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are conducting trials of 5G fixed broadband in homes and businesses.
  • South Korea hopes to have a 5G mobile network in place for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
  • Carriers around the world expect to start 5G mobile services in 2020.
Here is an insightful trend prediction from a GSMA Intelligence highlighting expectations on global 5G coverage and adoption
Global 5G Coverage and Adoption [GSMA Intelligence whitepaper]