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The myths and facts of 5G

There has been a lot of talk in the industry about 5G recently; some stakeholders have
even commented that there is too much hype around the topic in the absence of
substance. Others have said there are already pre-commercial 5G systems available,
pretending that the launch of 5G is near. Who is right?
It’s time to step back and take an objective look at some of the myths around 5G and
clarify what 5G will really bring. We can do this now because despite some confusing
public discussions it has become much clearer recently why 5G will be needed, what it
will be, and how it will come to life.
Myth #1: 5G will be built mainly for speed and capacity
It’s essential that 5G meets a future market demand. We need to consider what it
should do better and differently to previous generations. In other words, which new
services and use cases it will enable. In 15 years’ time there may be many uses that we
haven’t even thought of yet, and these could be commonplace. In fact, this is quite likely
in a world that will have 10-100 times more Internet-connected devices than there are
humans. Hundreds of billions of machines will be sensing, processing and transmitting
data as the ‘Internet of Things’ explodes.

There has been much talk of driverless cars recently, but how will they operate? The
beginning will be map downloads and security alerts, perhaps continuing with assisted
braking. By 2030, cars may be truly autonomous, perhaps letting the driver read a
newspaper during a long journey, with the car downloading real-time traffic information
and using it to avoid congestion. Or perhaps your children could send it their GPS
coordinates so the car could drive to them and bring them home from a party. With
direct car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication, the safety and efficiency of
road traffic can be greatly increased.
Another possibility that is already becoming reality is the smart home, where
temperature sensors, window and heating controllers, burglar alarms and home
appliances are all connected wirelessly, keeping the home owner informed and in
control wherever they are. Although many of these sensors are typically low data rate,
low power and low cost, real-time HD video may be required in some surveillance

including lower costs for connected sensors. Myth #2: 5G radio will replace 4G Not so. Myth #3: 5G equals radio evolution 5G will have novel components and will evolve from existing systems. Today. but it will be far more than simply radio evolution. Applications in the health sector also open up a variety of use cases for 5G. 5G radio will complement LTE because it will integrate existing and new technologies. coupled with new. Such solutions require instant. meaning that various options for new technical components are being analyzed. That said. 5G networks will be programmable. and to achieve built-in flexibility. Wireless sensor networks based on mobile communications can provide remote monitoring and sensors for parameters such as heart rate and blood pressure. as well as minimal latency.devices. to manage complex multi-layer and multi-technology networks. 5G will need to ensure energy efficiency. LTE evolution will meet many requirements on the macro layer until 2020 and beyond. 5G will also enable the ‘tactile Internet’. The cloud paradigm will be implemented in all parts of the network to use existing resources in the best way. In fact. revolutionary technologies designed for ultra dense deployments and highly reliable communication. Fundamentally changing network architecture will be essential to meet requirements beyond 2020. each with requirements that vary between extremes. 5G will include existing systems like LTEAdvanced and Wi-Fi. Available demos are simply exploratory and focus only on sub-system concepts. low energy. software driven and managed holistically. 5G needs to encompass the evolution of the entire network architecture. zero latency and more. reduce unnecessary signaling and integrate the management of these diverse connected devices. 5G is in the research and exploration phase. 5G will be the first mobile generation designed from the beginning for machine type communication. Myth #4: There are already 5G system demos out there in the market 5G is not even fully defined yet. Networks will become cognitive to be able to optimize themselves autonomously. In a nutshell. With no need to replace 4G. Cognitive networks using big data analytics and artificial intelligence will solve optimization tasks too complex for humans. However. 5G will enable very diverse use cases. large scale 5G deployments will not be available before 2020. and its requirements and components. providing the low latency that will allow remote control over robots performing work in construction and maintenance that is too dangerous for humans. there is a pressing need for greater alignment between organizations about the vision for 5G. How do we make 5G happen? . synchronous visual-haptic feedback. These examples illustrate that 5G performance targets stretch far beyond speed and capacity. requiring overall response times of less than a few milliseconds. The target is for pre-commercial 5G systems to be available by 2018.

If you want to go fast. go alone. The reward will be contiguous carrier bandwidths of 1-2 GHz. Achieving radio latency values of 1 millisecond will require extremely small radio sub-frame lengths. Architectural evolution and multi-technology integration: 5G will provide high quality and consistent connectivity for people and things. requirements from outside the telecom industry are very important to consider. . the bandwidth and power efficiency of the system can be optimized. Therefore. Significant effort needs to be put into channel measurements and modeling in those bands in order to understand the practical performance of millimeter wave bands. it will offer the chance to change the way we live and work. While more spectrum below 6 GHz is needed (also for 5G) and innovative techniques will be put into operation to make more efficient use of already allocated spectrum. If this doesn’t happen. Until now. there will be a growing need to unlock new spectrum bands in the 6 to 100 GHz range. In combination with flexible dynamic TDD. Optimized frame structure: Various future applications like vehicle-to-vehicle communication and the tactile Internet require minimal latency. If you want to go far. the creation of a successful 5G standard requires the best ideas to be adopted. no matter where they come from. mostly due to their favorable wide area coverage properties. Flexible air interfaces will be needed to handle the differing characteristics inherent in large frequency ranges. New radio access technologies for ultra-dense deployments: Exploiting centimeter wave and millimeter wave spectrum for ultra dense high capacity scenarios. for example. the 5G era will not be able to meet the demand for high capacity and data rates. Ultimately. It is essential to find a common direction through co-operation in requirement setting. technology research and finally in the standardization – and the forums to achieve this are definitely in place. the big wheel turning towards 5G is in motion and there are many organizations and companies around the world jockeying for position. go together So. 5G is coming – more than just higher speed and greater data capacity. creating the perception of infinite capacity. will require new radio interface(s) that can take advantage of massive MIMO and beamforming techniques. the variety of solutions for the different 5G use cases and the multiple network layers will be combined with unified control of the network operation. Also. only frequencies below 6 GHz have been considered. Different radio access layers and technologies will tightly collaborate with each other and use cognitive capabilities and Software Defined Networks (SDN) technologies. more radio spectrum is vital to meet increased demand for capacity and data rates in the 5G era.New spectrum ranges: First. The telecom industry has successfully navigated all the previous ‘G’s and the researchers and engineers at Nokia are enthusiastically pushing the boundaries of technology to help 5G excel.