Industry News

In the 5G era, within reach

5G technology can realize high-speed, low-latency wireless broadband networks, and is the basis for the development of Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, VR, and AR services. Rahim Tafazolli, director of the 5G Innovation Center at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom and a professor at the Institute of Communication Systems, pointed out that 5G technology will enable ubiquitous wireless connections and promote the transformation of business processes in vertical industries.
Business returns are good
According to GSMA, the number of global 5G connections will reach 1.1 billion in 2025, and one third of the world's population will be connected to 5G networks, which will have a profound impact on the mobile communications industry and users. 5G is not only the next-generation mobile communication technology, but also enhances the flexibility and fluency of network connections, and can precisely adjust network performance according to application requirements and user needs.
Rahim Tafazolli believes that users have a demand for 5G networks. "Consumers’ data needs continue to grow, and we need to further improve network carrying capacity. Data traffic and the number of connections will double every 18 months." From a business perspective, 5G can help operators explore the B2B market. The inevitable choice of business. "Operators can use 5G technology to enter the automotive, medical, government, manufacturing, and smart city vertical industries and open up new sources of revenue."
Taking manufacturing as an example, Rahim Tafazolli pointed out that robots, 3D printing, advanced materials, and sensors will enhance the efficiency and flexibility of manufacturing. 5G technology can connect and integrate solutions such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data, and network security to fully realize digitalization. 5G technology can play an enabling role, integrate various technologies, provide a unified platform that can be ubiquitously accessed, and connect mechanical equipment, robots, automated guided vehicles, goods, and remote office workers.
Rahim Tafazolli introduced that robots using 5G networks can greatly improve manufacturing efficiency. "The 5G network can allow robots to work 24 hours a day without interruption, realizing the modernization of the manufacturing process, thereby improving productivity and efficiency." The low latency of 5G networks is essential for precision robots. "It can make multiple or a group of robots Real-time collaboration".
Spectrum is the key to technology
The US Federal Communications Commission believes that there are three major elements in the development of 5G networks: spectrum, infrastructure, and backhaul. The important difference between 5G and previous generations of mobile communication technologies is that the focus of 5G technology research is to improve spectrum utilization, that is, the maximum transmission rate supported by each cell per MHz, rather than improving spectrum efficiency. This is because it has become more and more difficult to improve spectrum efficiency through coding and modulation algorithms, and the improvement effect is also getting smaller and smaller.
Rahim Tafazolli further introduced several important 5G frequency bands. "The frequency bands below 6GHz are cost-effective, but this part of the spectrum is very scarce. We use a lot of the 3.5GHz frequency band. For example, Europe mainly uses the 700MHz frequency band to provide large-scale 5G coverage, which is cost-effective." Europe is in 3.5GHz and 700MHz In addition to these two frequency bands, millimeter wave or centimeter wave frequency bands are added. "This is to cope with certain scenarios that require very high network capacity, such as football stadiums, where the user density is several orders of magnitude higher than the density of downtown areas."
Commercial roadmap
It is estimated that 5G networks will officially begin large-scale commercial use in 2020. Both the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan will conduct trial commercial or commercial use of 5G networks. However, the industry has not yet reached a consensus on the definition of 5G and whether it is necessary to operate 5G networks before the finalization of the 5G standard. Therefore, there are various opinions on the timetable for 5G network commercialization. Rahim Tafazolli said: "5G networks will not immediately replace 4G networks, but will coexist with 4G networks. 5G networks will form a complementary relationship with 4G networks through new applications, increasing the speed of 4G networks by 1,000 times."
Rahim Tafazolli predicts that after the release of the 5G standard in 2017, pilots of equipment, terminals and network architecture will also start. "In 2019, the World Radiocommunication Conference will decide on a globally common millimeter wave pilot frequency band for use in 5G network construction. Therefore, 5G networks are expected to be commercialized as early as 2019."
5G networks will further evolve over time and enter different stages of development, starting with large-capacity, enhanced mobile broadband, then high-reliability, low-latency communications, and finally the Internet of Everything. Rahim Tafazolli said: "Fixed network architecture will be gradually replaced by programmable software-defined network architecture. Distributed cloud architecture and distributed processing will improve network flexibility, and intelligent network operations will be realized through artificial intelligence and machine learning.