5G, one of the most advanced telecommunication technology in this decade slowly emerging across the globe. By end of 2021, 5G will be available in most of cities with an estimated 450 million customer base. Apart from a faster network, what are the differences between existing 4G and 5G technology?
Background: In order to support increasing number of users and devices, a faster network with better security is necessary. Existing 4G technology has limitation in terms of number of users, data rate and latency.
5G, the fifth generation communication technology designed to support mobile networks, autonomous driving, HD audio and video applications, healthcare, logistics, industrial IoT, smart farming etc… Moreover, 5G network is scalable and thus future technologies can easily make use of broad spectrum of 5G.
For example: low band spectrum for IoT devices and millimeter wave spectrum for applications required huge data transfer.
Speed Up to 100 times faster than 4G
High speed data is one of the most exciting specifications for most of the users. 5G networks can provide data rate up to 10 Gbps (theoretical) 500 – 800 Mbps (typical) on mobile networks. 5G technology has huge potential to further enhance the data rate much higher than current data rate available on early deployments.
Users can download entire episodes of their favorite TV shows within minutes using 5G networks. MIMO (multiple input and multiple output) is one the technique used in 5G technology to achieve higher data rate.
Our conventional LTE network has a limitation due to spectrum bands each network operators use. Since the first generation of mobile networks, we have used low frequency spectrum below 4 GHz. LTE networks have managed to achieve data rate up to 40 Mbps with advanced modulation techniques and TDD multiplexing.
In the early deployment of 5G, sub 6GHz spectrum will be used for transmission. It has higher bandwidth than lower and mid bands used in LTE and LTE advanced. Future 5G networks will be using millimeter waves for communications.
Using small cell concept in 5G technology, more devices can be added to the network in small areas. The spectrum can be re-used for other cells without disturbing neighboring cells. Each small cell will cover more devices in smaller geographical area.
Typical 4G cell tower will cover 4000 device per square kilometer where group of 5G cell base stations will support up to 1 million devices per square kilometer.
Downside of high frequency spectrum
With all the advantages of high frequency spectrum, it has disadvantages too. High frequency spectrum is more vulnerable to environmental conditions. Compared to low or mid bands, higher frequency bands will be blocked by concrete structures, vehicles, trees and weather conditions (rain) etc.…
Low latency is one of the significant specifications for advanced applications like autonomous cars and remote surgery. 5G network has a lower latency of less than 10 milliseconds which is much lower than LTE network (200ms).
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications requires low latency network to function. 5G network will support a wide range of high definition multimedia gamming and applications.
We need a fast and reliable network to support congested areas like airports or a football stadium. 5G is the perfect solution for crowded places since the technology can support more devices under each cell base stations.
5G network is designed to integrate and co-exist with different technologies and thus supports huge number of devices. It will act a technology framework for future applications. Complex algorithms ensure greater security options for customers and service providers.