BUT, ENABLING IT MAY BE S L O W E R THAN YOU EXPECT
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, your 4G LTE connection. With 5G, you’ll see exponentially faster download and upload speeds. Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with the wireless networks, will also drastically decrease.
SEE THE CNBC INTERNATIONAL REPORTING SEGMENT ON 5G Source: CNBC International, May, 2018
5G PROMISES TO DELIVER...
HOW CARRIERS VIEW 5G
5G is not a single feature that you either have or don’t have, it is an evolution from 4G involving many new capabilities and applications that are all on separate schedules
Each carrier implements 5G somewhat differently (bands, services) so it’s really more of a large and varied set of standards delivered on a continuous rollout schedule with individual implementations
5G hopes to accommodate the Internet of Things (IoT) including mobile data and voice, but to do so:
1. It requires a huge increase (‘density’) in ‘nodes’ to which devices can connect to the internet, and;
2. Those nodes must have higher than normal frequencies to handle the data required, and;
3. Mobile/Data carriers must maximize the ‘efficiency’ of those nodes to be competitive, and;
4. Those nodes must ‘backhaul’ to an ‘internet line’ (IP) in order to transmit and access data, and;
5. The ‘fronthaul’ part of the network that connects to mobile devices must be standardized, and;
6. The network must have permitted places/nodes for the radios, and reliable power for them.
5G CHALLENGES CARRIERS MUST OVERCOME
COSTS AND TIME
The costs of 5G may cause carriers to increase customer revenue - much like LTE plans before. 5G is not just building a layer on top of an existing network — it’s laying the groundwork for something new altogether. According to Heavy Reading’s Mobile Operator 5G Capex, total global spending on 5G is set to reach $88 billion by 2023.
WAVE BAND MODULATION
Millimeter wave bands can carry far more capacity and deliver ultra-fast speeds that deliver a 20-fold increase over LTE’s fastest theoretical throughput. Wireless carriers still need to bid for the higher spectrum bands as they build and roll out their respective 5G networks. In the US, bidding in the 28 GHz spectrum alone reached $690 million by December 2018.
BEAMFORMING AND CONNECTION
Despite 5G offering a significant increase in speed and bandwidth, its more limited range will require further infrastructure. Higher frequencies enable highly directional radio waves, meaning they can be targeted or aimed — a practice called beamforming. The challenge is that 5G antennas, while being able to handle more users and data, beam out over shorter distances.
SECURITY AND PRIVACY
Though 5G falls under the Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA), a system designed to establish trust between networks, it would currently be possible to track people nearby using their phones. Much like it is now, the onus will be on the carriers and network consortiums to provide a digital safety net for customers, except user complacency could be equally problematic.