5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability. Like all widely used systems, the 5G mobile communications is governed by a series of standards. Building on 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, and then 4G LTE, the 5G standard comes under the auspices of 3GPP - Third-generation Partnership Project.

3GPP has a number of different workgroups, each addressing different elements of the required standards. They draw on industry experts who give of their time and are sponsored by relevant mobile communications companies. In this way, the standards are written and developed.

Generation of Mobile Network:-

As the different generations of cellular telecommunications have evolved, each one has brought its own improvements. The same is true of 5G technology.

  • First-generation, 1G:   These phones were analog and were the first mobile or cellular phones to be used. Although revolutionary in their time they offered very low levels of spectrum efficiency and security.
  • Second generation, 2G:   These were based around digital technology and offered much better spectrum efficiency, security, and new features such as text messages and low data rate communications.
  • Third generation, 3G:   The aim of this technology was to provide high-speed data. The original technology was enhanced to allow data up to 14 Mbps and more.
  • Fourth generation, 4G:   This was an all-IP based technology capable of providing data rates up to 1 Gbps.
  • 5G technology:   When 5G was being first postulated a number of use cases were put forwards: very high-speed data transfer as video downloads become larger and more commonplace; remote control with low latency - examples of autonomous vehicles communicating with rad infrastructure to provide safe transport as well as the example of experienced surgeons being able to perform delicate surgery remotely using a 5G link both of these examples require very low latency mobile communications; more capability for general data communications; ability to accommodate the very low data rate and occasional communications for the Internet of Things, IoT where very long battery life is needed.

Technology Used:-

Virtualization of mobile networks is a key part of 5G. Operators can use software-defined networking (SDN) to create a network topology that includes multiple hierarchies. The different hierarchies will contain radio access network (RAN) radios of different sizes.

Virtual RAN (vRAN) and open source RAN (O-RAN) both play a key role in this. RAN is becoming disaggregated and abstracted from hardware, becoming more elastic and better able to handle traffic surges through vRAN. Network virtualized functions (NFV) help orchestrate this virtualization. Open-source developments are fueling collaboration between telecoms and creating a network that can be universally adopted among companies. 

Another key part of 5G is that fact it operates on a higher-frequency band of the wireless spectrum, known as the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. This enables users to access more bandwidth than before. 

The initial costs of these 5G infrastructure improvements may be tremendous, and consumers have already demonstrated their intolerance for rate hikes. So to recover those costs, telcos will need to offer new classes of service to new customer segments, for which 5G has made provisions. Customers have to believe 5G wireless is capable of accomplishing feats that were impossible for 4G. i.e

a. Driverless automobiles.

b. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

c. Cloud computing

d. internet of Things.

e. Healthcare

service tier:-

It was during the implementation of 4G that telcos realized they wished they had different grades of infrastructure to support different classes of service. 5G allows for three service grades that may be tuned to the special requirements of their customers' business models:

  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) aims to service more densely populated metropolitan centers with downlink speeds approaching 1 Gbps (gigabits-per-second) indoors, and 300 Mbps (megabits-per-second) outdoors. It would accomplish this through the installation of extremely high-frequency millimeter-wave (mmWave) antennas throughout the landscape -- on lampposts, the sides of buildings, the branches of trees, existing electrical towers, and in one novel use case proposed by AT&T, the tops of city busses. Since each of these antennas, in the metro use case, would cover an area probably no larger than a baseball diamond, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them would be needed to thoroughly service any densely populated downtown area. And since most would not be omnidirectional -- their maximum beam width would only be about 4 degrees -- mmWave antennas would bounce signals off of each other's mirrors until they eventually reached their intended customer locations. For more suburban and rural areas, eMBB would seek to replace 4G's current LTE system, with a new network of lower-power omnidirectional antennas providing 50 Mbps downlink service.
  • Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) enables the machine-to-machine (M2M) and internet of Things (IoT) applications that a new wave of wireless customers may come to expect from their network, without imposing burdens on the other classes of service. Experts in the M2M and logistics fields have been on record saying that 2G service was perfectly fine for the narrow service bands their signaling devices required and that later generations actually degraded that service by introducing new sources of latency. MMTC would seek to restore that service level by implementing a compartmentalized service tier for devices needing downlink bandwidth as low as 100 Kbps (kilobits-per-second, right down there with telephone modems) but with latency kept low at around 10 milliseconds (ms).
  • Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) would address critical needs communications where bandwidth is not quite as important as speed -- specifically, an end-to-end latency of 1 ms or less. This would be the tier that addresses the autonomous vehicle category, where decision time for the reaction to a possible accident is almost non-existent. URLLC could actually make 5G competitive with satellite, opening up the possibility -- still in the discussion phase among the telcos -- of 5G replacing GPS for geolocation.
At the End:-
5G, mobile communications technology is rapidly developing and it is becoming the technology that everyone is moving towards. Not only will it be able to accommodate the super-fast speeds required of it, but it will also be possible to accommodate the low data rate requirements for IoT and IIoT applications. As such 5G mobile communications will be able to encompass a huge number of different applications and accommodate very many different data types.