5G NR (New Radio) is a new radio access technology (RAT) developed by 3GPP for the 5G networks.
With 3GPP providing the technical details behind this, 5G NR was designed to be the global standard for the air interface of 5G networks.
The evolution of 5G New Radio (NR) has progressed swiftly since the 3GPP standardized the first NR release (release 15) in mid-2018. Not only is release 16 nearly finalized but the scope of release 17 has also recently been approved. Making wise decisions in the months and years ahead will require that mobile network operators and other industry stakeholders have a solid understanding of both releases.
The evolution of 5G NR is especially critical given the latest reports that global traffic levels hit 38 exabytes per month at the end of 2019 with a projected increase of fourfold to 180 exabytes per month by 2025. But, fortunately, through the guidance of 3GPP and other industry overseers, 5G architecture is designed to handle this massive increase in data traffic in a way that ensures superior performance with minimal impact on the net costs for consumers.
The technology gives 5G enhanced flexibility for a multitude of use cases, enabling it to support diverse spectrum bands, including mmWave bands with far higher available bandwidth, through the use of specialized technologies like scalable subcarrier spacing and massive MIMO, absolutely necessary for the implementation of radio beam steering and forming to mitigate propagation challenges in mmWave communications.
The waveform principle of OFDM is a digital multi-carrier modulation method in which a large number of closely spaced orthogonal sub-carrier signals are used to carry data on several parallel streams or channels. This means that information is transmitted across a number of parallel, narrow bands instead of a single wide band.
Another 5G NR basic, beamforming, is a technology that has become a reality in recent years and it offers to provide some significant advantages to 5G. Beamforming enables the beam from the base station to be directed toward the mobile. In this way the optimum signal can be transmitted to the mobile and received from it, whilst also cutting interference to other mobiles.
The move to higher frequencies allows for much smaller antennas and the possibility of programmable high directivity levels.
5G NR also utilizes small cell base stations. The 5G small cell network operates by coordinating a group of small cells to share the load and reduce the difficulties of physical obstructions which become more important at millimeter waves.
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