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While the new 5G broadband is often portrayed as a panacea for wireless networks and its users, industry insiders believe it would be wise to take a closer look.

The truth of the matter is that no one really knows how great the demand will be for devices and connections brought on by 5G. Many in the telecommunications industry feel that more offloading will be necessary to manage additional data capacity.

Mobile data offloading is the use of complementary network technologies for delivering data originally targeted for cellular networks. Offloading reduces the amount of data being carried on the cellular bands, freeing bandwidth for other users. It is also used in situations where local cell reception may be poor, allowing the user to connect via wired services with better connectivity.

With 5G, mobile data traffic will continue to increase exponentially, and service providers are seeking solutions to prevent future congestion on their networks. Offloading data traffic frees network capacity, while providing a consistently high quality of service.

Customers can make and receive calls and texts, in addition to accessing data, over Wi-Fi or other local connections, including new Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum.

How Much Bandwidth Is Enough?

One reason for the broadband evolution to 5G was to free up more bandwidth. 4G and its LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology operates in a lower frequency that had become heavily congested since it operates in the same part of the radio frequency shared with TV and radio signals.

The cornerstone of 5G broadband is the millimeter wave (mmW), a specific part of the radio frequency spectrum between 24GHz and 100GHz. This spectrum had been pretty much unused except for satellite communication. So the millimeter wave used in 5G technology greatly increases the amount of bandwidth available in wireless networking.

But still, there are those who feel that even with the added space, it won’t take long for 5G devices to run into the same overcrowding situation as 4G due to the projected massive upturn in users.

In other words, while 5G provides vastly more bandwidth, it will also drive so much more demand that increased offloading is inevitable to make everyone happy – service providers, infrastructure providers and customers.

Rules triggering the mobile offloading action can be set by either an end-user (mobile subscriber) or an operator. The code operating on the rules resides in an end-user device, in a server, or is divided between the two. End users do data offloading for data service cost control and the availability of higher bandwidth.

Some of the complementary network technologies used for mobile data offloading are Wi-Fi, femtocell and Integrated Mobile Broadcast.

With the projected global popularity of 5G, mobile data offloading may become a very profitable cottage industry in its own right.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers 5G Wi-Fi Offload Training/ LTE-U/ LAA, a 2-day course that provides an in-depth technical overview of emerging Wi-Fi offload solutions applicable to 5G macro cells and HetNets applications.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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