The flexible and programmable nature of 5G networks represent a radical mobile network evolution in terms of capacity, performance, and spectrum access in both radio and non-radio network segments, including backhaul capabilities.
Wireless backhaul is the use of wireless communications systems to get data from an end user to a node in a major network such as the internet or the proprietary network of a large business, academic institution or government agency. Fronthaul on the other hand refers to the connection of the C-RAN, a new type of cellular network architecture of centralized baseband units (BBU), at the access layer of the network to remote standalone radio heads at cell sites.
Backhauling and fronthauling are important features as they enable the cloud-centric 5G network. According to 5GPPP, a central cloud will be connected via a backhaul network to many edge computing clouds that are 12 miles from the user at most. If services can be executed in the network edge that will take traffic away from the Cloud RAN.
5G infrastructure is such as radical departure from past mobile broadband technologies that a whole new set of enablers are involved including NFV, SDN, new frequency spectrum, MIMO and small cell, lower power base stations.
5G is designed to deliver a wide range of new services, applications, devices and enhanced mobile experience such as Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-reliable and Low-latency Communications (uRLLC), and Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC).
An important thing to understand about the new 5G technology is that it’s not just about faster smartphones. In fact, tech specialists are now referring to 5G as the post-smartphone era.
Higher speeds and lower latency will make new experiences possible in augmented and virtual reality, connected cars, the smart home and where machines need to talk to one another continually and without lag.
For anyone trying to understand the big picture of 5G, perhaps the most important concept to grasp is that this technology requires cellular networks to undergo a major shift in their deployment and optimization.
New infrastructure elements, such as femto/pico base stations, fixed/mobile relays, cognitive radios, and distributed antennas are being massively deployed, paving the way for the next generation of cellular systems and networks. All of this makes 5G architecture more efficient in terms of spectrum use, multi‐RAT support and energy efficiency with high‐order multi‐RAT support techniques together with massive deployments of small cells for higher re‐use.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers 5G Wireless Training | 5G Technical Fundamentals, a 3-day course that covers the most dominant technologies and architectures in the near future which make up 5G technology.
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