The rollout is here and the U.S. is slowly but surely becoming connected to the new 5G technology.
A 5G wireless network is all about enabling. For example, 5G will enable instantaneous connectivity to billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This is made possible because of 5G architecture, which features high speeds and low latency. Users can now sync their workouts to their smartphone, change the temperature of their home remotely and interact with a wide variety of wearable devices. This mass connectivity enables a new generation of applications, services and business opportunities that have not been seen before.
Overall, there are three major categories of use case for 5G:
- Enhanced mobile broadband – This provides significantly faster data speeds and greater capacity keeping the world connected. New applications will include fixed wireless internet access for homes, outdoor broadcast applications without the need for broadcast vans, and greater connectivity for people on the move.
- Massive machine to machine communications – This involves connecting billions of devices without human intervention at a scale not seen before. It has the potential to revolutionize modern industrial processes and applications including agriculture, manufacturing and business communications.
- Ultra-reliable low latency communications – Considered
mission critical including real-time control of devices, industrial robotics,
vehicle to vehicle communications and safety systems, autonomous driving and
safer transport networks. Low latency communications also opens up a
new world where remote medical care, procedures, and treatment are all possible.
The spotlight has been on millimeter waves (mmWaves) ever since the major telecom carriers decided this was the band that would be the focus on building out the new 5G wireless network. And, the main reason for selecting the extremely high frequency band is because all the lower bands had become far too congested, which impact transmission speeds and latency.
Not only that, but just the amount of bandwidth available at mmWave frequencies (30 GHz to 300 GHz) is enormous compared to the amount of frequency spectrum used by 4G and previous wireless network technologies. Consequently, the hundreds of megahertz of wireless transmission bandwidth available at center frequencies allows 5G wireless networks to operate with almost zero latency and extremely high data speeds.
With the assistance of the FCC, the major telecom carriers received licenses to operate in the millimeter wave spectrum. However, there were reasons why this band of radio frequencies had received such little use previously.
Electromagnetic (EM) energy at those higher frequencies suffers a great deal of path loss through the air (especially through air with high humidity) compared to lower-frequency signals with longer wavelengths. Also there are penetration issues with wwWaves because signals at 24 GHz and above can be absorbed by any objects in their propagating path, such as buildings, trees, even the hand of someone holding the smartphone that’s sending the mmWave signals to a cell site to connect with a listener.
Fortunately there is equipment and strategies to make wwWaves usable for mass telecommunications purposes. For example, millimeter waves can be strengthened though the use of small antennas packed together into antenna arrays – a technology used by the U.S. military.
Don’t be left out of the 5G loop. Stay current. 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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