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5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap

The Louvre_Museum_France_082318A
(The Louvre Museum, France - Ching-Fuh Lin)



5G - Vision for the Next Generation of Connectivity


- Mobile is the Largest Technology Platform in Human History

"AI, machine learning, deep learning, autonomous systems and neural networks are not just buzzwords and phrases. Increased computing power, more efficient hardware and robust software, as well as an explosion in sensor data from the Internet of Things - are fueling machine learning, and moving actionable data and intelligence towards edge devices. As AI makes devices, including smartphones and automobiles, more intelligent, mobile is becoming the key platform for enhancing all aspects of our lives, having an impact now and in the future." -- (MIT)

Mobile is the largest technology platform in human history. The next-generation wireless super-fast networks known as 5G, which will operate at vastly higher speeds and be able to handle tens of times more devices than existing 4G networks. 5G is about more than fast data rates and greater capacity. It's about the seamless, real-time interaction between humans and billions of intelligent devices. 4G turned mobile phones into movie-streaming platforms, but 5G promises more than speedy downloads. It could pave the way for surgeons operating remotely on patients, cars that rarely crash, and events that can be vividly experienced from thousands of miles away.  

- 5G Standards Are Not Yet Finalised

5G wireless technology promises a rich, reliable, and hyperconnected world. But from new bands to wider bandwidth and new beamforming technology, The actual 5G radio system, known as 5G-NR (New Radio), won't be compatible with 4G. But all 5G devices, initially, will need 4G because they'll lean on it to make initial connections before trading up to 5G where it's available. 4G will continue to improve with time, as well. 

5G standards are not yet finalised and the most advanced services are still in the pre-commercial phase. 5G needs spectrum within three key frequency ranges to deliver widespread coverage and support all use cases. The three ranges are: Sub-1 GHz, 1-6 GHz and above 6 GHz. - Above 6 GHz is needed to meet the ultra-high broadband speeds envisioned for 5G. Players (AT&T, Verizon, ..) in the (U.S.) national wireless industry are developing their 5G networks and are working to acquire spectrum. AT&T is gearing up to launch the first standards-based 5G services in multiple U.S. markets by the end of 2018.

5G will achieve speeds of 20 gigabits per second, fast enough to download an entire Hollywood movie in a few seconds. It also will reduce latency - the measure of how long it takes a packet of data to be transmitted between two points - by a factor of 15. 5G networks will combine numerous wireless technologies, such as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and millimeter wave technology. 5G will also leverages cloud infrastructure, intelligent edge services and virtualized network core. 

- Four Factors Distinguish 5G from Its Predecessors (4G, 4G LTE)

Instead of point-to-point communications provided by legacy mobile networks, 5G will move packets of data following the most efficient path to their destination. This shift enables real time aggregation and analysis of data, moving wireless technology from communication to computing. Four factors distinguish 5G from its predecessors: connected devices, fast and intelligent networks, back-end services and extremely low latency. These qualities enable a fully connected and interactive world with a variety of new applications. 

4G (Fourth Generation) is a specification laid down by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2008. Since there was such an enormous gap between the old 3G standard and the new 4G, companies wanted to make sure their customer base knew they were receiving better service than just the same old 3G, so they came up with a workaround. That workaround was LTE (Long-Term Evolution.) The original idea was that it represented a "Long-Term Evolution" toward the 4G standard. As there is no true standard for LTE, it covers the entire range of minimum download speeds from 3G’s 20 Mbps to 4G’s 100 Mbps, giving it a massive range of potential speeds. However, 5G will not replace 4G. There are too many benefits to 4G  4G phones will be unable to receive the boosted data speeds in the limited number of 5G enabled cities, but will still function with 5G. Unless you live in one of these areas and sit around outside watching movies a great deal, don't bother upgrading your 4G phone to 5G just yet.

5G technology is more secure than 4G, the current highest mobile internet standard. One of the reasons it's more secure is that the tech encrypts data in a way so advanced that hackers would need a "quantum computer." The data protection rules in the European Union known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May, 2018. The law requires companies that handle data to have a very high standard of data protection or face potentially huge fines. With massive amounts of data expected to be flowing along 5G networks, GDPR is likely to become even more important for the business world. 

- 5G is the Primary Catalyst for Next-Generation Internet of Things (IoT) Services

Leveraging state-of-the-art communication network architectures, 5G is touted to be the primary catalyst for next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) services. 5G will provide the backbone for IoT that greatly improves data transfer speeds and processing power over its predecessors. This combination of speed and computing power will enable new applications. These include connected cars coupled with augmented reality and virtual reality platform, smart cities and connected devices that revolutionize key industry verticals.

By 2020, the 5G network will support more than 20 billion connected devices, 212 billion connected sensors and enable access to 44 zettabytes of data gathered from a wide range of devices from smartphones to remote monitoring devices. Healthcare organizations are eager to embrace IoT devices because they save money by keeping patients out of the hospital. If IoT devices can diagnose people in advance then that saves huge costs.   


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