5G is the fifth generation of wireless networks which is a new global standard after 4G. This technology is designed in such a way that it can connect everything and everyone virtually into one frame. It will offer data rates in multi-Gbps data speeds, more reliability than the previous generation, and is able to connect massive devices together, increased availability, and can give a good user experience. 5G will have an impact on every business and industry because it will offer more data rates, high reliability, and low latency which will be beneficial for various industries like logistics, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, and many more. 5G is designed to have the ability so that it can have the flexibility to support future services which are yet to be discovered. 5G will provide enhanced mobile broadband access, mission-critical communications, and massive IoT( Internet of things). 5G can also deliver much lower latency for uniform user experience so that the data rates stay constantly high even when the users are moving.
5G comes in several different versions and it depends on the frequency bands a telecom company uses: low-band (600–850 MHz), mid-band(2.5–3.7 GHz), high band (25–39GHz), or high band millimeter-wave (mmWave)with bands from 24 GHz up to 100 GHz that are expected to be used for 5G.
The 24.25–29.5 GHz range has been the most-licensed/deployed 5G mmWave spectrum range to date.
mmWave will provide the highest speed. In 2021, the average download speed of 692.9 Mbps has been provided by Verizon, US on 5G mmWave
5G is envisioned to be a unified platform for all types of spectrum bands (low bands, mid bands, and high bands) supporting a wide range of services. 5G promises to deliver much higher data rates and more capacity. It targets new kinds of ultra-reliable, low latency, and mission-critical services. It aims to virtually connect everything, from simple to complex devices. 5G will require a whole new user-centric design that can scale and adapt to billions of connected things, it provides new ways of connecting everything and enhance cost and energy efficiency. 5G services are categorized as Mission Critical services, Massive number of things, enhanced Mobile broadband.
- 5G speeds will range from 50 Mbps to over Gbps. The fastest 5G speed is mmWave has a speed of 1 – 10 Gbps.
- In 5G, the air latency is 8-12 milliseconds.
- Error rate: 5G uses an adaptive signal coding to keep the bit error rate low.
- Range: the range of 5G depends on several factors. A key factor is the frequency band used. mmWave signals tend to have a range of only a couple of hundred meters.
5G RAN (Radio Access Network)
The 5G Access Network identifies an Access network (5G-RAN or non-3GPP access network) that connects to the 5G core network. The 5G Access network can support MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output ) antennas, wide spectrum bandwidths, multi-band Carrier Aggregation technologies, and many more. The Access Network should be able to support Mobile Edge computing (MEC) and Network Slicing concepts which will contribute to lower latency and make 5G a powerful technology.
A RAN provides access and coordinates the management of resources across the radio sites. Components of RAN include a base station and an antenna that can cover a specific region depending upon its coverage and capacity parameters. In 5G, the recent evolution in the 5G RAN Architecture divides the Control plane and User plane into separate entities. User data messages can then be exchanged via the RAN controller which is there in the 5GC. This separation of the control plane and user plane allows the RAN to be more flexible.
For 5G networks, the base station is called gNB (Next-generation Base station ), the base station takes the digital packets from the 5GC. It comprises 1 sector which is used for small cells and up to 3 sectors that are used for longer coverage and high capacity. The Access network has functions that include: signal processing for using multiple antennas, signal processing for detecting and correcting errors in the wireless transmission, signal processing to ensure that the signal transmission is secure, managing the wireless resources efficiently between different devices in the network, etc.
In 5G Access networks, there is an introduction of new functional splits, for higher bands, 5G antennas are integrated with the antenna for efficient implementation of massive MIMO, beamforming, and beam tracking that are necessary to efficiently use 5G frequencies. Artificial Intelligence methods are also introduced in the 5G RAN in order to secure optimal performance. Security is also a key element in RAN where it has to follow three aspects of security which include Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.
5G Core Network
5G Core network is built on cloud-native network architecture, microservices-based technology and combines EPC (Evolved Packet Core) and 5GC (5G core) network functions into a common cloud-native platform that supports 5G technology. The 5G Core network architecture enables the increased throughput demand that 5G must support. The New 5G core utilizes SBA (service-based architecture) that spans across all 5G functions and all interactions including authentication, security, session management, and aggregation of traffic from end devices. With SDN (Software-defined networking) and NFV (Network Functions virtualization) supporting the underlying physical infrastructure. Cloud adoption in the network allows for the support of various services and network functions.
The 5G Core Network must be flexible, programmable, and distributed in nature to provide the utmost performance and efficiency gains. In 5GC, network functions are deployed as microservices. The 5G core network functions can be moved to the edge of the network which satisfies the low latency demands. In 5GC, Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning techniques are implemented to automate the core network, so in the core network automation is used to build the network.
5GC Network Architecture is represented in two ways: Reference point Architecture and Service-based Architecture. Reference point Architecture focuses on the interaction between pairs of network functions defined by point to point reference point. Service-based architecture is a new way of defining the architecture, it also includes point-to-point representation where it is required. In SBA, the interfaces are service-based that is why it is called service-based architecture.
- Broadband-like Mobile Service: Upgraded mobile service is among the most noticeable of the initial impacts of the 5G network rollout.
- Connectivity for Edge Computing: With the move to cloud-native 5G networks, enterprises can take advantage of computational power which allows more data to be processed and stored.
- Unleashing Artificial Intelligence: Applying Artificial Intelligence to an immense amount of data at scale will be accelerated with fast, efficient connectivity.
- Immersive Gaming and virtual reality: for gamers, 5G promises a more immersive future. HD live streaming will get a boost from 5G speeds , 5G gaming etc.
- Industry applications like Healthcare, Retail, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Logistics.
- Harnessing the power of IoT