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Amazing as it may seem after 2020 it will be necessary to support 1,000 times higher mobile data volume per area along with supporting new wireless broadband communication services coming from a plethora of different market segments. These requirements show the need for a new mobile generation, which is the impetus for developing the platform for Fifth Generation (5G) technologies.


Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society (METIS) is the research project partly funded by the European Commission under the Framework Programme 7 (FP7).  METIS’ goal is to develop a foundation for wireless communication systems after 2020 providing the technical enablers essential to overcome the very challenging requirements foreseen by both the scope of the project and its time frame.


The 5G system as seen by METIS must:
  • Surpass significantly today’s system in its efficiency of energy, cost, and resource utilization.
  • Support a significant diversity of requirements (e.g., payload size, availability, mobility, and Quality-of-Service (QoS)), etc
  • Augment scalability in terms of number of connected devices, densely deployed access points, spectrum usage, energy, and cost.


METIS has established the following technical goals derived from the above objectives:
  • 1,000 times higher mobile data volume per area,
  • 10 to 100 times higher typical user data rate,
  • 10 to 100 times higher number of connected devices,
  • 10 times longer battery life for low-power devices,
  • 5 times reduced end-to-end (E2E) latency, reaching a target of 5 ms for road safety applications.


According to the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) to qualify for a 5G connection one should meet most of these eight criteria:
  1. One to 10Gbps connections to end points in the field
  2. One millisecond end-to-end round trip delay
  3. 1000x bandwidth per unit area
  4. 10 to 100x number of connected devices
  5. (Perception of) 99.999 percent availability
  6. (Perception of) 100 percent coverage
  7. 90 percent reduction in network energy usage
  8. Up to ten-year battery life for low power, machine-type devices


The buzz word 5G often relays a misconception that 5G simply means super-fast data speeds. That’s because the early testing so far has emphasized how much faster 5G will be than today’s existing technology.


AT&T for example has announced that they believe 5G speeds will be measured in gigabits per second instead of megabits per second. This means an exponential boost of up to 100 times faster than the current speeds of 4G LTE. So what takes minutes to download now will only take a few seconds once the next generation of wireless technology is rolled out.


To comprehend how much faster a  gigabit connection is than any data speeds experienced presently we turn to Google’s claims that even at a rate of one gigabit per second, one can download a full HD movie in less than two minutes.


Aside from speed what are the other very significant advantages and potential for 5G?


Massive machine communications (MMC) will provide up- and down-scalable connectivity solutions for tens of billions of network-enabled devices. One of the biggest improvements one will see in 5G is the flexibility to support many different types of devices some already developed, others to be developed. In addition to routine connecting to phones and tablets, 5G will need to support an expanding market of wearable devices like fitness trackers and smart watches, smart-home gadgets and all sorts of sensors. It is estimated by some that in the future “every person will have 10 to 100 machines they need to work for them.”  As a sub set of MMC is the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT)

  1. The IOT represents the world of  devices, vehicles, home appliances, that is, any items embedded with electronic sensors which enable these objects to connect and exchange information.
  2. The IOT allows objects to be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure.   This includes medical sensing devices like heart monitoring implants or  “smart” assignations as smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities or transponders on to track animals or cameras streaming live feeds of wild animals in coastal waters.
  3. Self Driving Automobiles otherwise known as Vehicle to Vehicle, Device and Infrastructure (V2X) and driver assistance services demand communication between the vehicles and their environment  in order to improve road safety and traffic efficiency in the future. Such V2X services require reliable communication links that enable the transmission of data packets with guaranteed maximum latencies even at high vehicle speeds. Currently, self-driving cars rely on cellular towers to determine their location and where other cars are to avoid accidents. But because of latency problems, “driving” self-driving cars is a painfully slow process. The risk of accidents is also high because a self-driving vehicle is already traveling 4 feet at about 60 miles per hour before a message is received. The car could have collided with other vehicles by then.


Ultra-reliable Communications

Ultra-reliable communications (URC) will enable high degrees of availability. End-to-end performance refers to how reliably and consistently the cellular radio in a smartphone can maintain connections with the servers from which it retrieves information. URC will provide scalable and cost-efficient solutions for networks supporting services with extreme requirements on availability and reliability in employing device-to-device (D2D) solutions for public safety and proximity-based services applications.


5G is still in development, but many companies have started creating 5G products and field testing them such as Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Ericsson and BT, with growing numbers of companies forming 5G partnerships and pledging money to continue to research into 5G and its applications. Contact Pentech today for more information!


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