What is 5G: Characteristics, Frequency Bands and Performance

Without a doubt, 5G is the future of telecommunications, it offers us improvements over previous generations of communications with practically no buts. More speed, less latency and no loss of performance by connecting multiple devices to the same phone antenna. Can we ask for more? Today in this article we bring you a complete article where we will talk about all the details about 5G technology that is just around the corner.

History of 5G technology until today

Over the last few years we have read a huge amount of news that tells us about the future advantages of 5G networks . A collation of this, many companies have taken advantage of the wake of such news, to announce their news on chips, technologies and all kinds of projects that will be carried out for the next generation of 5G mobile networks. Among all the agglomeration of information from so many different sources, we will only have to pay attention to a single authority, the 3GPP , who has been in charge of defining the standard that will give shape to 5G networks in the coming years.

5G: Characteristics

The 3GPP is the international organization that governs mobile communication standards. Finally, 3GPP approved the joint standard to the final specifications for 5G mobile networks in its final version called New Radio (NR) . This means that the 5G mobile network standard will be a standalone network system that will not be supported by currently existing network systems .

Accordingly, all companies must prepare their products under the specifications of these new rules for 5G networks. Of all the bulk of news among which it is easy to get lost, which is worth noting of the news related to 5G networks, is what was finally approved in 2017, which was the standard for 5G networks called “non-standalone ”, A version that is not independent and that should be supported by the already structured 4G / LTE antenna network that is already installed.

5G networks are preparing for deployment and although the fifth generation mobile network standard had yet to be defined, it was expected that, by the end of 2018, operators and equipment manufacturers were already preparing to begin a deployment expected to 2020, and, so it has been. In order not to be left behind in this technology, countries like Spain have already prepared national plans to deploy the infrastructure.

This new 5G NR standard, called “standalone” , will allow having a telecommunications infrastructure where right now there is no communication with networks, not even 4G / LTE, that is, a system will be built from scratch to create a real and functional network with the 5G standard.

Despite the fact that there are currently many users for whom 4G is still a distant dream, manufacturers and operators are already taking this into account and looking over it. Today’s 4G networks offer us up to about 300 Mbps of download, they do not seem to be enough for future demands and the industry is already preparing the new leap, the arrival of 5G.

A new technology with which manufacturers are practically starting to be parents of their first devices for this technology that has already shown that it can offer up to more than 7 Gbps in real environments.

Georg Mayer, President of 3GPP CT, mentioned:

“The result is an amazing set of standards that will not only provide higher data speeds and bandwidth to end customers, but will also be open and flexible enough to meet the communication needs of different industries: 5G will be the platform for integration for heterogeneous companies . »

At this point the two specifications of the two variants of 5G networks are clear, the standard is officially finished and the interesting part of it is the one that involves the most work. With this, we will forget about small “monopolies” of developments in different companies when creating their own standards, now everyone must follow the same rules created by the 3GPP for the manufacture of all its components and products.

Now companies and various members of the telecommunications industry can already base their new projects on homogeneous manufacturing rules for all their hardware, infrastructure, chips, modems, smartphones, and antennas so that everything is compatible with this new cutting-edge current. , 5G mobile networks. All these implementations see their light at the end of the tunnel in 2020 , and at this point, is where the small war for the frequency bidding begins, which now having defined the standard for the frequencies of the different governments can get down to work and thus be able to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks in each of the participating countries.

The 5G frequency spectrum auctions in 2018 are already assigned . In this way, it is expected that by 2020 we can begin to benefit from a technology that will not have anything to mention only on our mobile phones, but could be a real revolution in emerging technology sectors, such as the IoT , or “Internet of things ”, And any device network connected to the Internet using this new standard.

In any case, until these dates arrive and the standard is established, it is normal for manufacturers to continue doing their tests. This means that the achievement announced by Samsung could soon be surpassed by others, while the speed limits of this type of connection are being explored.

The first steps of 5G networks in the world

With all the aforementioned news from the last few years about the 5G mobile network, just one year after the 5G standard begins to arrive in some parts of the world, there is a huge fight between the technological giants which they boast whenever they can. his most recent achievements. It was the Korean giant Samsung who was the last to do it.

The Korean multinational has proclaimed that it has obtained a speed through 5G of 1.7Gbps on a moving train according to the Fossbytes meter . This is a great milestone, not only due to the fact that communication was successful on a moving train, but because, and here comes the part that Samsung celebrates the most, it has been able to overcome competitors such as the Titan of Intel which Introduced a 5G modem capable of transmitting data efficiently at a rate of 1.6 Gbps.

This speed test has been the result of last October a train was made in Saitama, Japan. The train was in motion at a speed of 100 km / h , and the objective of the Japanese operator KDDI, which intends to market the 5G mobile standard in 2020, was to download a video with 8K resolution on the way between two Japanese stations which were separated by 1.5 kilometers.

Prior to this official experiment, both companies tried to carry out the test on a train at 60 km / h, but have decided to increase the acceleration and speed of this train so that it is as analogous as possible to what this technology will face in 2020. In the same 2020, the Olympic Games will be held in Japan and all the events broadcast are intended to do so in 8K resolution, hence the video chosen for the test download was of the same resolution.

And for those who want to dream even more, researchers at the University of Surrey, in the United Kingdom, have achieved a record out of all pools, 1 Tbps down . In your case we talk about tests in an isolated environment, with a transmission only 100 meters away, everything points to the fact that in the future the results of this type of transmission will not differ much from these results, you just have to give time to perfect this technology that, after all, has not yet been fully born.

5G technology goals for this year 2020

As we have been saying, until 2020 it is very likely that this technology will not start to reach everyone, but the machinery is already in operation so that it arrives as soon as possible. With 4G still in deployment, at least in countries like Spain, almost all manufacturers of network devices have already set specific dates to start working with the 5G standard. As originally specified, until 2016 it was time for research, testing and prototyping . With the arrival of 2018 the new 5G standard should be clear and defined , 2019 would be used in product development and finally 2020 would be used for infrastructure deployment .

Improving the speed and latency of 4G LTE networks

Perhaps the clearest objective is speed, we want vertigo speeds s i, but we not only want to settle for that, we want a minimum latency , that is, a really quality connection. The goal of each of the generations of mobile networks that we have seen pass has been to multiply the connection speed, but there is much more behind the new standard. We no longer want just to offer a speed that we practically do not need, we also want the connections to gain in quality, that is, the points to work on are the number of terminals that can provide an efficient service for each antenna simultaneously, and reduce the latency of communications.

But not only in speed does this new standard live, latency is one of the most important points in the 5G networks of the future. We are talking about that in theoretical values we must be very close to the millisecond, the answer to what we are looking for with this is simple, to improve the quality of communication, in online games the improvement would be evident, but leaving aside that world, the world Videoconferencing would undoubtedly be one of the most advantageous, for videoconferences it is vital to have a minimum latency to obtain the least possible delay and thus maintain fluid communication and be able to work with someone who is very far from us, for example. The world of videoconferencing will take a huge leap, since we will be able to establish communication very quickly, and will facilitate any type of action that we carry out such as distance classes, remote machinery operation or work meetings.

High speed and low latency are not the only challenges posed by this new technology. The first small stumbling block is that all countries agree to see what frequency and in which band they will go to the 5G network, so that the spectrum corresponding to each country is free. Perhaps the most serious problem that arises is that being Frequencies as high, do not penetrate the buildings as they should to achieve adequate communication, a problem that we will have to wait for the deployment to see the scope of it. However, it is expected that we will also have 5G available in the 700MHz band in 2020.

Another important problem also, perhaps more at the user level, but latent at all levels, is the battery consumption of the devices when using this communication standard, the manufacturers promise that it will decrease. Another problem to observe is the cost of the deployment, South Korea and Europe have already announced that the common goal is to begin the deployment of infrastructure in 2020, although operators will also have the task of investing, and as it is clear they will look at how make the aforementioned investments in infrastructure profitable.

Smartphones will notice the change, but not only them

Surely after reading this, the first thing we think about is the speed with which we can download, for example, a movie on our mobile, or that we can finally use any video chat without interruptions, cuts or delays, thanks to 5G. But the real big leap that we will take thanks to this new standard will come from the hand of communication between machines. Mobile networks were designed for communication between people, but with the arrival of 5G we will see a great change in many other areas without a doubt.

Two points are those that designate the generation of 5G as the generation of machines. The first point is undoubtedly the communication speeds of which we have spoken before, which are not speeds that will be distributed among all the devices connected to the same antenna, but rather that the antenna base stations will be able to deliver said speed at each connected terminal, thus eliminating the problem they have right now, for example, antennas near large population centers.

When we talk about this, we immediately think of hundreds of people with their mobile phones in hand, but the growth of connected devices that will arrive between now and 2020 (such as cars, watches, clothes and an infinity of objects that will remain to arrive) just They will represent a small part of the devices connected to the antenna bases.

And the point we have left that makes the 5G generation the machine age is undoubtedly the ability to work with different types and generations of networks. In practice, devices compatible with the fifth generation of networks will be able to switch to another network (be it a mobile network, Wi-Fi or another type of network) without the user perceiving the change with a cut in their device.

5G at MWC 2019

With this whole world still under investigation by manufacturers and operators, the Mobile World Congress will mark the start of the expected race towards 5G . Samsung along with the Korean operator SK Telecom will undoubtedly try to leave us open-mouthed with several demonstrations in the field of 5G that still seems to be far on the way.

We are convinced that we will be the only ones who allow themselves to be seen bringing something of this standard, we must be attentive to all the turn that the next generation of mobile networks will take, we all want to continue at the tip of the spear.