5G – The New Wireless World

<h1>5G – The New Wireless World</h1> post thumbnail image

Once upon a time, there was an age, an age of simple pleasure and little things. They formed our base of happiness. Then came the industrial revolution and technological advancements. And it changed our world. Our world got engulfed by extravagant gadgets and extraordinary technology. As for now what makes us happy are mobile phones and never-ending data pack; everything wireless. The more wireless we go, the more happiness we show.

Sorry, bad rhyme!

Let’s not get into more such bad rhymes anymore, but do spare a thought what will make you really happy?
Coming back to our wireless world; The next generation telecom networks (5G) has started hitting the market by end of 2018 and will continue to expand worldwide. Beyond just improvement 5G is expected to unleash a massive IoT ecosystem where networks can serve communication needs for billions of connected devices with the right trade-offs between speed, latency, and cost.

5G - The digital cluster

The Digital Cluster; 5G the new galaxy

What is 5G?

What difference will it really make to our lives, and how is it different from our recent technology?

5G is the latest generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G (LTE/WiMax). 5G will comprise of packet switched wireless systems using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). It will have wide area coverage along with high throughput at millimeter-wave ranging from 30 GHz – 300GHz. It will ideally enable 20Mbps speed up to 1.25miles. Thus it can provide “WWWW”, i.e., “wireless world wide web” applications. That means it will be a software-defined network, though it can’t really replace cables entirely but can replace the need for them. It will operate largely on cloud instead.

A highly flexible network

The WWWW allows a highly flexible network, bandwidth between 5 -20MHz, optimally up to 40MHz. Therefore, 5G will use high-frequency waves; employ intelligent antenna and the flexible modulation method. This will enable beamforming. It is the capacity of beamforming, that signals can be focused on areas with more data traffic. Now combine this with massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output. This will allow many users to share the same connection simultaneously with multiple antennas on a transmitter. Ideally, 5G would support a million devices per 0.4 miles.

5G - The Wireless World Wide Web

The Wireless World Wide Web

So as we can see it is quite different from the Gs we have been using so far. It’s so different that it has the potential to change the entire scenario of the telecom industry. Internet Protocol version 6 is used here. Here the IP address is assigned according to location and the connected network. Speed being one driving factor which is theoretically a 100x better than 4G. For example, if you downloaded a movie of 2hrs in 6mins now it will take just 3.5sec in 5G. Response time will also be dramatically faster, virtually with zero latency. In real time it takes 1msec to respond back which is 400x faster than the blink of the eye.

It has the ability to connect the user to different wireless access technologies, like 2.5G, 3G, 4G or 5G mobile networks, as well as Wi-Fi and WPAN (wireless personal area network). It will also have the ability to connect any other technology to be developed in the future. This is basically a concurrent data transfer path technique.

This will thus change the definition of automation in real life. IoT will become more and more powerful including not only automatic cars and smart homes but agricultural devices, medical instruments and what not.

Ban on Chinese telecommunication equipment in the USA

President Donald Trump is likely to sign an executive order. It will ban Chinese telecom equipment from being used for U.S. wireless networks. Trump administration’s plan to issue the directive as part of its core principles to protect the United States from external cyber threats, especially from China. During the Mobile World Congress starting on Feb-25 in barcelona, Trump administration is set to release the directive. It will signal the importance of cybersecurity in future high-end technology contracts.

As infrastructure for the next level internet i.e., 5th generation is expected to roll out soon. The U.S. is moving its needle towards security. Countries are racing to build 5G wireless internet. This would increase the speed with which devices communicate and supercharge the amount of data that can be transmitted. The giants Huawei and ZTE are big competitors in that field. Trump administration allegedly claims using hardware from such companies could provide backdoor access for the Chinese government into American networks.

The consequence

While 5G for common people are still under cover. Industries are looking up to it for an uninterrupted streamline. Whereas the USA is taking it up as its ‘Trump’ card for fierce wrestle against China. If Trump finally implements the ban on Chinese wireless equipment, the U.S. and European tech behemoths like Cisco Systems Inc., Nokia Corp., LM Ericsson, and Comtech Telecommunication Corp. will be primarily benefitted. Whereas companies like Apple Inc., or Verizon Communication Inc. would stand a loss. As they bought low-cost Chinese high-tech equipment for their profitability.

The U.S. doesn’t import from China a lot of telecoms equipment for wireless networks for the time being. According to the latest available figures from China Customs, the US imported US$38.9 billion of telecoms equipment in total in 2016. It is 19 percent of China’s total telecoms exports. So, unless the Executive order has something like an export ban that bars American firms from selling to Chinese tech firms as well, the domestic economic impact on China wouldn’t be major. But it will surely deteriorate the world rank of Chinese giants.

Greater functionality demands higher levels of technology

“If you don’t make your products smart they will become dinosaurs.” Well yes, this is said by me in this article but it has always been the mantra for the tech companies who are working day and night. Bringing 5G into mobiles will be a challenge in terms of board designing. Well, this is because consumers want slimmer and sleeker handsets making it very difficult to accommodate such a high-end technology. Slimmer boards have less error margin that will also pose a substantial problem with such high frequencies because of impedance. Signal degradation and noise will also be a driving factor for PCB designs. Also, propagation of the millimeter waves could also depend on seemingly minute characteristics of a PCB, such as the finish used for the conductors. With some materials commonly in use, the signal loss goes up along with the frequency, making them impractical for 5G applications.

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