A Primer for 5G
A Primer for 5G
5G communication is just around the corner. Let's examine the specs of this new standard and how it will impact mobile users, driverless cars, and the Industrial Internet.
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Self-propelled cars and autonomous robots should communicate with each other at lightning speed. This requires faster networks. From 2020 on, the 5G network should be available for mobile users.
Facts About 5G
Peak downlink rate: 20 Gbps
Peak uplink rate: 10 Gbps
Minimum data rate for end users in the downlink: 100 Mbps
Minimum data rate for end users in the uplink: 50 Mbps
Delay time: Not more than four milliseconds
Connection density: Up to 1 million devices per square kilometer. Reduction of energy consumption to one-tenth of today's systems. Increasing the relative speed of movement to 500 km/h.
But What Does This Reality of This Gigabit Society Look Like?
The technology should provide users with faster mobile Internet with low transmission times. Some companies already plan to install the first commercial 5G networks this year. In 2019, 5G should be available in a wider area. So far, however, there are only tests that serve to resolve any problems that occur. In the future, data will flow through power grids, above the clouds, and in micro-data centers along the roadside towards smartphones and voice assistants. "We are pioneers at 5G," explained Claudia Nemat, board member for technology and innovation at Deutsche Telekom. "Last year alone, we laid 40,000 kilometers of glass fiber in Germany, more than the total network of federal highways has kilometers. We were the first in Europe to bring 5G antennas into the real mobile network."
Soccer in the Stadium Live on All Smartphones of the Audience
An example of the concrete use of the 5G network: At the moment, it would cost a lot of money to equip many cameras from different positions with fiber optics in a football stadium. With the new standard, it would be possible to connect such cameras directly to the mobile network, prepare the content locally, and send it directly to the smartphones or tablets of all 50,000 viewers. Then, every football fan could follow the game from completely different positions in real time. Such a scenario requires extremely high bandwidth (10 gigabits per second) and very low latency (one millisecond). Today, a maximum of 700 devices can log into a radio cell. With 5G, it could be 10,000.
Real-Time Data Transmission in a Moving Car
Autonomous driving should be possible in the future. However, for cars to be able to travel without a driver at all, vehicles must be passed from one radio cell to the next without any interruptions. At the same time, vehicles must communicate with traffic lights or update map data in real-time while driving. All this is only possible with an extremely fast and secure data connection like 5G. Only then can cars be controlled by algorithms and can sensors communicate with each other.
Steer Cars With the Tablet
BMW showed in Barcelona its electric car i3, which requires only one destination for driving and the release to start. As part of a showcase, visitors could ride in the i3. In the future, for example, nobody will park their cars anymore — the car will do it for themselves. A meeting point will be determined in the associated smartphone app. At the touch of a button, the i3 rolled up. The display greeted the passenger by name, aned the car unlocked via touchscreen. A human being is no longer at the front of the wheel, but in the back seat. Via a tablet in the rear, the car is started, but the car starts only when all doors are locked and the passengers are strapped in. The address is given in the smartphone before the BMW knows its destination and starts.
You cannot intervene or operate the brake, you have to get used to it. The car drives autonomously, but the drive can be stopped at any time via tablet. Of course, when full autonomous driving will be possible is still unknown. But this shows what the new mobile radio standard can do. The successor to 4G reaches a data transfer rate of 10 gigabits per second, which is 30 times faster than LTE. More decisive, however, is the latency: It should be at most one millisecond. In other words, machines controlled by 5G react in real time to control pulses, and humans no longer notice any delay.
Gigantic Infrastructure, Gigantic Costs
High costs are incurred worldwide for the required infrastructure: Estimates for Europe alone are estimated at over € 500 billion. An example: Korea Telecom networked with Intel at the Olympic Games. Both companies built 22 5G networks and invested a lot of money to test, live, how video signals and large amounts of data can be transferred quickly. The telecom network also currently has over 700,000 kilometers of fiber in Europe.
In 2017, the company invested over 7 billion euros in Europe. In the US, Nokia and T-Mobile US are building a national 5G network that supports different frequency bands. The 5G equipment from Nokia should be used. In addition, Nokia plans to expand T-Mobile's existing LTE network and deploy the new Radio Access Network (RAN) radio standard for 4G and 5G customers.
Security Becomes Even More Important
One of the sensitive areas of this key technology is reliability. For example, if a patient's life depends on a data connection, it must always work reliably. Because billions of devices are connected to the Internet, that also means there are a variety of potential security vulnerabilities. And for mobile devices, 5G connections will grow more than 1000 percent between 2020 and 2021. This means that the number of 5G devices will increase from 2.3 million in 2020 to more than 25 million in 2021.
The Opportunities and Risks Are Great
At some point, it has to be clarified when and how companies can earn money with the 5G network and who should pay for it all.
The expansion is expensive.
So that no dead spots in the connection arise, many more towers must be built. Is it really worth it in all areas of the province? Do you really need seamless data connections everywhere? And are consumers ready to pay higher prices?
5G will not find its true distribution through fast smartphones — most users will find that the current LTE standard will be enough if it works smoothly everywhere. 5G should be many times faster than LTE. This is good for companies that want to network cars and factories. But not every person needs a connection of 10 Gigabits per second on their smartphone. Rather, 5G gets the drive through the industries that want to network cars and factories.
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