At of the end of December 2019, there were nine billion mobile connections globally, the vast majority of which were LTE. With 5.22 billion LTE connections, that equates to a global penetration rate of 118% and an LTE penetration rate of 68%2, based on a world population of 7.7 billion people. 5G network connection numbers are also healthy, currently surging with over 5.2 million 5G subscriptions projected for the end of the year. This number is expected to increase to 1.9 billion at the end of 2024, which represents up to 21% of the world’s population. The first 5G smartphones were launched in December 2018 to coincide with the launch of 5G networks in South Korea. 5G, or “Fi
At of the end of December 2019, there were nine billion mobile connections globally, the vast majority of which were LTE. With 5.22 billion LTE connections, that equates to a global penetration rate of 118% and an LTE penetration rate of 68%2, based on a world population of 7.7 billion people. 5G network connection numbers are also healthy, currently surging with over 5.2 million 5G subscriptions projected for the end of the year. This number is expected to increase to 1.9 billion at the end of 2024, which represents up to 21% of the world’s population. The first 5G smartphones were launched in December 2018 to coincide with the launch of 5G networks in South Korea. 5G, or “Fifth Generation” mobile wireless technologies, are projected to be a disruptive force central to the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 5G network infrastructure consists of macro- and small-cell base stations. Traditionally to serve a wide area, Macrocells are the cell towers that are used. The network functions that typically runs on the hardware acts as software in a 5G network. While the new physical infrastructure is being built, this allows carriers to begin offering improved services.
Standalone infrastructures and non-standalone (NSA) are the two infrastructure choices for a 5G network. To bring some new technology like 5G New Radio (NR) a non-standalone infrastructure relies partially on existing 4G LTE infrastructure. In NSA, architecture has existing LTE infrastructure and core network, along with the 5G RAN and the 5G NR interface work. That means the network has the abilities provided by 5G NR, like lower latency while only LTE services are supported. Standalone infrastructure has its own cloud-native network core that connects to the NR that and does not rely on LTE networks. Network carriers it is expected that after moving through an NSA infrastructure to arrive at a standalone infrastructure.
The backbone of the hardware is mainly consisted of small cells and RAN cells. A considerable amount of construction is required in Small cell base stations in a 5G infrastructure. These antennas are planned for areas where the number of devices is high such as urban settings, to blend in with the existing landscape and take very small space. The higher band radio frequency spectrum with millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies are transmitted and received by these small cell antennas. More information is carried faster by high-band frequencies but over shorter distances. They must be densely arranged and do not cover much area as such. To help expand the mmWave signal’s reach, Beamforming is used. Focused beams directed at the target are made of Radio signals. While avoiding interference from other radio waves to maximize the signal quality is the main goal. The RAN plays a role in covering medium and large geographic areas in 5G networks and is a key element of cellular communications. Mid- and lower-band radio frequencies are focused on by 5G RAN. Sub-6 GHz frequencies is one of the example of such frequencies. These frequencies carry less data but can cover a larger area. Therefore the area where the congestion is less i.e. the area with small population allowing for higher speeds with a more dispersed infrastructure will use this part of 5G infrastructure more often. Third one is “All-in-One” type. This one consists of different frequencies which are interlinked to form union of legal frequencies and with the introduction new 5G NR bands into one random which has led to the use of one antenna per sector supporting Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD). One of the distinguished feature of FDD is to transmit data to the user and to receive from the other ones. Whereas the transmission and reception of data is done on one frequency band only in TDD but at different times.
For a radio-based communication network, a Radio Access Technology or (RAT) is the fundamental physical connection method. UMTS, wi-fi, Bluetooth, and GSM, LTE or 5G NR (New Radio) are different types of RATs supported in one mobile by many modern mobile phones. Several LTE-related features developed within six different work items: enhancements for LTE-MTC, NB-IoT, DL MIMO efficiency, mobility, performance in high speed scenarios, and 5G terrestrial broadcasts. In the future, operators might migrate from LTE to NR for mobile-broadband services but may need to maintain LTE operations to provide service to legacy massive-MTC devices. In these cases, it is important to enable efficient spectrum co-existence between NR and LTE-MTC. Consequently, the 3GPP Release16 activities also include performance improvements in terms of NR/LTE-MTC co-existence. Some of the intended use cases are Public Safety, V2X applications, IP4/IP6 multicast delivery, IPTV, software delivery over wireless, group communication IoT. In more details the work item will, for example, include the specification of Group-scheduling mechanisms, Dynamic change between multicast and unicast delivery, Means for improved reliability of broadcast/multicast services.
There are multiple studies and work items that are being proposed, approved, or progressing, in various stages and working groups in 3GPP as of this writing. Improving the operational efficiency of the radio-access technology. In parallel, Release 16 introduces new capabilities extending NR towards new verticals. Some key features of NR Release 16 are: - Support for Integrated Access/Backhaul (IAB) extending NR to support also the wireless backhaul, thereby enabling, for example, rapid deployment of NR cells and new ways to provide NR coverage in areas with sparse fiber density - Support for NR operation in unlicensed spectrum, both in form of license assisted access where an NR carrier in unlicensed spectrum complement and operates jointly with a carrier (NR or LTE) in licensed spectrum, and stand-alone operation, - Enhanced support for V2X, URLLC, and Industrial IoT, thereby extending/enhancing the applicability of NR to new usage scenarios including factory automation and transport industry. In Release 17addition to general enhancements of current features, several new Release 17 features have been outlined in this paper including: - Extending the operation of NR to spectrum above 52.6 GHz to 71 GHZ - Introducing Reduced Capability NR devices (NR-Light, i.e. enabling services with a UE complexity/capability trade-off in-between the conventional high-quality eMBB services and the low-complexity services enabled LTE-MTC and NB-IoT). - Enhanced Dynamic Spectrum Sharing - Multi-Sim devices - More advanced Sidelink communications - Small data capabilities - Enabling broadcast/multicast services within NR - Support for non-terrestrial networks (i.e. a satellite component of NR).