With the adoption of 3GPP Release 15 in June 2018, the definition of 5G standards has already been partially completed. But even before finalisation, industries were busy laying the foundations for new technologies and applications that take advantage of the performance enhancements and new uses that 5G networks bring.
As u-blox said in an earlier entry , the transition from 4G to 5G is about more than just speed. Of course, 5G networks will enable more than ten times faster data rates on smartphones. But perhaps the biggest impact will come from improvements on two other fronts, a highly reliable service with low latencies and a gigantic connectivity with unprecedented reach.
From Virtual Reality to the internet of skills
It may take a few more years for 5G to have an impact on your daily life, but when that happens, you'll definitely feel the difference. High data rates - up to several gigabytes per second - will change your communication habits and allow Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to leverage their much-praised potential. You'll be able to stream HD video on all your devices and take advantage of the cloud's computing power in a way that is still a dream of the future.
Extremely low latency of just half a millisecond, 99.999% up-time and predictable quality of service will enable critical applications that improve security and overall well-being. The communication of vehicles to pedestrians, to name but one option, will warn drivers when pedestrians cross the street. Other options include remote-controlled surgeries where surgeons can operate on a robotic arm to patients on the other side of the globe - this is just a fascinating example of the so-called Internet of Skills , enabling extremely secure and stable communication over 5G networks becomes.
Imagine the density of networked devices, which can then be expected in mobile networks. Our apartments, houses, cities and industries will all be interconnected. We too will be networked, with our wearables and all the other devices we use, connecting with social networks day in and day out. Combined, these will result in an explosive increase in networked devices per square kilometre, increased energy efficiency requirements, and a network reach for which 5G networks are predestined.
Innovation drives technology as well as technology drives innovation
A recent Ericsson white paper (Web Form Access) predicts 36% revenue growth for mobile network operators by 2026. Further forecasts are in other industries that are expected to achieve significantly higher sales increases as they digitise operations to better serve their customers' needs, increase their productivity and efficiency, and limit risks and therefore down-time.
At u-blox, it is already well off the mark in the race to 5G with our portfolio of LPWA technologies (low-power wide-area). LTE-M and NB-IoT , the best-known licensed LPWA technologies with mobile communications, will be forward compatible with 5G networks and are therefore key 5G components. Already today, they enable a new wave of IoT applications, primarily in the consumer goods and industrial goods markets.
But 5G looks very promising for the automotive industry as well. In V2X communication (Vehicle-to-Everything), 5G V2X (C-V2X) will extend capabilities with mobile, providing a very fast and reliable data connection between vehicles, infrastructures and pedestrians. C-V2X is expected to complement the 802.11p-based V2X technology ready for implementation. This will provide the basic connectivity for security-related applications that require real time.
With so much at stake, u-blox worked closely with other industry players in the 3GPP initiative to define the specifications of 5G technology and ensure that 5G standards meet the needs of emerging applications and services and there is still enough room for innovation. The 3GPP initiative passed the June 2015 Mobile Radio Standard Release June 15, 2012, incorporating the first business-critical features of 5G. The next time you should remember is December 2019. Then, the second phase of 5G NR radio standards in Release 16 is to be finalised.
If you as an end user are waiting for this impressive and exciting technology, then you need a little more patience. But if you hope to attract attention in your industry with the help of 5G technology, you should put this issue on the agenda, because there is a need for action - now.
Guest blog written by Sylvia Lu, Senior Engineer, Cellular Technology.
Courtesy of u-blox.