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...that mobile networks are about to get even faster? 5G is set to follow 4G and LTE. It is currently still in development, but was tested at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and should be market-ready by 2020.

The fifth generation of mobile communications should offer the following characteristics:

  • Data rates of up to 10 Gbps
  • Real-time transmission, 100 billion mobile devices worldwide all accessible simultaneously
  • Increased availability thanks to greater coverage and higher reliability
  • Use of higher frequency ranges
  • Increased frequency capacity and data throughput
  • Latencies of under 1 ms
  • Compatibility with machines and devices
  • Reduction of energy consumption for each transmitted bit (1/1000) and 90 percent lower energy consumption per mobile service.

More 5G facts

The 5G mobile network will be built upon the existing 4G standard. Alongside "device to device" communication, the radio cells for 5G will be developed closer together, which should help reduce the amount of connection terminations and latencies.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) believe that 5G will help increase network intelligence. This means a dynamic network management in order to be able to place and install new functions in the network as needed.

However, as 5G also integrates existing networks into a highly dynamic network far beyond mobile communications, the main applications are not private, but predominantly commercial ones. There are three clear application clusters, each leading to different network characteristics:

  • Internet of Things (IoT): A great number of end devices (sensors, sensor clusters) require simultaneous access to the network.
  • Mission critical or ultra reliable networks: These will be used in civil protection or to control critical infrastructures, such as the supply of electricity, for example. Networks such as these require high security standards, a high quality of service and low latencies.
  • Massive multimedia (video streaming, virtual and augmented reality): High bandwidths are required here above all else. 5G will be able to meet the requirements of any application through network intelligence and network virtualization.

For private users, the 5G standard will result in improvements in video and music streaming while on the move, for example. Currently, network connections on ICE trains tend to be spotty. 5G should enable transmission in high-speed trains (up to 500 km/h) and airplanes (up to 1,000 km/h). Other important applications could include mobile video in autonomous vehicles or augmented reality. (pu)

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