5G is being considered for providing a wide range of new applications, device types and mobile experience; suggesting that the format of the mobile market and associated business models will change drastically. The commitment of 5G is really to achieve the following five major milestones for network operators.
Let us find out the big five facts network operators can expect from rolling out 5G.
1. Lower Latency and Higher Bandwidth
The 5G RAN confirmed latency as low as 1ms and up to 20 Gb/s of bandwidth. This allows network operators an opportunity to provide an excellent experience for applications like Gaming, Video Calling, HD Video Streaming, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Connected and autonomous cars.
2. Massive Internet of Things and Massive Machine Type Communications
One of the targets of the 5G architecture is to deliver a much larger number of devices in a given area. Support for higher density of devices allows service providers to enable smart cities, smart buildings, connected homes, and much more.
3. Network Slicing
5G use cases and services will vary in so many ways in their network requirements. Network Slicing is targeted to play a huge role in 5G by offering service providers the flexibility to take a virtual slice of the network to support different application needs. Some of the new 5G use cases such as autonomous cars might require ultra-low latency and higher bandwidth for efficient signal processing. Applications like remote health monitoring will require high reliability and low latency. Network slicing will support the service providers to create out dedicated network resources from the available infrastructure to meet the performance requirements of each service.
There are three standardized network slices defined by 3GPP:
- eMBB to support Web browsing, video streaming services, and third-party service providers
- Massive Internet of Things (MIoT) to support a large number of delay-tolerant and low data rate devices
- Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) to support Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) and other applications.
Additionally, service providers can define their own network slices using the standardized 3GPP framework.
4. Multiple Deployment Options
A 5G network consists of a Next-Generation Radio Access Network (NG-RAN) and a new core network (5GC). The flexibility of the 5G architecture allows for mixed deployments. For example, network providers can choose to evolve their networks by integrating Next Generation NodeBs into their current RAN and core or decide to roll out a standalone 5G option with 5G Next Generation NodeBs and a 5GC. They also have the flexibility to deploy a 5G RAN with a 4G LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and upgrade to a 5GC later.
5. Virtualization Benefits
Coupled with 5G, virtualization technologies like Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) will help service providers achieve scalability, service agility, and reduce costs. Virtualization technologies can be utilized in both the 5G RAN and the 5G Core. In fact, there are over a dozen network functions that can be virtualized by NFV and interconnected with SDN in 5G networks.
Virtualization in 5G will also unlock network capabilities like Network Slicing and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) to reduce end-to-end latency, alleviate network congestion, and improve application performance.