Pervasive Connectivity: the need for flexible networks

As wireless technology continues to evolve to meet ever changing needs, 5G providers realise that the next phase will require more than just high speeds. The next dramatic shift on the horizon will be towards flexible 5G networks with high-capacity and high-bandwidth capabilities.


Lessons learned from previous deployments

It has become clear that the overall network needs to work seamlessly across multiple technologies, with 5G not just being a new radio access standard, but an innovation that gives the ability to integrate multiple networks serving many different sectors and applications. From multimedia and virtual reality / augmented reality to Machine-to-Machine (M2M), the Internet of Things (IoT), public safety, high-speed transport, defence, and Smart Cities. This is achieved by allowing the 3GPP new radio standards (5G-NR) to work alongside, and complementary to fibre, mmWave, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LoRaWAN etc., creating a network of networks.

New millimetre frequency bands in particular create excellent opportunities for developers and operators. Ultra-high bandwidth and low latency links in the unlicensed bands can be combined with traditional telecoms networks giving operators and businesses the power to select the right combination of wireless technologies for their applications where these high bandwidth unlicensed bands are an ideal fit.


Maximising efficiency

Instead of replacing what already exists or pushing a single technology, it’s more efficient and effective to integrate the many cellular and Wi-Fi networks we already have into one universal product. One day we will see flexible, heterogeneous networks made up of devices and connections from different providers, technologies and protocols, that can function together under the same united network. By developing flexible designs like this, unlicensed mmWave equipment can also be applied to a number of unique use cases, like high-speed trains and cars, 5G backhaul for private networks, defence or public safety systems.

The current rollout of open networks in the 6GHz band will see much more focus on network flexibility, with tremendous opportunities across many different wireless technologies. Making this seamless is a key challenge though and requires a detailed understanding of the technologies from the beginning of the link to the end, as well as sophisticated programmability. This knowledge of the end-to-end requirements across an ecosystem of 5G hardware, software and systems is vital, but rare.

The key is to find the right solution for the right application and at the right price, so no matter the situation, excellent coverage can be provided with the appropriate technology. This goal of connectivity via any medium that is appropriate for the area or purpose, leads to a need for complementary combination of 3GPP waveforms, Wi-Fi, mmWave, fibre, satellite etc., which so far has been the missing element.


Looking ahead

Flexible 5G network innovation will extend into many different areas, from Industry 4.0, oil and gas, and mining, to public safety communications systems, as well as the more established 5G backhaul and enterprise broadband applications. As the infrastructure built on this technology becomes more and more useful, more people will look to access and use it, increasing its profitability and generating a virtuous cycle.

With its speed, reliability and ease of implementation, 5G mmWave is set to drive many exciting developments across multiple industries. By making it readily available to everyone, connectivity networks can be widely expanded to bring societal benefits too. Overcoming the digital divide and delivering higher connection speeds across urban and rural areas, ensures that society as a whole can benefit from the innovative applications that rely on such high bandwidths. Unlicensed mmWave technology is a key opportunity to bring all kinds of wireless networks together to create a seamless infrastructure for multiple markets.

At Blu Wireless, we’ve been developing 5G mmWave technology for over ten years. Over that time, we have developed a deep understanding of how it can be applied to meet the needs of the most demanding applications. We offer a unique combination of expertise, systems, and fully combined, ready to deploy, equipment.

If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch with us today.