5G marks a number of key differences from previous generations of mobile. Firstly, 5G was envisioned as support to a wider range of applications from high throughput (Gigabit enhanced mobile broadband), through to low latency (sub msec) and massive machine to machine communications for IoT.
Implementation of 5G
The use cases and key performance indicators were defined by the ITU-R. However, the implementation standards of 5G were not defined and several alternative approaches are possible. These range from extending existing licensed mobile standards as codified by the 3GPPP organisation, which has extended 4GLTE into 5G NR as the basis of most new smartphones for consumer applications, to the creation of ‘networks of networks’ for 5G vertical markets and use cases where existing wireless technologies (IEEE 802.11ac/ax/ad/ay as used in Wi-Fi) are augmented to exploit newly released license-exempt spectrum at mmWave (57-71 GHz) to provide gigabit grade performance. Therefore, the radio spectrum available range of 5G frequencies has been extended considerably, opening up new opportunities for private networks that may not always require licensed spectrum.
At the same time, the protocols and system architecture have also been designed to be more open than the previous mobile technologies and integrate more effectively with fibre networks. Examples here include the ability to use standard computer networking protocols (IPv6) and interfaces (Ethernet) and the move towards ORAN (open radio access network) to avoid the need for single vendor proprietary solutions.
The extension of the 5G frequencies with the addition of millimetre wave frequencies at 26, 28, 39 and 57-71 GHz adds more options for backhaul links from private networks back to the public infrastructure. The growing number of ORAN project are allowing network operators of all kinds to use a variety of different 3G, 4G and 5G radio systems from various hardware and software vendors.
All of this opens up significant opportunities across the smart city, perimeter security, high-speed transport and many other applications.
mmWave for innovation
mmWave in particular provides new opportunities for innovation. Much higher bandwidths are possible compared to further down the spectrum. This gigabit capability allows link aggregation within private networks to bring together the feeds from high resolution cameras, for example. In perimeter security or the smart city, this can combine multiple feeds without requiring expensive fibre optic connections to be installed.
As the links are wireless, the cameras can be easily moved around. This can be invaluable for public safety applications that may need to be re-located to deal with changing situations.
Instead of having large masts and base stations with fixed point to point links, private 5G networks can be easily deployed and use mmWave for the link aggregation back to the Internet. This gives tremendous flexibility in the network implementation for public safety, smart city and perimeter security applications.
The lower latency of the 5G protocols and the high bandwidth for link aggregation makes mmWave eminently suitable for providing Internet services of all kinds to high-speed transport as well. Providing high bandwidth links to connect high-speed trains delivers the services that passengers demand. Providing high resolution camera closed circuit feeds back from trains and buses avoids overwhelming other wireless networks and helps to keep staff and passengers safe.
Of course, all of this requires security. 5G protocols to provide security options and ways to further protect the network. The high frequencies and low power operation mean that mmWave can be difficult to intercept, 5G adds significant levels of security and network operators can also add security features on top.
Blu Wireless brings together the expertise in mmWave signal processing, module and system design and implementation, network software and security. This unique expertise allows network operators to bring together equipment from various vendors and connect easily and reliably to the public networks.
OpenRAN extends this further, allowing radio equipment and software from different vendors to be combined effectively, giving private 5G network developers significantly more technology options.
Get in touch with us today to find out more.