Categories: technews

What is 5G Technology (How to revolutionize our lives)

Speaking from a basic physical formula

Before talking about what is 5G technology let’s start with a basic electromagnetic wave principle, that is: speed of light = wavelength x frequency. When the speed of light is fixed at 300,000 kilometers per second, the longer the wavelength, the fewer vibrations per second. In other words, the “wavelength” and “frequency” of electromagnetic waves are inversely proportional to each other.
Today’s “wireless communication” is the use of electromagnetic waves to exchange various information. Electromagnetic waves of different frequencies determine different characteristics and applications. We can learn a little bit from the “Communication Electromagnetic Wave Spectrum” below.
In terms of physical characteristics, the higher the frequency and the shorter the wavelength, the stronger the “penetration ability”. This is like the extremely high frequency of X-rays in a hospital, with a wavelength of only 0.01-10 nm, which can be used to penetrate the body. Part of the organization is the same. However, high-frequency signals have strong directivity. They will want to pass directly through obstacles instead of going around (that is, the “diffraction ability” is poor). Therefore, the energy consumption caused by the penetration of obstacles , It will also shorten the transmission distance.
From the current mainstream 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) point of view, the commonly used frequency bands are mostly concentrated in the range of 450MHz to 3,800MHz. However, because this interval is very crowded, we gradually moved our brain to the millimeter wave band between 30GHz and 300GHz, where the available frequency band resources are relatively abundant (in general, high frequency bands are “more likely” to have high frequency bandwidth, And then drive the increase of transmission speed).

Okay, let’s talk about what is 5G technology !

The so-called 5G communication refers to the 5th Generation Mobile Networks (5th Generation Mobile Networks), which is after the 4G communication technology is mature, we collectively refer to the next generation communication network, nothing more than the pursuit of faster speed and lower delay.
Although the international standard for 5G has not yet been fully determined, it can roughly cover two mainstream frequency bands, one is sub 6GHz (that is, below 6GHz), which is not much different from the 4G LTE frequency band we currently use; the other is at 24GHz The above is the ” millimeter wave ” frequency band that is often heard recently .
In other words, in fact, the 5G network combines the existing 4G LTE frequency band and is a heterogeneous network (HetNet). Through its main speed millimeter wave (mmWave) broadband technology, and the main low power consumption, wide coverage of sub 6GHz narrowband technology , it provides the most suitable wireless network in different environments to meet both short-distance and long-distance Communication requirements.
For example, when the field domain requires high frequency bandwidth (eMBB), low latency (URLLC) and other characteristics, it is suitable for the use of high-frequency millimeter wave frequency bands, such as self-driving cars, remote surgery and other application scenarios; the field domain requires low power consumption and large-scale coverage As well as stable connection and other characteristics (MMTC), it is more suitable for sub 6GHz low frequency band, such as related applications in smart cities.

One of 5G technology hot words: micro base station

When the communication technology is deployed to a higher frequency band, the diffraction ability of electromagnetic waves becomes weaker, and the transmission distance and coverage area will be relatively reduced. Therefore, unlike 4G, which has a lower frequency band, one large base station (Macro Cell) can cover 2-40 kilometers. In the 5G era, multiple small cells (Small Cell) must be used to cover the same area.

5G technology hot vocabulary 2: Massive MIMO

MIMO refers to “Multiple-Input Multiple-Output” (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output), that is, sending through multiple antennas and receiving through multiple antennas, making data transmission faster. According to the principle of electromagnetic waves, the shorter the wavelength, the smaller the antenna can be. In the 5G era, as the antenna gradually becomes millimeter-sized, we can pack more antennas into mobile terminals and micro base stations. , So that the existing MIMO is enhanced to Massive MIMO, and the speed is even higher.

5G technology hot vocabulary three: beamforming

The transmission of electromagnetic waves is like a glowing light bulb, which transmits signals around. However, usually we only need to transmit the signal in a certain direction, and most of the electromagnetic wave energy is wasted. So, is it possible for us to tie up these scattered electromagnetic waves? The answer is yes, it is called “Beamforming” (Beamforming).
Beamforming is a technology that transmits and receives signals directionally through an “antenna array”. It converts the existing omnidirectional coverage into precise directional transmission through the superposition of the transmitted or received signals in a specific direction. Not only does it extend the transmission distance, it also greatly reduces signal interference.

5G technology is hot, but commercialization is not yet clear

OK, the above are some important concepts of 5G technology including millimeter waves, micro base stations, Massive MIMO, beamforming, etc. With the evolution of these technologies, some long-standing applications such as VR live broadcast , car networking , drones, telemedicine, smart cities and other scenarios will have the opportunity to break through the threshold and emerge.
However, although 5G technology is currently in the market, it seems that the actual landing has not been so fast. In addition to the unresolved spectrum allocation in various countries, telecom operators have to take the risk of uncertainty to invest more in the cost of building base stations to accelerate the rate of penetration. Overall, the current commercialization of 5G technology is not yet clear, and related industry investment still needs to be viewed conservatively.

Hamza Akram

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