5G Introduction

In this post we will discuss 5G Introduction. 5G is the fifth generation mobile network. It enables higher data rates for users with less latency compared to previous generations. In addition it enables many uses that were not applicable in previous generations.

5G Introduction – Main Uses

Let's explore the main uses of 5G network. There are three main uses for using 5G,

5G Introduction - main uses
5G Introduction - main uses

1. Enhanced Mobile Broad-Band (eMBB)

  • Provides high connection speeds for users reaching 10Gbps instead of 1Gbps in 4G network.

2. Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC)

  • Provides the ability to connect massive number of devices to the network, with low power consumption in those devises.
  • This is used in IoT (Internet of Things) as example, where we need to connect massive number of devices to the network, with low power consumption.
  • 5G provides the capability to connect 1,000,000 devices in every square KM, compared to 100,000 devices in 4G.

3. Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC)

  • Provides the ability for providing very reliable, and very low latency communication between devices.
  • This is helpful in many cases where communication reliability should be guaranteed, and latency should be as low as possible between connected devices, such as self driving cars, drone control, remote surgeries, …etc.
  • The latency in 5G could be as low as 1 mSec, compared to 10 mSec in 4G.

5G Introduction - Frequency ranges

First we should know that, when we use higher frequencies to send the radio signal, the following will occur

  • The capability to provide more throughput for the users will increase.
  • The cell size will be smaller. Therefore, the number of users in every cell will be fewer.
  • The wave propagation and penetration capability will be limited, which means that the  radio signal may not be able to reach people inside the buildings.

5G is working in two Frequency Ranges.

  • The first Frequency range is from 450 MHz to 7.125 GHz, it is used where the wave should have high capability of propagation and penetration (Indoors as example).
  • The second frequency range is the millimeter waves. The range of the millimeter waves is from 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz. This frequency range allows 5G to provide very high throughput for users.
  • Because this frequency range is very high, the cell size will be very small. The provider can overcome this issue by using a few technologies like 'massive MIMO' and 'Beam-forming'.

5G Introduction - network deployment

In order for the service provider to deploy 5G network , it has two options,

Those options are non-standalone (NSA) deployment, and standalone (SA) deployment.

As we know, the mobile network contains the access network, and the core network.

Mobile Network
Mobile Network
  • The access network provides the radio interface to UE
  • And the access network connects to the core network, that contains the main nodes that control the mobile network.

In 4G, the access network contains the eNB, which provides the radio interface to the UEs. And the core network is the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network.

4G mobile network
4G mobile network

While in 5G, the access network contains the gNB, which provides the radio interface to the UE. And the core network in 5G is the 5G Core.

5G mobile network
5G mobile network

1. Non-Standalone (NSA) deployment

5G introduction - NSA deployment
5G introduction - NSA deployment
  • This option is developed to fasten the process of introducing 5G network to customers. In this option, the provider deploys only the access network of 5G (gNBs), and the gNB connects to the core network of 4G.

2. Standalone deployment  (SA)

5G introduction - SA deployment
5G introduction - SA deployment
  • In this option, the service provider deploys both the access network of 5G (gNBs), and the core network of 5G (5G Core). In turn, the gNB connects to 5G Core.
  • Therefore, we will have two separated networks, the first one is the 4G network, and the second one is the 5G network. And the user can move between 4G and 5G using inter-RAT handover.