5G Technology: New Opportunities and New Problems

5G Technology: New Opportunities and New Problems

Progress does not stand still: people demand high speed Internet access, and thanks to IoT, an increasing number of equipment “wants” to connect to the global network. How to solve both problems at once? Consider further.

From time to time, the media truly delights with news about the upcoming 5G era. Customers are captivated by the claimed high-speed access. The Next Generation Alliance of Mobile Networks (NGMN is an association of mobile operators, suppliers, manufacturers and research institutes) defines the following requirements …

  • The data transfer rate is tens of Mbps for tens of thousands of users simultaneously.
  • Data transfer rate of 100 Mbit / s in terms of megacities.
  • Data transfer rate of 1 GBps simultaneously for many users on the same floor.
  • Simultaneous connection of hundreds of thousands of wireless sensors.
  • Higher spectral efficiency compared to 4G.
  • Improve coverage.
  • Improving the efficiency of signal transmission.
  • Significant reduction in latency compared to LTE.

The frequency spectrum approved by the FCC on July 14, 2016, includes the frequencies of 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz.

It should be noted that 5G exists only in the form of the fifteenth release of specifications and in periodic performance tests, for example, as in Japan.

5G Technology

Japan is testing 5G

The Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo has built a 5G network that can broadcast 8K video for VR glasses, according to the Internet resource.

Many of us are just starting to master the 4K image, but technology continues to evolve and the 8K resolution will be next for larger screens. For reference: the screen in the resolution of 8K by the number of pixels is equal to four screens in the resolution of 4K (8192 × 5120, aspect ratio 16:10, 41.9 Megapixels).

The broadcasting system allows you to broadcast VR-content with high graphic resolution from anywhere using 5G networks. The solution consists of an 8K 3D camera with 360-degree video recording capability, a Yamaha spherical 3D microphone with 64 audio recording channels, several data processing servers and a 5G base station. Note that the 3D camera broadcasts 9 video in 4K format at a time. Oculus Quest is proposed to use as client equipment.

To accomplish the task, taking into account the requirements for processing video and audio streams, as well as taking into account the bandwidth capabilities, NTT DoCoMo used the new 8K video encoder with 60FPS to limit the load.

Several real-time data processing servers convert 9 4K video streams of a 3D camera into 2 streams of 8K resolution in 3D format with a 360 degree panorama. Another server converts 64 sound channels of a 3D microphone into 36 channels of a 3D sound. Then all this is compressed and synchronized for streaming over 5G.

Virtual reality technology is just evolving. The long development is caused not only by high demands on the hardware, but also by the massiveness of the devices themselves. In such conditions it is difficult to talk about mobility, because no one wants to be “chained” to the PC with wires or constantly be in search of an excellent Wi-Fi signal.

5G public testing in the UK

Awesome news from Vodafone. Manchester Airport has launched public testing of 5G access technology. Especially for this purpose, the carrier has placed a portable Gigacube router in the airport terminal, which uses Massive MIMO technology. Its characteristic feature is the use of multi-element digital antenna arrays. In simple terms, user terminals will always be much smaller than base station antennas.

Vodafone also uses 5G Blast Pod. Using WiFi allows visitors to get an idea of the 5G using existing devices. Users are granted free access to the service NOW TV. As an example, it is proposed to download an episode from the recent Tin stars series in 45 seconds, and the entire series in about 6 minutes. On a 4G network, this would take more than 26 minutes.

Vodafone is planning to expand to other major airports and railway stations throughout the UK.

5G prospects and promises in the US

T-Mobile in their blog declare about the fight against Cableopoly (from Cable – cable and monopoly – monopoly) and insist that they can create an alternative to classical broadband access even in rural areas.

The motivation for this is the FCC report, which says that 28.9% of urban private houses and 61.1% of private houses in rural areas are connected to only one service provider or do not have access to the Internet at all. Talk about high-speed access in general is not necessary. The report details that 45% of private houses in cities and 76% of private houses in rural areas do not have high-speed access or services are provided by only one operator.

According to the business plan, by 2024, T-Mobile is going to connect more than 9.5 million subscribers to broadband services via 5G services.

In the near future, the company plans to begin the installation of 4G wireless routers operating on the TE Mobile LTE network. According to this pilot project called Home Internet, users deliver a T-Mobile In Home router for free. The task of the user is simple: unpack the equipment and turn on the network. In perspectives, the upgrade of the router to 2.5 GHz of the frequency spectrum and the ability to work in 5G networks is implied.


After publishing the results of the bandwidth test, the online community began an active discussion of the 5G competition with “wired” broadband and WiFi operators. The user will ask: “Why do I need wires when wireless access is several times faster?”

Technical experts of various organizations in the conversations on specialized Internet forums lead counter-arguments …

  • Frequencies used in the radio, channel width, the number of clients impose their own limitations on the operation of wireless base stations, especially in TDD mode.
  • Radio is a common environment, and it does not give any guarantees for speed or performance, unlike fiber-optic or copper cable.
  • Honeycomb operators also require the creation of microwave links to communicate with data centers and among themselves.
  • LTE already now delivers a speed of more than 100 megabits / s, and there is no massive outflow.
  • Routers for the distribution of LTE is not so much. Configuring the “modem + wireless router” connection is too complicated for most users.
  • There is no 5G yet and it will not be at least until 2024.

Experts in the field of radio accentuate that these speed records were achieved at high frequencies of 15 and 70 GHz, while the cellular network operates in the ranges from 453 to 2690 MHz. As a result, modern client mobile devices will not be able to work in 5G networks at the stated speeds. And what about telecom operators?

Replacing equipment

Telecom operators will be forced to make large-scale changes in the structure of their networks. To achieve the stated speeds on cell phone towers, it will be necessary to replace base stations and antennas, as well as PPC (radio bridge equipment between towers). It is expected that additional masts will be installed.

This implies that the network core will require updating such elements as BRAS, DPI, billing, CG-NAT, DNS and DHCP servers. There are several reasons:

  • Previously declared access speeds;
  • Introduction of dual stack IPv4 and IPv6, once promised support for the Internet of things.

Note that a change in the identification order is expected. The so-called 5G Subscription Permanent Identifies (according to the concept) will absorb IMEI and be supplemented with new network identifiers like MAC addresses. The old IMEI will be replaced by PEI (Permanent Equipment Identifier) – a permanent equipment identifier.


5G-networks and virtual reality technologies open up new opportunities in various activities, be it video games, broadcasting concerts and sports programs, medical surgeries and much more. If for the 5G subscriber these are solid benefits, for telecom operators there are new problems and tasks that can be already started to be solved by replacing the equipment and software of data networks.

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