Last updated on : February 1st, 2020 by Techferal
Welcome to a brief guide of future cellular communication i.e. in the era of 5G mobile network or 5G cellular communication. In this brief guide of 5G technology, we will discuss what is 5G Technology? 5G speed, technology, architecture, implementation, and concerns.
5G is the next generation (i.e. fifth generation) wireless technology for digital cellular networks which beyond LTE (Long Term Evolution) mobile networks and began wide deployment in 2019.5G is fast becoming a reality in many parts of the world, while New revenue opportunities, Cost consideration, Dependencies are three factors that will affect the ease of implementation of 5G through the world.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has released several reports on the standards for the 5G network that it refers to as the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)-2020 network.
The 3GPP is a mobile industry standards body that created its own standards for 5G New Radio specifications, published in December 2017. Both mobile operators and vendors participate in the 3GPP specification process.
Top countries that implemented 5G include South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. Since the first commercial launches of the fifth generation of mobile networks in late 2018, while China becomes the world’s largest 5G network by launching the largest 5G network in Oct 2019. Countries such as Switzerland and Finland are at the forefront in the development of 5G, as they have limited deployment.
The same can be seen from the early 80’s 1G, 1990s-2G, 2000s-3G, 2010s-4G and now also in the era of 2020s next-generation 5G cellular communication implementation.
Basically EVDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) is the foundation of mobile broadband, which world has seen in 3G, 4G and now in 5G also.
5G 3GPP Architecture: The 3rd Generation Association Project (3GPP) covers telecommunications technologies, including radio access, central transportation networks and service capabilities.
Modularity, reuse and self-containment of network functions are additional design considerations for a 5G network architecture described by 3GPP specifications.
5G spectrum and frequency:
Multiple frequency ranges are being dedicated to the new 5G (NR) radio. The portion of the radio spectrum with frequencies between 30 GHz and 300 GHz is known as the millimeter-wave since the wavelengths range between 1 and 10 mm. Frequencies between 24 GHz and 100 GHz are now assigned to 5G in multiple regions of the world.
In addition to the millimeter-wave, UHF frequencies underused between 300 MHz and 3 GHz are also being reused for 5G. The diversity of frequencies used can be adapted to the unique applications taking into account that the higher frequencies are characterized by a greater bandwidth, although of smaller range. The millimeter-wave frequencies are ideal for densely populated areas, but ineffective for long-distance communication. Within these high and low-frequency bands dedicated to 5G, each operator has begun to create their own discrete individual portions of the 5G spectrum.
Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) is an important element of 5G architecture. MEC is an evolution in cloud computing that brings centralized data center applications to the edge of the network and, therefore, closer to end-users and their devices and the emergence of the Internet of things (IoT ).
MEC features include low latency, high bandwidth and real-time access to RAN information that distinguishes the 5G architecture from its predecessors. This convergence of RAN and central networks will require operators to take advantage of new approaches to network testing and validation.
5G networks based on the 3GPP 5G specifications are an ideal environment for the implementation of MEC. The 5G specifications define the enablers for perimeter computing, allowing MEC and 5G to route collaborative traffic.
NFV and 5G:
Network Function Virtualization (NFV) decouples hardware-software by replacing various network functions such as firewalls, load balancers and routers with virtualized instances that run as software. This eliminates the need to invest in many expensive hardware items and can also accelerate installation times, thus providing faster revenue generation services for the customer.
NFV can address other 5G challenges through virtualized computing, storage and network resources that are customized based on applications and customer segments.
5G RAN architecture:
The NFV concept extends to the radio access network (RAN) through, for example, the network disaggregation promoted by alliances such as O-RAN. This allows flexibility and creates new opportunities for competition, provides open interfaces and open source development, ultimately to facilitate the deployment of new features and technology with scale. The objective of the O-RAN alliance is to allow the implementation of multiple vendors with standard hardware in order to facilitate easier and foster interoperability.
The disaggregation of the network with the functional division also brings other cost benefits, particularly with the introduction of new interfaces such as eCPRI. The introduction of eCPRI interfaces presents a more cost-effective solution since fewer interfaces can be used to test multiple 5G carriers. The objective of eCPRI is to be a standardized 5G interface used, for example, in the O-RAN front transport interface, such as the DU. CPRI in contrast to eCPRI was developed for 4G, however, in many cases, it was vendor-specific, which made it problematic for operators.
Perhaps the key ingredient that allows taking advantage of the full potential of the 5G architecture is the network Slicing. This technology adds an additional dimension to the NFV domain by allowing multiple logical networks to run simultaneously on shared physical network infrastructure. This becomes an integral part of the 5G architecture by creating end-to-end virtual networks that include network and storage functions.
Network segmentation becomes extremely useful for applications such as IoT where the number of users can be extremely high, but the overall demand for bandwidth is low. The costs, resource management and flexibility of network configurations can be optimized with this level of customization now possible. In addition, the Network Slicing allows accelerated testing for potential new 5G services and faster time to market.
Another innovative technology integral to the success of 5G is EM wave beam formation. Conventional base stations have transmitted signals in multiple directions regardless of the position of specific users or devices. By using multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) arrays with dozens of small antennas combined in a single formation, signal processing algorithms can be used to determine the most efficient transmission path for each user, while packets Individuals can be sent in multiple addresses choreographed to reach the end-user in a predetermined sequence.
With 5G data transmission occupying the millimeter wave, the loss of free space propagation, proportional to the smallest antenna size, and the loss of diffraction, inherent in higher frequencies and lack of penetration into the wall, are significantly greater.
On the other hand, the smaller antenna size also allows much larger sets to occupy the same physical space. With each of these smaller antennas potentially reallocating the beam direction several times per millisecond, the formation of massive beams to withstand the challenges of 5G bandwidth becomes more feasible. With a higher antenna density in the same physical space, narrower beams can be achieved with massive MIMO, which provides a means to achieve high performance with more effective user tracking.
The 5G core network architecture is at the heart of the new 5G specification and allows for a higher performance demand that 5G must support. The new 5G core, as defined by 3GPP, uses a cloud-aligned service-based architecture (SBA) that encompasses all 5G functions and interactions, including authentication, security, session management, and traffic aggregation from end devices. The 5G core further emphasizes the NFV as a comprehensive design concept with virtualized software functions capable of being implemented using the MEC infrastructure that is central to 5G architectural principles.
Differences with 4G architecture:
The changes at the central level are among the myriad of architectural changes that accompany the change from 4G to 5G, including millimeter-wave migration, massive MIMO, network outage and essentially any other discrete element of the diverse 5G ecosystem. The 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is significantly different from the 5G core, with the 5G core taking advantage of virtualization and native cloud software design at unprecedented levels.
Among the other changes that differentiate the 5G core from its 4G predecessor are the user plane (UPF) function to decouple control of the packet gateway and user plane functions, and the access and mobility management function ( AMF) to separate session management functions from connection and mobility management tasks.
5G integration with LTE:
LTE Advanced is the basis of the next-generation 5G network. While 5G technologies are using the very high millimeter-wave radio spectrum, there will also be spectrum exchange with the LTE wavelengths. The use of mmWave bands will also be favored by existing macro and small LTE cell sites.
Self-organized networks (SON) are also a key factor in reducing network installation and administration costs by simplifying operational tasks. Other technologies, such as coordinated multipoint, which allow operators to have multiple sites that simultaneously transmit signals and process signals, will help limit interference between cells.
The 5G implementation will generate huge performance and application diversity benefits through the extensive use of cloud-based resources, virtualization, network segmentation, and other emerging technologies. With these changes come new security risks and additional "attack surfaces" exposed within the 5G security architecture.
Among the enhanced 5G security features detailed by 3GPP standards are unified authentication to decouple access point authentication, extensible authentication protocols to accommodate secure transactions, flexible security policies to address more use cases, and permanent identifiers of Subscriber (SUPI) to ensure privacy on the network.
The global wireless architecture created last century is being replaced by another generation of a mobile network that aims to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs. It is also a big bet on the future of transmission technology, doubling the willingness of consumers to update
Cars without driver: The autonomous vehicle (AV) requires one of the modern wireless infrastructures: it needs to connect people on the move with the computers they can rely on to save lives, with near-zero latency.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR): For a cloud-based server to provide a credible real-time sensory environment to a wireless user, as the manufacturer of mobile processors Qualcomm said in a recent presentation, the connection between that server and its user may need to provide up to 5 gigabits per second. of bandwidth, In addition, the computation-intensive nature of an AR workload may actually require that such workloads be directed to servers stationed closer to their users, in systems that are relatively free of similar workloads processed for other users. In other words, AR and VR may be more suitable for small cell implementations anyway.
Cloud Computing: The Internet is not only the conduit for content but the facilitator of connectivity in wide area networks (WAN). 5G wireless technology offers the potential to distribute cloud computing services much closer to users than most hyper-scale data centers in Amazon, Google or Microsoft. By doing so, 5G could turn telecommunications companies into competitors with these cloud providers, particularly for high-intensity critical workloads. This is the edge computing scenario that you may have heard about: bringing processing power forward, closer to the customer, minimizing latencies caused by distance. If latencies can be sufficiently eliminated, applications that currently require PCs could be relocated to smaller devices, perhaps even mobile devices that, in themselves, have less processing power than the average smartphone.
The spectrum used by several 5G proposals will be close to that of passive remote sensing, such as weather and Earth observation satellites, particularly for water vapor monitoring. Interference will occur and be potentially significant without effective controls. There was already an increase in interference with some other previous uses of the next band. Interference in satellite operations impairs the numerical performance of weather forecasting with substantially detrimental economic and public safety impacts in areas such as commercial aviation.
Health problems: the development of technology has generated a variety of responses regarding concerns that 5G radiation could have adverse health effects. The health problems related to radiation from cell phone towers and cell phones are not new. Although electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not recognized scientifically, it has been claimed that diffuse symptoms, such as headache and fatigue, are the result of exposure to electromagnetic fields such as those that carry 5G and Wi-Fi. 
However, 5G technology presents a couple of new problems that deviate from 4G technology, namely microwave frequencies higher than 2.6 GHz to 28 GHz, compared to the 700–2500 MHz typically used by 4G. Because the highest millimeter-wave used in 5G does not easily penetrate objects, this requires the installation of antennas every few hundred meters, which has generated concern among the public.
Dr. Paul Ben-Ishai, a member of the Department of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, recently detailed how human sweat ducts act as a series of helical antennas when exposed to 5G wavelengths. When this occurs, EM waves interact in complex ways, resulting in possible health effects.
On October 18, 2018, a team of researchers from ETH Zurich, the University of Lorraine and the University of Dundee published a document entitled, "A formal analysis of 5G authentication." He warned that 5G technology could open ground to a new era of security threats. The document described the technology as "immature and insufficiently proven," which "allows the movement and access of much higher amounts of data and, therefore, expands attack surfaces." Simultaneously, network security companies such as Fortinet, Arbor Networks, A10 Networks,  and Voxility  advised on custom and mixed security deployments against massive DDoS attacks planned after 5G deployment.
IoT Analytics estimated an increase in the number of IoT devices, enabled by 5G technology, from 7 billion in 2018 to 21.5 billion in 2025. This can raise the attack surface for these devices to a substantial scale, and the ability to DDoS attacks, crypto-jacking, and other cyber attacks could increase proportionally.
5G is collective bargaining between the telecommunications industry, society and Government bodies. To allow something close to a uniformly distributed coverage in a metropolitan area, the base stations that contain the transmitters and receivers (the "cells") must be smaller, much lower in power and much more numerous than today.
It would not be unprecedented in history. We carry telephone and electrical poles through our neighborhoods and, not long ago, we voluntarily installed kite-sized TV antennas in our fireplaces. Some of us still use their old mounting posts for our satellite dishes. In exchange for the imperious stain in our landscapes that 5G can bring, many would happily say goodbye to dead spots.
All these things must happen, and in relatively quick succession, as telecom service providers have no choice other than to afford the infrastructural overhaul and make the service available to new consumers.
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