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5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G performance targets high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity. The first phase of 5G specifications in Release-15 will be completed by March 2019 to accommodate the early commercial deployment. The second phase in Release-16 is due to be completed by March 2020 for submission to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a candidate of IMT-2020 technology.[1]

5th generation mobile network (5G) logo.jpg
3GPP's 5G logo
International standardIMT-2020
Developed byITU

The ITU IMT-2020 specification demand for speeds up to 20 gigabits per second, achievable with millimeter waves of 15 gigahertz and higher frequency.[citation needed] 3GPP is going to submit 5G NR (New Radio) as its 5G communication standard proposal. 5G New Radio can include lower frequencies, from 600 MHz to 6 GHz. However, the speeds in these lower frequencies are only slightly higher than new 4G systems, estimated at 15% to 50% faster.[2]


Performance targetsEdit

5G systems in line with IMT-2020 specifications,[3] are expected to provide enhanced device and network-level capabilities, tightly coupled with intended applications. The following eight parameters are key capabilities for IMT-2020 5G:

Capability Description 5G target Usage scenario
Peak data rate Maximum achievable data rate 20 Gbit/s eMBB
User experienced data rate Achievable data rate across the coverage area 1 Gbit/s eMBB
Latency Radio network contribution to packet travel time 1 ms URLLC
Mobility Maximum speed for handoff and QoS requirements 500 km/h eMBB/URLLC
Connection density Total number of devices per unit area 106/km2 MMTC
Energy efficiency Data sent/received per unit energy consumption (by device or network) Equal to 4G eMBB
Spectrum efficiency Throughput per unit wireless bandwidth and per network cell 3–4x 4G eMBB
Area traffic capacity Total traffic across coverage area 1000 (Mbit/s)/m2 eMBB

Note that, for 5G NR, according to 3GPP specification when using spectrum below 6 GHz, the performance would be closer to 4G.

Usage scenarioEdit

ITU-R have defined three main types of usage scenario that the capability of 5G NR is expected to enable. They are Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), and Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC).[4]

Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)Edit

Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) refers to the use case of using 5G as an evolution to 4G LTE mobile broadband services with faster connection with higher throughput and more capacity. 5G would need to deliver higher capacity, enhance connectivity, and higher user mobility to match these demands, which would require capbilities in the above table with eMMB mark to deliver.[5]

Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC)Edit

Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC)Edit



5G promises superior speeds in most conditions to the 4G network. Qualcomm presented a simulation at Mobile World Congress[6][7][8] that predicts 490 Mbit/s median speeds for 3.5 GHz 5G Massive MIMO and 1.4 Gbit/s median speed for 28 GHz mmWave.[9] 5G NR speed in sub-6 GHz bands can be slightly higher than the 4G with a similar amount of spectrum and antennas,[10][11] though some 3GPP 5G networks will be slower than some advanced 4G networks, such as T-Mobile's LTE/LAA network, which achieves 500+ Mbit/s in Manhattan.[12]

The 5G specification allows LAA (License Assisted Access) as well but it has not yet been demonstrated. Adding LAA to an existing 4G configuration can add hundreds of megabits per second to the speed, but this is an extension of 4G, not a new part of the 5G standard.[12]

Low communication latencyEdit

Latency is the time it takes to pass a message from sender to receiver.[13] Low communication latency is one improvement in 5G. Lower latency could help 5G mobile networks enable things such as multiplayer mobile gaming, factory robots, self-driving cars and other tasks demanding quick response.

New use casesEdit

Features of 5G network, including extreme high bandwidth, ultra low latency, and high density connections, are expected to enable many new use cases that are impossible to be done via older network standards.[14]


Initially, the term was defined by the International Telecommunication Union's IMT-2020 standard, which required a theoretical peak download capacity of 20 gigabits, along with other requirements for 5G networks.[15] Then, the industry standards group 3GPP have prepared the 5G NR (New Radio) standard together with LTE as their proposal for submission to the IMT-2020 standard.[16][17]

ITU has divided 5G network services into three categories: enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) or handsets; Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC), which includes industrial applications and autonomous vehicles; and Massive Machine Type Communications (MMTC) or sensors.[18] Initial 5G deployments will focus on eMBB[19] and fixed wireless,[20] which makes use of many of the same capabilities as eMBB. 5G will use spectrum in the existing LTE frequency range (600 MHz to 6 GHz) and also in millimeter wave(mmWave) bands (24–86 GHz). 5G technologies have to satisfy ITU IMT-2020 requirements and/or 3GPP Release 15;[citation needed] while IMT-2020 specifies data rates of 20 Gbit/s, 5G speed in sub-6 GHz bands is similar to 4G.[10][11]

IEEE covers several areas of 5G with a core focus in wireline sections between the Remote Radio Head (RRH) and Base Band Unit (BBU). The 1914.1 standards focus on network architecture and dividing the connection between the RRU and BBU into two key sections. Radio Unit (RU) to the Distributor Unit (DU) being the NGFI-I (Next Generation Fronthaul Interface) and the DU to the Central Unit (CU) being the NGFI-II interface allowing a more diverse and cost-effective network. NGFI-I and NGFI-II have defined performance values which should be compiled to ensure different traffic types defined by the ITU are capable of being carried. 1914.3 standard is creating a new Ethernet frame format capable of carrying IQ data in a much more efficient way depending on the functional split utilized. This is based on the 3GPP definition of functional splits. Multiple network synchronization standards within the IEEE groups are being updated to ensure network timing accuracy at the RU is maintained to a level required for the traffic carried over it.

Air interfaceEdit

5G NREdit

5G NR (New Radio) is a new air interface developed for the 5G network.[21] It is supposed to be the global standard for the air interface of 5G networks.[22]

Pre-standard implementationsEdit

  • 5GTF: The 5G network implemented by American carrier Verizon for Fixed Wireless Access in late 2010s uses an pre-standard specification known as 5GTF (Verizon 5G Technical Forum). The 5G service provided to customers in this standard is incompatible with 5G NR. There are plans to upgrade 5GTF to 5G NR "Once [it] meets our strict specifications for our customers," according to Verizon.[23]
  • 5G-SIG: It is another pre-standard specification of 5G developed by KT Corporation. It is the version of implementation deployed at Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.[24]


3GPP is going to submit evolution of NB-IoT and eMTC(LTE-M) as the 5G technology for the LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) use case.[25]

3GPP 5G phasesEdit

Phases 3GPP releases
Phase 1 Release 15
Phase 2 Release 16


Development of 5G is being led by companies[26] such as[27] Huawei,[28] Intel[citation needed] and Qualcomm[citation needed] for modem technology and Nokia,[citation needed] Ericsson,[citation needed] ZTE,[citation needed] Cisco,[citation needed] and Samsung[citation needed] for infrastructure.

Worldwide commercial launch is expected in 2020. Numerous operators have demonstrated 5G as well, including Korea Telecom for the 2018 Winter Olympics[29][30] and Telstra at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[31] In the United States, the four major carriers have all announced deployments: AT&T's[32] millimeter wave commercial deployments in 2018, Verizon's 5G fixed wireless launches in four U.S. cities and millimeter-wave deployments,[33] Sprint's launch in the 2.5 GHz band, and T-Mobile's 600 MHz 5G launch in 30 cities.[34] Vodafone performed the first UK trials in April 2018 using mid-band spectrum,[35] and China Telecom's initial 5G buildout in 2018 will use mid-band spectrum as well.[36]. The world first service of 5G was in South Korea, as the South Korean telecoms deployed it all at once on the first day of December, 2018.[37]

Beyond mobile operator networks, 5G is also expected to be widely utilized for private networks with applications in industrial IoT, enterprise networking, and critical communications.


In order to support increased throughput requirements of 5G, large quantities of new spectrum (5G NR frequency bands) have been allocated to 5G, particularly in millimeter wave bands.[38] For example, in July 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States freed up vast amounts of bandwidth in underutilised high-band spectrum for 5G. The Spectrum Frontiers Proposal (SFP) doubled the amount of millimeter-wave (mmWave) unlicensed spectrum to 14 GHz and created four times the amount of flexible, mobile-use spectrum the FCC had licensed to date.[39] In March 2018, European Union lawmakers agreed to open up the 3.6 and 26 GHz bands by 2020.[40]

5G modemsEdit

Traditional cellular modem suppliers have significant investment in the 5G modem market. Qualcomm announced its X50 5G Modem in October 2016,[41] and in November 2017, Intel announced its XMM8000 series of 5G modems, including the XMM8060 modem, both of which have expected productization dates in 2019.[42][43] In February 2018, Huawei announced the Balong 5G01 terminal device[44] with an expected launch date for 5G-enabled mobile phones of 2018[45] and Mediatek announced its own 5G solutions targeted at 2020 production.[46] Samsung is also working on the Exynos 5G modem, but has not announced a production date.[47]

Modes of deploymentEdit

Initial 5G NR launches will depend on existing LTE 4G infrastructure in non-standalone (NSA) mode, before maturation of the standalone (SA) mode with the 5G core network.

Non-Standalone modeEdit

Non-Standalone (NSA) mode of 5G NR refers to an option of 5G NR deployment that dependent on the control plane of existing LTE network for control functions, while 5G NR exclusively focused on user plane.[48][49] The advantage of doing so is reported to speed up 5G adaption, however some operators and vendors have criticized prioritizing the introduction of 5G NR NSA on the grounds that it could hinder the implementation of the standalone mode of the network.[50]

Standalone modeEdit

Standalone (SA) mode of 5G NR refers to using 5G cells for both signalling and information transfer.[48] It includes the new 5G Packet Core architecture instead of relying on the 4G Evolved Package Core.[51][52] It mean it would allow the deployment of 5G without LTE network.[53] It is expected to have lower cost, better efficiency, and assist development of new use cases.[54]


New radio frequenciesEdit

The air interface defined by 3GPP for 5G is known as New Radio (NR), and the specification is subdivided into two frequency bands, FR1 (<6 GHz) and FR2 (mmWave),[55] each with different capabilities.

Frequency range 1 (< 6 GHz)Edit

The maximum channel bandwidth defined for FR1 is 100 MHz. Note that beginning with Release 10, LTE supports 100 MHz carrier aggregation (five x 20 MHz channels.) FR1 supports a maximum modulation format of 256-QAM while LTE has a maximum of 64-QAM, meaning 5G achieves significant throughput improvements relative to LTE in the sub-6 GHz bands. However LTE-Advanced already uses 256-QAM, eliminating the advantage of 5G in FR1.

Frequency range 2 (24–86 GHz)Edit

The maximum channel bandwidth defined for FR2 is 400 MHz, with two-channel aggregation supported in 3GPP Release 15. The maximum phy rate potentially supported by this configuration is approximately 40 Gbit/s. In Europe, 24.25–27.5 GHz is the proposed frequencies range.[56]

Massive MIMOEdit

Massive MIMO (multiple input and multiple output) antennas increases sector throughput and capacity density using large numbers of antennae and Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO). Each antenna is individually-controlled and may embed radio transceiver components. Nokia claimed a five-fold increase in the capacity increase for a 64-Tx/64-Rx antenna system. The term "massive MIMO" was first coined by Nokia Bell Labs researcher Dr. Thomas L. Marzetta in 2010, and has been launched in 4G networks, such as Softbank in Japan.[citation needed]

Edge computingEdit

Edge computing is a method of optimizing cloud computing systems "by taking the control of computing applications, data, and services away from some central nodes (the "core area"). In a 5G network, it would promote faster speeds and low latency data transfer on edge devices.[57]

Small cellEdit


Radio convergenceEdit

One benefit of the transition to 5G is the convergence of multiple networking functions to achieve cost, power and complexity reductions. LTE has targeted convergence with Wi-Fi via various efforts, such as License Assisted Access (LAA) and LTE-WLAN Aggregation (LWA), but the differing capabilities of cellular and Wi-Fi have limited the scope of convergence. However, significant improvement in cellular performance specifications in 5G, combined with migration from Distributed Radio Access Network (D-RAN) to Cloud- or Centralized-RAN (C-RAN) and rollout of cellular small cells can potentially narrow the gap between Wi-Fi and cellular networks in dense and indoor deployments. Radio convergence could result in sharing ranging from the aggregation of cellular and Wi-Fi channels to the use of a single silicon device for multiple radio access technologies.

NOMA (Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access)Edit

NOMA (Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access) is a proposed multiple access technique for future cellular systems. In this, same time, frequency, and spreading-code resources are shared by the multiple users via allocation of power. The entire bandwidth can be exploited by each user in NOMA for entire communication time due to which latency has been reduced and users' data rates can be increased. For multiple access, the power domain has been used by NOMA in which different power levels are used to serve different users. 3GPP also included NOMA in LTE-A due to its spectral efficiency and is known as multiuser superposition transmission (MUST) which is two user special case of NOMA.[58]


Channel codingEdit

The channel coding techniques for 5G NR have changed from Turbo in 4G to Polar for the control channel and LDPC for the data channel. 5G Channel Coding.[59]


In various part of the world, carriers have launched numerous differently branded technologies like "5G Project" or "5G Evolution" which advertise improving existing networks with the use of "5G technology".[60][61] However, these pre-5G networks are actually existing improvement on specification of LTE networks that are not exclusive to 5G.[62][63]


In September 2017, 180 individuals identified as scientists and doctorates[64] from around the globe collaborated to begin a petition[65] to stop 5G's deployment due to the expected high density of small towers necessitated by the use of millimeter waves in 5G standard which have lower penetration.[66] Some cities have blocked deployment of 5G because of health and safety concern even when smaller cells that individually emit less radiation than 4G and older-generation cells.[67]

Regional progressEdit

A variety of operators have announced 5G NR trials and network launches. (Comprehensive list of 5G NR networks.)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "TELCOMA GLOBAL | 5g Technology Introduction". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ Dave. "5G NR Only 25% to 50% Faster, Not Truly a New Generation". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  3. ^ "IMT Vision – Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond" (PDF).
  4. ^ "5G—It's Not Here Yet, But Closer Than You Think". 31 October 2017.
  5. ^ What is enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)
  6. ^ "Qualcomm's simulated 5G tests shows how fast real-world speeds could actually be". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  7. ^ "Qualcomm simulated real-world 5G LTE, and it's fast". Android Authority. 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  8. ^ "Qualcomm's Simulated 5G Tests Shows How Fast Real-world Speeds Could Actually Be - Slashdot". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  9. ^ Dave. "Confirmation: 28 GHz 5G 1.4 Gbps Median: 3.5 GHz 5G Massive MIMO 490 Mbps". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  10. ^ a b Dave. "No 'Material Difference Between 5G & LTE'". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  11. ^ a b Dave. "5G NR Only 25% to 50% Faster, Not Truly a New Generation". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  12. ^ a b "T-Mobile's LAA Creates Screaming Fast Speeds in NYC". PCMAG. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
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  15. ^ "Minimum requirements related to technical performance for IMT-2020 radio interface(s)" (PDF).
  16. ^ "The first real 5G specification has officially been completed". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  17. ^ Flynn, Kevin. "Workshop on 3GPP submission towards IMT-2020".
  18. ^ "Huawei 5G Network Architecture Whitepaper" (PDF).
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  20. ^ "Are you Ready for 5G?".
  21. ^ "What is 5G New Radio (5G NR)".
  22. ^ "Making 5G New Radio (NR) a Reality – The Global 5G Standard - IEEE Communications Society".
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  25. ^ "With LTE-M and NB-IoT You're Already on the Path to 5G".
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  34. ^ "T-Mobile Building Out 5G in 30 Cities This Year…and That's Just the Start – Company Announcement -". Retrieved 2018-02-28.
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  36. ^ "China Telecom Eyes 2M+ Base Stations for 5G | Light Reading". Light Reading. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  37. ^ "Korea launches 5G service today". koreatimes. 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  38. ^ "5G Spectrum Recommendations" (PDF).
  39. ^ "FCC Spectrum Frontier Proposal | NYU WIRELESS". NYU WIRELESS. 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  40. ^ Foo Yun Chee (3 March 2018). "EU countries, lawmakers strike deal to open up spectrum for 5G". Reuters. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
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  43. ^ "Global OEMs Select Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G NR Modem Family for Mobile Device Launches in 2019". 2018-02-08.
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  46. ^ "MediaTek and China Mobile Announce Collaboration to Develop 5G Devices for Pre-Commercial Launch in 2019". 2018-11-07.
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  60. ^ Tomás, Juan Pedro (9 September 2016). "SoftBank launches 5G Project in Japan".
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  62. ^ "3 Fast Facts: How 5G Will Change the Channel". 19 February 2018.
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  64. ^ "Scientists And Physicians Send Appeal About 5G Rollout And Health Dangers To The European Union".
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External linksEdit