Every new generation of
wireless network delivers faster speed and more functionality to our smart
phones. 1G brought us the very first cell phones, 2G let us text for the first
time, 3G brought us online, and 4G delivered the speed that we enjoy today, but
as more user come online 4G networks just about to reach limit of what they are
capable of at the time when users want even more data for smart phones and
Now we are heading towards 5G the next generation of wireless. It will be able
to handle 1000 time more traffic then todays network, and will be 10 times
faster than 4G LTE. Just imagine downloading HD movie in under a second and then
let your imagination run wild. 5G will be the foundation of Virtual Reality,
Autonomous Driving, the internet of things, and stuff we can’t imagine, but
exactly what is the 5G network?
The truth is expert can’t tell what 5G is, because they don’t even know yet. But
right now there are 5 brand new technologies emerging as the foundation of 5G
such as Millimeter waver, Small cells, Massive MIMO, Beamforming, and Full
First, technology Millimeter Waves, your smart phones and other electronic
devices in your homes use very specific frequencies on radio frequency spectrum.
Typically those are under 6 gigahertz, but these frequencies are started to get
more crowded. Criers can only squeeze so many bits of data on same amount of
radio frequency spectrum. As more devices come online we are going to see slower
services and dropped connections. The solution is to open up some new realistic.
So researcher are experimenting with broadcast shorter millimeter waves. Those
who fall between 30 and 300 GHz. This section of spectrum never been used before
from available devises and opening it up means for everyone. But there is a
catch millimeter waves can’t travel well through buildings and other obstacles
and can be absorbs by plans and rains.
To get around this problem we need Small Cells networks. Today’s wireless
networks rely on high power cell towers to broadcast there signal over long
distances, but remember higher frequency millimeter waves have a hard time
travelling through obstacles. Which mean if you move behind one you loss
signals. Small cell networks will solve that problem using thousands of low
power mini base stations. These mini base stations will be much closer than
traditional towers. This would especially useful in cities as a user moves
walk behind the obstacles his smart phone will automatically switch to another
base station in better range of his device allowing him to keep connection.
Then Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) will come. Today 4G base
station has dozen ports for antenna that handles all cellular traffic, but
massive MIMO bases can support about a 100 ports. This can increase the capacity
of today’s network by factor of 22 or more. Off course massive MIMO comes with
its own complications. Today’s cellular antenna broadcast information in every
direction it wants, and all of us crossing signals can cause serious
This bring us the Beamforming technology. Beamforming is just like traffic
signals for cellular signals. Instead of broadcasting in every directions it
will allow base stations to send a focus stream of data to its specific users.
This precision presence interferenceand its way more efficient. That means
stations can handle more incoming and outgoing data at once.
Then comes Full Duplex technology. If you have ever used the walkie-talkie you
know that in order to communicate you have to take turns talking and listening.
That’s kind of drag. Today’s cellular companies’ base station have that exact
holdup. A basic antenna can do on job at a time either transmit or receive. This
is because of a basic principle called reciprocity which make the radio waves
moves forward and backward along with the same frequencies. To understand this
it helps to think of wave like a train loaded up with data. The frequency it’s
travelling on is like a train track, and if there is a second train trying to go
opposite direction of the same track they are going to get interference. Up till
now the solution has been to have train take turns or to put all trains on
different tracks or frequencies, but you can make things lot more efficient by
working around reciprocity.
Researchers have used silicon transistor to create high speed switches that hold
the backward role of these ways. It’s kind of signaling systems that can
momentarilyreroute trains so that they can pass each other. That mean there is
lot more done on each track a whole lot faster.
Experts are still working out many of kinks Millimeter Waves, Small cell
Networks, Massive MIMO, Beamforming and Full Duplex. Infect all of 5G is work in
progress. It will likely include other new technologies too, and making all this
systems together will be a whole other challenge, but if expert can figure that
out ultra-fast 5G services could arrive in next 5 years.