How Different Will 5G Be from 4G?

By

Though it is early to specify what characteristics future fifth generation (5G) mobile networks will feature, at least some think 5G will be the first next-generation mobile network with a specific applications focus and the first mobile platform that erases performance differences with fixed networks.

It is hard to say how much of that change will be based on mobile network performance - but it should be about a thousand times better than what was possible in 2010 - or how much that result occurs because all networks will interoperate, allowing all devices to connect to, and use, whatever resources are available.

Though 5G would not be the first next-generation mobile network to enable new apps, 5G arguably will be the first such network built with a specific category of applications in mind.

In some ways more dramatic, at least some observers predict 5G also will erase the distinction between “fixed” and “mobile” networks, with “capabilities and performances of mobile networks becoming similar to those of fixed networks in terms of capacity and services diversity,” argues the 5G “Public Private Partnership”  a new European 5G initiative.

That might sound fanciful, were it not the case that small cells, carrier and other Wi-Fi resources, ideally, will allow devices to interwork seamlessly, erasing, from a user standpoint, the difference between “using a fixed network and using a mobile network.”

Essentially, all those techniques shift bandwidth demand from “mobile” to “fixed” access.

The other change is the deliberate architecting of network standards to support both machine-to-machine apps (Internet of Things) and person-to-person communications.

5G will be about the Internet of Things, argues Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president. If that prediction turns out to be correct, 5G will be the first next-generation mobile network defined by applications, not just air interfaces and bandwidth. “It will also offer totally new possibilities to connect people, and also things - being cars, houses, energy infrastructures,” Kroes argues. “All of them at once, wherever you and they are."

One might argue those sorts of comments also are part of a political agenda. Perhaps oddly, the mobile infrastructure business now is lead by European and Chinese firms. So initiatives related to 5G arguably are part of an effort to keep Europe at the forefront of mobile infrastructure businesses in the future.

On the other hand, initiatives such as the 5G “Public Private Partnership”  also speak to a fear that Europe fell behind in 4G device and application innovation and leadership. And, as always, the positive impact on economic growth and jobs are part of the rationale for pushing ahead in 5G.

Within Europe, the 5G PPP also believes, “revenue from mobile data services compensates for the declines in total spending for both the fixed and mobile voice services markets.” In other words, traditional fixed network and mobile network revenues are shrinking, and growth has to be lead by mobile data services and applications. 




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Coding and Invention Made Fun

By: Special Guest    10/12/2018

SAM is a series of kits that integrates hardware and software with the Internet. Combining wireless building blocks composed of sensors and actors con…

Read More

Facebook Marketplace Now Leverages AI

By: Paula Bernier    10/3/2018

Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Facebook's announcement this week is just another example of how this …

Read More

Oct. 17 Webinar to Address Apache Spark Benefits, Tools

By: Paula Bernier    10/2/2018

In the upcoming webinar "Apache Spark: The New Enterprise Backbone for ETL, Batch and Real-time Streaming," industry experts will offer details on clo…

Read More

It's Black and White: Cybercriminals Are Spending 10x More Than Enterprises to Control, Disrupt and Steal

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/26/2018

In a stunning new report by Carbon Black, "Hacking, Escalating Attacks and The Role of Threat Hunting" the company revealed that 92% of UK companies s…

Read More

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More