5G Technologies: The Ultimate Top 10 Question List

Preparation for 5G is underway, with most Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) considering 5G as they build their networks. We talk about the impact of rolling out 5G and answering common questions by enterprises that adopt the technology.

  1. Will 5G Require Millions of Cells? The higher frequencies used by 5G networks cannot travel as far as the low frequencies we use today. What’s more, they do not readily penetrate physical obstacles like walls, trees, or bridges. To work around this problem, MNOs plan to deploy many cells that cover smaller areas. The cells will serve fewer people but will have higher speeds.
  2. Are 5G Smartphones Capable Of 10 Gb/s? Probably not from the start. Although 5G is technically capable of internet speeds of up to 10Gb/s, the existing mobile infrastructure cannot yet support millions of people at this speed. In most situations, this is fine. Today, streaming video is the application with the biggest appetite for bandwidth. Due to the limited pixels that a smartphone screen can utilize, mobile video does not require anything close to 10Gb/s. However, this speed allows for the future development of apps that require a higher rate.
  3. Is There A Market For 5G Backhaul? Today, most American MNOs use third-party service providers for their data backhaul. This market will likely continue with 5G, though at higher rates. Additionally, 5G backhaul will rely heavily on dark fiber instead of packet optical-based technology, particularly for higher prices.
  4. Will There Be a Spike in Video Traffic Generated By Internet of Things? The traffic depends on what the “thing” is. For instance, if you consider an HD surveillance camera that runs off a cellular network, there will be a lot of data generated. On the other hand, smaller things like temperature sensors generate less traffic, but since there will be billions of installed, the traffic will add up quickly. However, the number of IoT services is likely to be a more significant challenge than data capacity.
  5. Why Is There So Much Mobile Video Traffic? The main reason is the widespread use of HD cameras on mobile devices. These devices then feed content to Facebook, Tik Tok, and YouTube, which stream the video mainly to mobile devices. When Facebook introduced auto-play on its video content, there was a sudden, massive rise in mobile bandwidth consumption.
  6. Will 5G Change the Current Wireline Architecture Used For 4G backhaul? Any change depends on the rollout patterns adopted by Mobile Network Operators, the speed limits that they set, and the number of users they have on their networks. Typically, an MNO feeds a 1Gb/s line to each 4G cell site, with an average of between 200 and 300 Mb/s consumed by the sites. The same macro tower requires 10s to 100s of Gb/s with 5G, requiring massive capacity upgrades.
  7. How Will 5G Affect Wireless Deployment Patterns? 5G architecture enables cells to communicate directly whenever possible, eliminating the need to connect to a central packet core and eliminating a large amount of traffic. To facilitate communication, mobile cells could be wired together via the shortest possible path. However, for the foreseeable future, most traffic will emanate from a central location.
  8. Is the 5G Backbone Separate from 4G? There is no physical separation. For instance, if a service provider already has a 4G cell, they would simply add 5G hardware to their existing tower and share core network and aggregation to a central data center. Data could travel on different network paths or wavelengths, Optical VPNs, or L2/L3 VPNs. Having disparate systems for both is expensive, some parts of mobile networks will carry both 4G and 5G, and some 5G only.
  9. What Is the Relation between WiFi And 5G? The heterogeneous network expected to provide 5G networks with the necessary geographic coverage will include different types of cells, including small, femto, pico, and WiFi, which serve smaller areas through spectrum reuse. Regardless, people will still need WiFi to avoid exceeding their cellular data caps. We expect that MNOs will own many coffee-shop-type access points.
  10. How Does 5G Affect Backhaul Networks? Data sent to a 5G radio at a cell site will not move anywhere without fiber. For this reason, many of the large MNOs in America are setting up massive fiber footprints. Fiber rollout over large areas will ultimately determine the commercial success and performance of 5G applications and services. 5G requires a lot of fiber.

We live in a fascinating time, where technologies like 5G have the potential to link us to a seamless network where we can wirelessly connect all our devices and enhance our interactions. Altera Solutions gives your large or emerging enterprise access to the latest technology solutions that take advantage of 5G networks’ enhanced data-carrying capacity. Because we are vendor-neutral, we help you obtain only the best cybersecurity, telecom, data storage, and cloud computing resources for your organization.