Every new generation of wireless networks delivers faster speeds and more functionality to our smartphones than the last one. 1G brought us very first cell phones, 2G let us text first time, 3G brought us online and 4G delivered the speeds that we enjoy today. But as more users come online, 4G networks have just about reached the limit of what they’re capable of. At a time when user wants even more data so, we’re heading towards 5G technology, the next generation of network technology.
It will be able to hit a thousand times more traffic than today’s networks. Moreover, it will be up to 10 times faster 4G LTE. Just imagine downloading an HD movie in under a second and then let your imagination run wild. That’s what the coming generation will do. 5G technology will be the foundation for virtual reality, autonomous driving, the internet of things and stuff we can’t even imagine.
What exactly is a 5G Network Technology?
The 5G technology is the amalgamation of various individual technology that serves as a stepping stone to reach here. However, the research is not yet complete and the technology is still under development phase. Look at the below points to know more.
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1. Millimeter Waves in 5G
Your smartphone and other electronic devices in your houses use very specific frequencies on the radio frequency spectrum typically those under 6 gigahertz. But these frequencies are starting to get more crowded. Carriers can only squeeze so many bits of data on the same amount of radio frequency spectrum as more devices come online.
We’re going to start to see slower services and more dropped connections. The solution is to open up some new real estate researchers to experiment with broadcasting on shorter millimeter waves those that fall between 30 and 300 gigahertz. This section of the spectrum has never ever been used before for mobile devices. Opening it up means more bandwidth for everyone. But there’s a catch millimeter-wave that can’t travel well through buildings or other obstacles and they tend to be absorbed by plants and rain to get around this problem we’ll need technology number 2.
2. Role of SmallCell Networks in 5G Technology
The wireless networks rely on large high powered cell towers for broadcasting their signals over long distances. But, remember higher-frequencies millimeter waves have a harder time traveling through obstacles which means if you move behind the one you lose your signal. Small Cell networks will solve that problem by using thousands of low power mini-base stations.
These base stations will closer than traditional towers forming a sort of relay team to transmit signals around obstacles. This would especially be useful in cities because the user’s smartphone will automatically switch to a new base station in a better range, allowing him to keep his connection.
3. Massive MIMO
The MIMO stands for multiple-input-multiple-output. Today’s 4G base stations have about a dozen ports for antennas that handle all cellular traffic. But massive MIMO base stations can support about a hundred ports. So, this could increase the capacity of today’s network by a factor of 22 or more. Of course, massive MIMO comes with its own complications. Today’s cellular antennas broadcast information in every direction at once and all of those crossing signals could cause serious interference which brings us to the next technology.
Beamforming is like the traffic signaling system for cellular signal. Instead of broadcasting in every direction, it would allow a base station to send focus steam of data to a specified user. This precision prevents interference and it’s way more efficient, which means stations could handle more incoming and outgoing data streams at once.
Here’s how it works say you’re in a cluster of building and you are trying to make a phone call. Your signal is ricocheting off of surrounding buildings and the crossing other signals from the users in the area of massive MIMO. The base station receives all of these signals and keeps track of the timing and direction of their arrival. It’ll then uses signal processing algorithms to triangulate exactly where each signal is coming from also plots the best transmission route back through the air to each phone.
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Sometimes it’ll bounce individual packets of data in different directions off of buildings or other objects to keep signals from interfering with each other. The result is the coherent data stream that will only be sent to you.
5. Full Duplex
If you’ve ever used a walkie talkie, you know that in order to communicate, you have to take turns. Today’s cellular base station has that exact same hold-up. A basic antenna can only do one job at a time either transmit or receive. This is because of the principle called reciprocity which is the tendency of the radio waves to travel both forward and backward along with the same frequency.
To understand, it helps to think of a wave-like a train loaded up with data. The frequency it’s traveling on is like the train tracks. If there’s a second train trying to go in the opposite direction on the same track you’re going to get some interference. Until now, the sol has been to have the trains take turns or to put all of them on different tracks or frequencies.
But, you can make things a lot more efficient by working around with reciprocity. Researchers who have used silicon transistors to create high-speed switches, halt the backward roll of these waves. It’s like a signaling system that can momentarily reroute to train so that they can get past each other. This means there’s a lot more getting done on each track a whole lot faster.
We’re still working out many of the things with millimeter waves, Small cells, Massive MIMO, Beamforming, and Full Duplex. In fact, all of the 5G technology is still in progress. It will likely include other new technologies too. Making all of these systems working together will be a whole other challenge. But if experts can figure that out ultra-fast 5G technology service could be arriving in the next five years.
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