Demystifying 5G | Corning

Demystifying 5G: More than just faster cellular

Demystifying 5G: More than just faster cellular

Unlike its predecessors, the fifth generation of wireless network technology will do more than just make cell phones work faster. The collection of technologies that are architected together to enable 5G will fundamentally change the way we interact with devices and how they interact with each other.

Expected to be up to 10x faster than current LTE with greatly reduced latency,* 5G will help turn data-hungry technologies where reliability is critical, like VR, AR, AI, remote surgery, driverless vehicles, IoT, and more, into everyday realities.

*ITU-R IMT 2020

Introduction to 5G

Introduction to 5G

The new world of 5G

Beyond simply offering a faster network, 5G will answer pent-up demand for a faster, more flexible, and more reliable broadband wireless service, enabling the deployment of a whole new class of wireless services.

Enhanced Mobile Broadband Infographic
5G radar diagram from the IMT-2020 standards

What technologies will be used to meet 5G’s goals?

5G-NR Air Interface, an improved LTE waveform

Massive MIMO Antennas

Reliable Low-Latency Computing (URLLC) Edge Computing

Network Slicing to create Multiple End-to-End Performance Classes

Introduction to 5G-NR

Introduction to 5G-NR

What is 5G-NR?

5G-NR is a descendant of the LTE air interface that offers:

  • A maximum spectrum bandwidth of 400 MHz —LTE has 20 MHz.
  • Two implementation modes called F1 and F2:

- F1 supports spectrum under 6 GHz, also referred to as sub-6 GHz.

- F2 supports spectrum from 24 GHz and up, also referred to as millimeter wave or mmWave.

5G Spectrum

What’s the maximum speed of 5G-NR?

Maximum speed is a complex question. It depends on the spectrum available to the mobile operator and how they configure their 5G network. Best case peak network rates are expected to be 20 Gbps (20x today’s LTE) and user-experienced data rates of 100 Mbps (10x current LTE).

5G-Non-Standalone (5G-NSA) versus SA (Standalone)
LTE - 5G Service overlap

Introduction to MIMO

Introduction to MIMO

What is MIMO?

Multiple input and multiple output (MIMO) — pronounced “my-moe” — is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link by using multiple transmission and receiving antennas. MIMO is used extensively in Wi-Fi and LTE to provide better service to laptops and mobile devices. Typically, the antenna count is from two to eight on the Wi-Fi access point or cell site.

What is massive MIMO?

Massive MIMO consists of:

  • Antenna panels: Each panel can contain hundreds of antennas.
  • Beamforming: Each antenna in a panel is digitally steered. This means that rather than emitting a broad, undirected signal, the internal controllers group multiple antennas together to focus a cellular energy beam directly at a specific mobile device. The beam greatly increases the signal quality which enables much higher data rates. The antenna grouping that created the beam is also better able to receive signal back from the mobile device.
  •  Spatial diversity: Because the focused beams don’t cross, beamforming allows massive MIMO panels to use the same frequency to support all the devices, so you need less spectrum to serve more devices.
  • Multiuser MIMO: Areas where multiple 5G mobile devices are clustered can be served with a packet flow that contains messages for all the devices inside single data packets, increasing network efficiency.
MIMO - Highly focused beams

What are the benefits of massive MIMO?

The primary benefits of massive MIMO to the network and mobile owners are:

  • Increased network capacity: Many more people can be on the network at the same time without negatively affecting performance.
  • Improved coverage: Mobile owners will enjoy a more uniform experience across the network and can expect high-data-rate service almost everywhere, even at the cell edge.
  • Happy mobile owners: Capacity and coverage improvements will result in a better overall mobility experience.

Introduction to Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC)

Introduction to Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC)

What is URLLC?

URLLC is a collection of software and hardware techniques to enable high-availability, low-latency, and, in some cases, bounded jitter for critical application performance needs.

How does URLLC support fast application response times?

URLLC is defined in the 3GPP Release 16 and 17 specifications. Among the techniques included in these specifications are:

  • Massive MIMO antenna spacial diversity capability to maintain multiple connections to an attached device
  • Multiple connections to an attached device by multiple antennas
  • Enable privileged flows to have priority access to radio uplink/downlink
  • Allocation of reservations in the systems for privileged flows
  • Edge computing to support fast application responses by either hosting stand-alone edge application or a subset of a cloud application

Requirements example: In a remote surgery scenario, the feedback to the surgeon must be as immediate as possible to ensure that the surgeon’s actions are not slowed or limited by network latency. Haptic feedback to the surgeon where they “feel” the resistance of their tool as it cuts has a round-trip time requirement of as low as 1 ms. Edge computing, privileged flows, and resource reservations all combine to meet this critical 1-ms requirement.

How does URLLC support fast application response times?

What are the benefits of URLLC?

At its debut, URLLC will provide a platform for application developers to build services in mobile networks that deliver the fast, local response required for industrial robotics, remote surgery, factory 4.0, and other time-sensitive/high-value scenarios.

Commercial release of systems is anticipated in the 2021-2022 time frame. The URLLC technology framework is anticipated to continuously evolve over time as experience with it develops.

Introduction to Network Slicing

Introduction to Network Slicing

What is network slicing?

Network slicing creates multiple virtual networks on top of a common shared physical infrastructure. Each virtual network is customized to meet the specific needs of applications, services, devices, or customers.

5G network slicing