5G technology is coming faster than expected

Smart Communication

5G technology is coming faster than expected

Mobility is one of the many drivers for the fifth generation of mobile networks (5G technology). Due to its new features, many never seen before, 5G opens the market for new applications and business models. While in many ways simply an evolution of existing mobile networks, 5G also represents a true revolution.

by Gerhard Kafka

Now that 5G is out of the lab oratories, field trials can be followed around the world. Most are based on pre-standard technologies because standardization is still very much work in progress. Final standards are expected by 2020. Another hindering aspect is the lack of dedicated frequency ranges including completely new frequency bands. The assignment of worldwide harmonized frequencies is scheduled for the World Frequency Conference (WRC-19) in 2019. New frequencies for 5G up to 80 GHz are expected to come for the most part from the higher frequency bands, thus enabling even higher transmission rates. One of the first trials, called the “5G Berlin initiative,” was established early in 2014 by the two Fraunhofer Institutes HHI and FOKUS. Since then, the 5G Berlin core and access infrastructure has been continuously upgraded and is located in the center of Berlin in Charlottenburg. Compared to other initiatives and beyond its pure role as a scientific and experimental test bed, it provides multiple unique selling propositions due to the specif urban infrastructure in Berlin. The test bed offers the following possibilities:

5G technology Eye in the Sky

Eye in the sky: SKYSHIP is scheduled to provide remote control for drones and robots that carry out search and rescue operations for disaster survivors.

  • Various test scenarios covering urban, suburban, and rural scenarios
  • Allows various user groups to evaluate business, customer, and scientific aspects
  • Visitors from the world of politics and business as well as major events to increase impact and visibility

  • Create multipliers by regional economic development policy and the tourism industry

After two very successful years, the third edition of the #Berlin5GWeek conference will return in November 2018 to discuss more 5G applications. In general, 5G applications can be grouped according to the following four aspects:

5G technology BR Sender Wendelstein

Higher coverage: TV signals are broadcast together with test radio from the Wendelstein transmitter to test large and small cell 5G transmission. (Picture: Gerhard Wenzel)

  • enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): Fulflling human-centric use cases, such as multimedia content. With data rates going up to 20 Gbps and delays down to 4 ms. As part of the 5G Today research project, a 5G test field for radio is currently under construction in Upper Bavaria. Under the lead of IRT, the project partners Kathrein Werke KG, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co KG, Bayerischer Rundfunk, and Telefonica Germany GmbH & Co OHG are investigating large-scale TV transmission in the broadcasting mode FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service). Large transmission cells are combined with small transmission cells to create exemplary large-area coverage. For this purpose, TV signals are broadcast simultaneously as test radio in channel 56 from the Wendelstein transmitter and will be broadcast from additional BR transmitter sites in Munich by the end of 2018.
  • massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC): This is for IoT use cases, e.g. temperature sensors, requiring a large volume of devices with a low volume of non-delaysensitive data. Meant for devices requiring battery life lasting ten years.
  • Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC): These are use cases, e.g. autonomous vehicles, with stringent requirements on throughput, latency, and availability. User plane latency is expected to be no more than 0.5 ms.
  • Wireless Access (WA): The planned high data rates of up to 20 Gbps positions 5G as an alternative access technology against copper, cable, and fber. In July 2018, KT introduced SKYSHIP. The SKYSHIP platform operates a special aircraft and a mobile communication center to remotely control drones and robots that carry out search and rescue operations for disaster survivors. Rescuers on the ground are also assisted with augmented reality (AR) glasses that have a direct line of communication to doctors at nearby hospitals for assistance delivering emergency treatment.

5G technology: Unlimited possibilities

5G will create opportunities for every industry. Combining network speeds of up to 20 Gbps with extremely low latency down to 1 ms, it will be the driving force behind huge new broadband applications. 5G will provide a growth platform for many industries, including IoT, self driving vehicles, broadcasting, smart cities, entertainment, health, and manufacturing. 5G will connect the factory of the future and help create fully automated and flexible production systems. It will support an energy-efficient infrastructure that reduces resource use. And it will enable immersive augmented and virtual reality technologies to transform business processes.

What we see now with 5G is the possibility of transforming that type of innovation across a wide variety of industries.

Jayne Stancavage, Global Executive Director of Communications Policy for Intel Corporation

5G technology: Jayne Stancavage, Global Executive Director of Communications Policy for Intel Corporation -


As 5G emerges, more safety and business-critical applications will run on the wireless network. To support these applications, the network will need to provide reliable and predictable service levels, capacity, throughput, and latency far exceeding today’s network capabilities.

Driving new standards

With 5G the dream of self-driving vehicles on the road, on rails, and in the air is becoming a reality. One flagship project is the test field on the German A9 highway between Munich and Nuremburg. Connected cars need a lot of communications power so new standards to be developed for 5G will be the basis for connected vehicle standards. ITU is driving this development. On July 4, 2018, Audi, Ducati, Ericsson, Qualcomm, SWARCO, and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern announced Europe’s first live demo of C-V2X direct communication interoperability between a motorcycle, other vehicles, and roadside infrastructure. Last year, these companies formed the Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow (ConVeX) consortium.

5G technology: 5g is about

Big picture: The European Union places high hopes on 5G in areas such as eHealth, entertainment and smart cars.

The demo featured Audi Q7 and Audi A4 road vehicles, as well as a Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro two-wheel vehicle equipped with C-V2X technology. The showcase demonstrated common situations that can occur when motorcycles and cars share the same road space, and how C-V2X technology can be used to improve trafc safety. A project named ConVeX is currently developing C-V2X technology that is expected to enter commercial use in 2019. C-V2X has the potential to provide life-saving safety benefts. C-V2X technology is supported by a broad global automotive and telecom ecosystem, which includes the fast-growing 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) co-founded by Audi, Ericsson, and Qualcomm.

Olympic Games in 5G

The world’s first broad-scale 5G network went live in February 2018 during the Korean Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. Operator Korea Telecom (KT) developed a special “PyeongChang 5G Specification” with technology partners Intel (5G platform) and Samsung (devices) who provided a series of immersive on-site 5G experiences such as:

  • One hundred cameras placed around the Olympic Ice Arena to capture 360-degree views of the action on the rink in real time and transmitting it to nearby edge servers.
  • A secondary time-slicing demonstration called Connected Pavilion which allowed attendees to step onto a virtual version of the Gangneung Ice Arena.

  • The most popular item among more than 100,000 5G.Connected visitors was the Teleport, a 3D video that enabled the viewers to leap from the ski jump slopes into the future.
  • Multiple 5G-connected cameras were set up along the cross-country course. On the slopes, omni-view and multi-angle broadcasting technology provided personalized views of the athletes in motion, triggered by GPS sensors.

During the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo audiences will not only see the evolution of the connected car and smartphones using 5G, but also things like autonomous delivery drones and smart-city applications. The Olympic venues in Tokyo will further showcase a new generation of smart city applications, and 5G will be the underlying technology that will enable these features.

5G technology: Connected Mobility

Connected Mobility: The A9 highway between Munich and Nuremburg is a flagship test feld for autonomous driving in Germany.

First out of the box

Finnish network operator Elisa has taken the lead in 5G networking. Together with Huawei, the 5G pioneer has built the first network in the world to meet the 5G network standards. In February 2018, the 5G network operating in the 3.5 GHz frequency band was tested for the first time in a moving car simultaneously with two 5G terminal devices in Pasila, Helsinki. The test involved driving a car from Elisa headquarters in eastern Pasila to the other side of the railway tracks in western Pasila. The recorded data speed in the test was 1 Gbps between the network and the pre-commercial terminal devices from Huawei. In June 2018, Elisa became the first operator in the world to begin commercial use of a 5G network and to start selling 5G subscriptions. The first person to use the 5G network was Anne Berner, Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications, who made a video call to Kadri Simson, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure in Estonia.

5G technology: Side Vision Assist

Side Vision Assist: Automation of vehicles improves security and offers more comfort for the driver and better effciency.

5G will boost digitalization and meet the future wireless communications needs of special user groups in a variety of industrial, commercial, and governmental sectors. Use of 5G for fast and reliable machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will enable the development of completely new applications for the needs of, for example, industrial robotics and automation and remote health care.

It is particularly important to consider the potential role of 5G and other future mobile technologies in providing the high-quality services required by intelligent transport systems. The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority has issued more than 30 licenses for 5G network test projects, including representatives from the major global players in the telecoms sector, along with small and medium sized companies, network operators, public authorities, universities, and research institutions. Nokia is one of the most active players in this testing environment.



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