What do we really know about 5G?

What do we really know about 5G?

As presented in our last article, telecom networks never stopped evolving over the last few years and so are the data transfer rates. Despite 4G is quite new and currently being deployed in many countries of the world, telecom experts have already started talking about and experimenting 5G.

Several information and rumors circulated here and there about 5G, but what do we really know nowadays about the 5G? When will it be available? Will it really be gainful for users?

Background of the 5G standard development

As for its predecessors, 5G stands for the 5th generation of telecom mobile networks. The development of 5G standards is still in its infancy and, knowing that standards achievement of the last 4G network has taken about 10 years, telecom experts are expecting the first 5G networks to start being deployed from 2020 onwards.

Several organizations are racing to develop the 5G standard like the 5GPPP, ITU and NGMN but ITU is probably playing the most important role by having established the timeline, known as IMT-2020, for the development of the 5G standardization. This planning is expected to start on 2016 and to having the standard agreement completed by 2020. Seemingly, the other two organizations involved (5GPPP and NGMN) chose to stick to the ITU schedule.

Expected characteristics of 5G network

According to telecom experts, 5G technology should allow a data transfer rate of several gigabits per second, 100 times faster than 4G. These are theoretical rates which can greatly vary depending on several factors such as the distance to a telecommunications terminal or if one person is in motion or not.

Issues and challenges of 5G

The 5th generation of mobile networks must deal with several problems such as obtaining permissions to use specific radio wave ranges, covering a large territory and renewing the existing telecom facilities (already deployed for 2G, 3G and 4G) which can be expensive and discouraging for telecom operators.

Moreover, 5G will have to face many challenges as the generalization of internet use to connected objects leading to the notion of Internet of Things (IoT) and, more recently, the Internet of Everything (IoE) notion promoted by a report of Cisco, one of the world leaders in network infrastructure, that includes not only IoT, but also data, processes… and people themselves (via their smartphones and their social networks).