5G Requirements for the next generation Mobile Wireless System

- details of the industry requirements that are developing for 5G wireless technology.

In order to ensure that the correct 5G wireless system is developed, it is necessary to collect and agree the requirements of the system.

By collecting the requirements, it is possible to understand the needs and design the 5G wireless system to meet the requirements, and in that way fulfil the needs.

By agreeing the requirements, all parties can work towards developing the same system and develop work-arounds where their own particular needs may not be sufficiently met.

Care has to be taken that the 5G requirements are carefully collected and analysed so that the best system is achieved. Otherwise it could result in a system that is not usable.

5G technology requirements

In recent years there have been several views about the ultimate form that 5G wireless technology should take. There have been two views of what 5G wireless technology should be:

  • Hyper connected view:   This view of the requirements for 5G wireless systems aims to take the existing technologies including 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi and other relevant wireless systems to provide higher coverage and availability, along with more dense networks. Apart from having requirements to provide traditional services, a key differentiator would be to enable new services like Machine to Machine, M2M applications along with additional Internet of Things, IoT applications. This set of 5G requirements could require a new radio technology to enable low power, low throughput field devices with long battery lifetimes of ten years or more.
  • Next generation radio-access technology:   This view of the 5G requirements takes the more technology driven view and sets specifications for data rates, latency and other key parameters. These requirements for 5G would enable a clear demarcation to be made between 4G or other services and the new 5G wireless system.

In order to meet the industry and user needs, it is necessary to accommodate all requirements within the definition process, ensuring that the final definition meets the majority of users needs without becoming so demanding that any system cannot succeed.

5G requirements summary

By accounting for the majority of needs, the following set of 5G requirements is gaining industry acceptance.

  • 1-10Gbps connections to end points in the field (i.e. not theoretical maximum)
  • 1 millisecond end-to-end round trip delay - latency
  • 1000x bandwidth per unit area
  • 10-100x number of connected devices
  • Perception of) 99.999% availability
  • Perception of 100% coverage
  • 90% reduction in network energy usage
  • Up to ten year battery life for low power, machine-type devices

One of the key issues with the 5G requirements is that there are many different interested parties involved, each wanting their own needs to be met by the new 5G wireless system. This leads to the fact that not all the requirements form a coherent list. No one technology is going to be able to meet all the needs together.

As a result of these widely varying requirements for 5G, many anticipate that the new wireless system will be a umbrella that enables a number of different radio access networks to operate together, each meeting a set of needs. As very high data download and ultra low latency requirements do not easily sit with low data rate and long battery life times, it is likely that different radio access networks will be needed for each of these requirements.

Accordingly it is likely that various combinations of a subset of the overall list of requirements will be supported when and where it matters for the 5G wireless system.


By Ian Poole

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