Mapping the 5G Cellular Network Infrastructure

Posted by on June 6, 2018 at 5:00 AM Carmi Brandis  
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The impending advent of 5G networks will see IoT reach new heights of device integration and analytics with real-time responses. A 2015 report by Gartner estimates that 20.8 billion internet-enabled devices will be in service worldwide by 2020, many of which will utilize the 5G network to handle processing power while offering solutions in real time through cloud-based platforms. With 1-gigabit throughput and latency times of less than a millisecond, 5G technology represents a great leap forward in speed and connectivity.

To fulfill this promise of revolutionary speed and connectivity, 5G networks will have to rely on data transmissions at much higher frequencies than the traditional radio waves that currently are used by 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE networks. These frequencies, called millimeter waves, are more difficult to maintain and are blocked easily by buildings or absorbed by foliage and rain. To combat the waves’ fragility, 5G will have to greatly expand current cellular infrastructure, creating a dense network of base stations through the use of a new support solution: the small cell. 

Small Cells, Millimeter Waves, and Massive MIMO technology: The Building Blocks of 5G

Small cells are shoe box-sized cellular radio access nodes that require minimal power to operate. They recently have been implemented to bolster the current infrastructure and meet the data demands of 3G and 4G LTE, but their role in 5G will become much more critical. In order to meet the capacity requirements of 5G and maintain the millimeter waves, small cells will have to be placed every 250 meters to guarantee coverage. To properly operate a 5G network, the average city likely will require hundreds, if not thousands, of small cell base stations, which is why a report by Accenture estimates that telecom companies will spend $275 billion on 5G infrastructure. Luckily, the small cell size makes them easy to install on existing structures, such as buildings and street lamps.

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Widely distributed small cells will be able to readily deliver large amounts of data at higher speeds than traditional antennas through the use of massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology. Massive MIMO can transmit and receive signals on the same frequency, at the same time, without having to switch between listening and broadcasting, which slows down other networks. This ability to send and receive in real time among the network means that the small cells will act like relay runners, managing and moving signals to their proper locations on a constant basis.

Network density though the deployment of small cells and the communication speeds made possible by massive MIMO will be crucial to the type of IoT solutions currently being developed to make use of 5G cellular networks. In the medical field, devices such as remote sensors and clinical wearables are in place to aid both doctors and patients in diagnostics, condition monitoring, medication adherence, and even remote surgery. Advanced telematics systems will make use of 5G to aid companies in managing fleet vehicles and other assets to improve route planning, monitor dispatches, reduce fuel costs, and implementing preventive maintenance for greater operational integration and efficiency.

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How Aeris is Leading the Way

Aeris is committed to providing integrated IoT solutions that fit the needs of dynamic businesses. Through the AerPort portal, which is part of the Aeris Connectivity Platform (ACP), we provide complete control over your IoT / M2M programs through the entire device lifecycle. Insights allow real-time visibility into device performance and traffic patterns, enabling companies to control costs and minimize the impact of potential issues through flexible alerts and alarms. As 5G infrastructure expands the possibilities for connectivity, Aeris is positioned to make sure your company thrives.

To discover the IoT solution that will put your business at the forefront, contact Aeris today.

To learn more on 5G, WANs, and connectivity’s future, join us for an upcoming webinar: WAN, 5G, and IoT Connectivity

Topics: 5G, IoT Connectivity management, IoT 5G, massive MIMO technology, cloud-based platforms