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Journal of Advanced Communication Systems ENN522 vol. 1 no.

17 April 2015

Understanding 5G
Aniwan Uthit, 9074791, science, and engineering faculty, Queensland University of Technology

Abstract—a new generation of mobile network has appeared The development of 5G systems is going to directly affect to
approximately every 10 years, including 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G the growth of economy and society significantly, because,
respectively. However, According to NGMN (Next Generation in5G technology, the information can be accessed anywhere
Mobile Network Alliance) by 2020, 5G will be rolled out in order and anytime for anyone and anything [2]. This paper will
to meet business and consumer demands. Data rate, latency, the
number of connected devices, energy, availability, coverage, and
analyze 5G technology in order to have deep understanding
will be enhanced significantly in 5G technology, and because of for the future generation wireless systems which include
these improvements, the connectivity in 5G systems will be history of each generation wireless systems, requirements for
available to access from anywhere at anytime for anyone and 5G, challenges for 5G, the change of society and spectrum for
anything. However, all details of 5G systems are the topic to 5G. Moreover, the last two considerations of this paper,
ongoing research and debate, therefore, in this paper will focus possible technology for 5G and technical solutions for
on the understanding in 5G systems including history of each improving the data rate in 5G will be examined.
generation wireless systems, requirements for 5G, challenges for
5G the change of society, spectrum for 5G, potential technology
for 5G and technical solutions for improving data rate. BRIEF HISTORY OF GENERATION WIRELESS
INTRODUCTION Recently, a new generation of mobile has appeared roughly
In the twenty first century, wireless technology has a vast every 10 years. 1G system started to roll out in 1981 followed
impact on human’s lives more than ever before, especially, the by the first 2G systems, 3G systems and 4G systems in 1991,
ability of human communication has increased significantly. 2001 and 2012 respectively. The basic differences between
For instance, a decade ago, when we made a phone call to a these systems are that 1G systems are analog
person who was in different countries, high cost of a phone telecommunications that can use for only analogue phone call,
call was required, but today making a phone call to all over the 2G systems are digital that can use for digital phone call and
world can be easily and free by using the internet with high messaging while 3G and 4G increased ability of phone calls,
data speed of the wireless systems. In addition, wireless messaging and broadband data. From the first generation (1G)
systems also act as an essential role in business fields, by way to the current generation (4G), each generation has been
of illustration, transferring documents can be only a few
inspired by the need to meet the requirements specified
second by using an email or others.
However, current generation wireless systems or generation between technology [3] and previous generation technology
mobile networks which called 4G, it seems not efficient (Table1). For instance, the growth from 2G to 3G was tried to
enough to meet business and consumer demands, therefore, enable mobile internet on consumer devices. Another example
several network organizations, such as NGMN (Next is the transition of 3G to 4G services have allowed users
Generation Mobile Network Alliance), Samsung Electronics, access greatly faster data speeds and lower lacking. The global
Huawei as well as others have discussed to develop next survey has shown that 4G customers around the world
generation wireless systems which called 5G, and it should be normally use double or three times monthly amount of data of
rolled out by 2020. non-4G users [4], so the way of accessing and using the
In 5G era, NGMN has already defined requirements for 6 internet on mobile device for people is going to change
main areas that should be enhanced, including, data rate, significantly in the future.
latency, the number of connection devices, energy, availability
However, the topic concerning a key differentiator for 4 G
and coverage. There are four main points of data rate that
has been discussed that in the reality world, providing low
should be improved which are related to capacity, at least rate,
edge rate and peak rate. Moreover, latency will be decreased power, low frequency network in order to meet the demand for
significantly compared to 4G, and the number of connected the widespread use of machine to machine (M2M) is not
devices will be increased dramatically, energy will be specific to 4G or 5G, therefore, currently, it is actually unclear
improved in term of network work energy and battery life and that what strong points or weakness that 5G ought to address
availability and coverage also will be improved [1]. These is [4].
requirements will be explained more information in
requirements in 5G section and challenges for 5G systems Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN)
section. believe that 5G technology ought to be roll out by 2020 for
meeting consumer and business demands. Moreover, the needs
of new use cases will be predicted as an important role to

Journal of Advanced Communication Systems ENN522 vol. 1 no. 17 April 2015

simply providing faster data speeds and high capacity [4]. In connected devices, decreasing network energy usage as well
order to meet human demands, the 5G systems may adopt new as increased availability and coverage level.
technology like ‘’mesh networking’’ which can let the devices
to communicate with each other directly instead of relying on 1. Data rate:
base stations. Therefore, because of this, bandwidth will be a) Area capacity is refer to total amount of data, it will be
more available, power consumption will be lower, increased by approximately 1000x from 4G to 5G in term of
infrastructure costs will be decreased, spectral efficiency will bit per unit area.
be improved, and also resilience of network will be increased. b) At least data rate, in 5G technology, it is expected that
However, higher latencies could be appeared by this technic, we will have at least 100Mbits wherever needed.
so this point has to be addressed. However, these new abilities
c) Edge rate 5% rate is the worst data rate that users expect
are still being grouped under the current ITU-T4G standards
to have when they are in range of network. This requires
roughly 100x from current technology.
Weakness d) Maximum data rate is the best data rate which users
Primary Key (Address by expect to receive when they are in range of network, this will
Services differentiator each be increased to range of 10Gbps as shown in (figure1) [4].

Poor spectral
Analogue efficiency,
1G Mobility
phone calls low level of

Limited data
Digital rates-difficult
phone calls Secure, mass to support
and adoption demand for
messaging internet, and

Figure1. Comparison peak data rate of each generation.
Phone calls, failed to
Better internet
3G messaging, match hype,
experience 2. Latency:
data failure of
WAP for the a) Latency is a measure of the time delay experienced by
internet access systems, current 4G/LTE technology latencies are about 5-
10ms, in 5G systems, this time delay will be only 0.5ms-1ms
Tied to legacy, as shown in (figure 2).
Phone calls,
Broadband mobile
3.5G internet specific
applications architecture
and protocols

4G (Including ?
internet, low

Table1. Comparison properties of each generation.

(NGMN) Alliance or Next Generation Mobile Network
Alliance have defined 6 main requirements that 5G must be
able to achieve in order to meet the business and consumer
demands, including improving data rate, increasing number of Figure2. Comparison latency between current generation
and 5G generation

Journal of Advanced Communication Systems ENN522 vol. 1 no. 17 April 2015

3. Device: To begin with the arrival of 5G and ICT (Information and

a) The number of connected devices will be increased to Communication Technology) network is the new wave of
100x, so, at least 100,000 million devices will be allowed to digital society that can group every part of the world together.
connect at the same time. Many individuals today are using wireless mobile networks to
4. Energy: access with devices (mobile access), this has become the root
of all industries processing. As a result, the operation will be
a) The network energy usage of 5G technology will be
more flexible, convenient due to mobile networks, In addition,
decreased for 90% from 4G technology. In5G, ultra-board band and intelligent-pipe will be developed,
b) The battery life of 5G technology will up to 10 years in so the connection between people and devices as zero distance
term of lower power from 4G technology. will be possible, and the significant increase of mobile
5&6. Availability and Coverage accesses in 5G will make ‘’could service’’ and ‘’big data
a) Perception of both availability and Coverage should be analytic’’ in order to rise the huge wisdom that can access into
significantly enhanced compared to 4G technology. the networks all the time. In addition, if all devices can access
into networks simultaneously, social media will exchange,
transfer information by using the internet with an intelligent
analytics, moreover, an intelligent analytic systems will be
However, there are many challenges in designing for all ready to control business itself [6], and many advantages of
services to connect into the networks simultaneously as shown this will be provided in many ways of using. Therefore,
in (figure3), this figure (Hyper-service-cube) will shows developing 5G technology is a critical importance to develop
several dimensions concerning throughput, latency and the the great ICT network systems in the future in order to meet
number of services that 5G network will need to run for the growth of economy and the growth of modern society.
numerous types of services. To achieve these challenges in Secondly, huge capacity rate will make the connection
designing, they have to be built to meet the number of a user between people and networks as the zero-distance. So, mobile
and company needs, the explanation will be divided in 6 parts. applications will increase significantly, and the ability of
Firstly, data speed that has at least 1Gbps to advocate ultra- communication of people will be enhanced, because using
high definition video and virtual reality. Secondly, maximum enormous capacity for managing the connection is better than
data speed with 10Gbps to advocate mobile cloud service. enormous widespread of machine to machine (M2M).
Thirdly, latency should be less than 1ms to advocate real-time Furthermore, the next generation of mobile access will use
mobile control and car to car communication. Fourthly, human as a center of connection (human-centric) [7] while
maximum switch time ought to be less or equal 10ms to current generation of mobile access is still using machine as a
service continuously. Fifthly, huge capacity must be always- center of connection (machine-centric network). As a result,
on to increase the number of connection users. Lastly, energy mobile applications and others mobile services will be able to
usage per bit should decrease 1000x in order to have longer connect into networks from anywhere and anytime.
life battery [5].


From the understanding from the part of requirements in 5G
that capacity will be 1000x better than current technology,
devices will be allowed to access into the network at least
100,000 million devices at the same time, maximum rate will
be 10Gbps, and lower response time, these properties will
affect directly to economic and society. In this section, it will
focus on what 5G technology will be changed in 5G.

Figure3. Hyper-Service-Cube

Journal of Advanced Communication Systems ENN522 vol. 1 no. 17 April 2015


Spectrum is the one of the important parts to enable the coverage and capacity. It already reveals that, it is possible to
expected massive traffic increase, there are several concerns of implement active antenna array in current 4G technology, and
the effect to spectrum for 5G systems. For example, to this will be easier and available to use on large scale in the 5G
increase the capacity for 1000x, spectrum must increase the technology due to more integrated components in the future.
range of frequencies as much as it can. However, recent Finally, more and more developed IC and passive
global researches have shown that, spectrum of mobile components is going to be used in 5G. The technologies must
network with bandwidth below 6.5GHz is the most suitable be low power software define based band chipset, such as,
range of frequencies for mobile technology, because this can digital RF chipsets, RF amplifier, RF receiver, transmitter
fulfill long term traffic demands, but, achieving 10Gbps data adaptive powered, switches with quality of isolation and
rates in next generation will require above 10GHz. So, insertion loss and others, and all those chipset will be put into
spectrum issue is the most important part to across to achieve one chipset, so more advanced semiconductor device and IC
the target of 5G technology. Recently, World Radio must be improved for supporting these technology [9].
Communication Conference (WRC) is developing new
spectrum which will be able to achieve next mobile
generation’s requirements as shown in (figure 4). So, targets in
next mobile generation will not succeed until releasing last
development of spectrum. However, if this development is
failed, some desire requirements in 5G technology will not
appear by 2020. On the other hand, if new spectrum
development is successful, it will be a part of complete
solution for commercial in next generation mobile network as
shown in (figure5). [8]


In this section, the techniques will be analyzed based on
International mobile communications (IMT) which are related
to signal processing technologies.
To begin with, the key which can provide capacity and Figure4. Spectrum development time line
coverage in 5G will still be macrocell technology (a part of 4G
technology), even though the new technology which called
small cells will be widely used in 5G era. This may be because
active antenna array technologies which can multiple RF
components would be integrated into antenna’s radiator
elements with internal control flexibility, this can take many
benefits for the improvement of the system, such as flexible

Figure5. All spectrum access LAN

Journal of Advanced Communication Systems ENN522 vol. 1 no. 17 April 2015

[4] "GSMA Publishes New Report Outlining 5G Future," in

Targeted News Service, ed. Washington, D.C., 2014.
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the way of achieving this, it will allocate dimensioned to
[8] Y. Wang, J. Li, L. Huang, Y. Jing, A. Georgakopoulos, and P.
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From analog generation to current generation, the weakness of
each generation is always improved by next generation, but
from current technology (4G) to 5G, it will not only enhance
the weak point, but several new abilities will be appeared.
According to NGMN, 5G will be ready to use by 2020, and
they have defined 6 main requirements that 5G must be able to
achieve which are related to data rate, latency, connected
devices, energy, coverage and availability. If these
requirements are achieved, devices users will allow to access
into networks at anytime from anywhere for anyone and
anything. Therefore, the way people live will be changed
dramatically. Nonetheless, it is undeniable that 5G technology
is the topic to ongoing research and debate. So, some technic
solutions today which have released for 5G, they may be
changed by something in the future, and we will not know for
the last outcome until 2020.

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