What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular in the technology. It can speed up wireless services, reduce latency, and increase flexibility. 5G technology can reach a theoretical in the maximum speed of 32 Gbps, while 4G can only reach 2 Gbps.

5G can also reduce latency, improving in the business application performance and improving other fully digital experiences (such as online gaming, video conferencing, and autonomous vehicles).

Previous generations of cellular technology (such as 4G LTE) focused on ensuring connectivity, while 5G can provide clients with an interconnected experience from the cloud, taking wireless connectivity to a whole new level. 5G networks are software-driven virtualization networks and can take advantage of cloud technologies.

5G networks will also simplify mobility and enable open and seamless roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi access. As mobile users move between outdoor wireless connections and indoor wireless networks, they can stay connected without intervention or re-authentication.

The new Wi-Fi 6 wireless standard (also known as 802.11ax) has some of the same features as 5G, such as higher performance. Wi-Fi 6 radios can be placed anywhere according to user needs, enabling wider geographical coverage and lower cost. Supporting this type of Wi-Fi 6 radio is a software-based network with advanced automation capabilities.

5G technology should be able to improve connectivity in rural areas where services are scarce, and in urban areas where today’s 4G technology is no longer sufficient. The new 5G network will adopt a high-density distributed access architecture, and move data processing closer to the network edge and users, thereby increasing data processing speed.

How does 5G technology work?

5G technology will bring comprehensive improvements to the entire network architecture. The 5G New Radio standard is a global standard that provides stronger support for 5G wireless air interfaces and will cover unused spectrum in 4G. The new antenna will use Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, enabling multiple transmitters and receivers to transmit more data at a time. However, 5G technology not only supports the new air interface spectrum, but also converges heterogeneous networks. It can combine licensed and unlicensed wireless technologies to increase the bandwidth available to users.

The 5G architecture is a software-defined platform in which network functions are managed through software rather than hardware. The development of virtualization, cloud-based technology, and automation of IT and business processes have made 5G architecture not only agile and flexible, but also allow users to access the network anytime, anywhere. 5G networks can create software-defined subnet structures, or network slices. Network administrators can use network slicing to manage network functions based on users and devices.

5G can also enhance the all-digital experience with automation capabilities enabled by machine learning (ML). Technologies such as self-driving cars require a response in a matter of seconds, which requires 5G networks to use machine learning to support automation and ultimately deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Automated provisioning and proactive management of traffic and services will reduce infrastructure costs and improve the connected experience.

When will 5G be available and how will it scale?

5G services are already in use in parts of many countries. These early 5G services were called 5G Non-Independent Networking (5G NSA). This technology is a 5G radio built on the existing 4G LTE network infrastructure. 5G NSA will be faster than 4G LTE. However, the high-speed, low-latency 5G technology that the industry has been paying attention to is 5G independent networking (5G SA). The technology should be in use by 2020, and it should be fully available by 2022.

What is the practical impact of 5G technology?

5G technology will not only improve network performance and speed, but also bring a completely new connected experience to users and open up a whole new era.

In the medical field, using 5G technology and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity can monitor patient health through connected devices and continuously transmit key medical indicator data (such as heart rate and blood pressure). In the automotive industry, 5G combined with machine learning-driven algorithms can provide information such as traffic conditions and accidents; vehicles will be able to share information with other vehicles on the road and entities such as traffic lights. The above are just two industrial applications where 5G technology provides users with a better and more secure experience.

How does Cisco contribute to 5G technology?

Cisco provides software-based, automated networks for 5G, from the cloud to the client. Cisco ONE architecture is a cloud-first software-defined architecture that seamlessly covers enterprise and carrier deployments, including open networks between cellular networks and Wi-Fi (such as the latest Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax) Roaming has some characteristics in common with 5G architecture.

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