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5G isn’t just a fatter pipe. More than any previous cellular generations, 5G offers greater performance and services through a diverse collection of enhanced technologies, new spectrum, and advanced infrastructure. Further, whereas past generations focused mostly on consumers and phones, 5G addresses a much broader user base such as businesses, governments, and first responders.
To best serve these organizations, 5G will not only offer significantly better download and upload speeds but will deliver much lower latency and new capabilities, such as network slicing and multi-access edge computing. Organizations can customize their services based on needs and carrier availability.
The 5G NR standard offers three categories of services. Most focus on the enhanced mobile broadband service that promises to deliver up to 10X speeds of 4G LTE and will rival most wired WAN services. However, the 5G NR standard also has been designed to provide ultra-low latency for applications from autonomous driving to robotics to health services. With the well-recognized explosion of the Internet of Things, the 5G NR standard has built in the ability to handle massive amounts of lower-power, low-bandwidth sensors and devices.
Business Implication: Organizations should deploy 5G with an enterprise-class platform to manage all endpoints within the WAN edge with wireless-specific utilities and analytics.
3 Spectrum Bands
Unlike prior wireless generations, 5G is far more than one type of spectrum. 5G will use three spectrum bands: 4G LTE (including Gigabit-Class LTE), Sub-6 GHz, and mmWave. Each category of 5G spectrum has unique characteristics and tradeoffs. Most important to know is the tradeoff between propagation and performance in each spectrum band.
The low-spectrum bands have high propagation but lower performance characteristics, while high-spectrum bands have low propagation but greater performance characteristics. Many believe that for business applications, the mid-bands area is a sweet spot that mitigates the tradeoffs between propagation and performance.
Business Implication: Organizations should procure WAN and LAN solutions today that will be “5G Ready” as carriers begin to roll out new technologies into an organization’s area.
Sub-1 GHz Low Bands Below 2GHz
Sub-6 GHz Mid Bands 2GHz to 6GHz
mmWave High Bands Above 24GHz
Because each spectrum band has different radio properties, the towers and antennas vary accordingly. In the low-band spectrum, the infrastructure and placement are relatively similar to current 4G deployments. In the mmWave range, towers are shorter, discrete, and more densely placed. The antennas are designed for short distances and use techniques like beam-forming to overcome propagation shortfalls. Yet other antennas are designed to support new technologies like massive MIMO that produce greater capacity out of the same spectrum. 5G edge networking solutions will incorporate these technologies to optimize business connections.
Business Implication: The physical placement of 5G adapters is crucial in a 5G world. Utilities such as smartphone installation apps will be essential.
Applications can be deployed where they fit
As 5G is built out across the major spectrum bands, many high-bandwidth applications can be deployed now. Gigabit-Class LTE can run applications ranging from agricultural autonomous driving to all-traffic failover. As the rollout advances, the Sub-6 and mmWave bands in the diagram below will expand outward, offering exciting opportunities for organizations.
5G mm Wave
Primary Wireless Fiber Replacement
Machine Recognition & Triggers
Mobile HD Streaming
Remote SME HD Conferencing
Augmented Reality Public Safety
4G / Gigabit-Class LTE
Mobile Command Centers
IoT Monitoring In Rural Areas
Agriculture Sensors & Autonomous Driving
Augmented Reality For Commerce
Temporary Sites In Remote Areas
Prepare your organization for 5G
The full potential of 5G will only be realized with knowledge and deliberate action. The more you learn, the more you can exploit the opportunities of 5G.
Cradlepoint has prepared a booklet that is designed to help organizations understand, plan, and start acting on 5G today. Simply click here to get your copy and start your plan.
The latest insights and highlights on how 5G will help organizations connect beyond traditional wired networks.