When considering moving from 4g to 5g networks, we know that 4g LTE has been growing and proven to be an effective technology for existing cellular networks.  A weak economy, deteriorating electrical infrastructure, and heavy regulation of utilities and broadband carriers certainly make it difficult to envision 5g.

It’s not a far-fetched thought to think of 5g now that 4g is so common. One of the obvious things we’ll probably see in the 4g to 5G networks is that their wavelengths and frequencies will be much higher than they are for current networks.

Benefits & Challenges of 5G Networks

According to current estimations 5g will reach frequencies of up to 300 GHZ which will in turn naturally provide an increase in bandwidth of more than 1 GBPS (speed over air).  The idea is one can simultaneously access several existing wireless access technologies thereby using multiple data transfer paths from these channels concurrently.

The main challenge with operating at these frequencies is that they’re often blocked by any disruptions along their way such as harsh weather.  The move from 4g to 5g networks requires a whole new propagation system and more advanced transmission tech to resolve this issue.

End-to-end 5g networks cannot be achieved by the large cellular operators on their own, who have already developed partnerships with the large broadband carriers.  The third element in the partnership is in fact the public utilities.

With handheld devices, smart appliances in the home, and the power required for businesses or consumers to receive all the services from high speed Internet.

Large bandwidth capability is needed to backhaul the data from the cloud sever or wireless hotspot at universities and open access community networks. It can also be a valuable revenue service for both the R&E networks and universities, while at the same time saving students and researchers outrageous fees in roaming, messaging, data etc.

There is probably many issues still be sorted out, but I think once again this is an excellent opportunity for R&E 5g networks to show a leadership role as they did with the original deployment of the Internet. Once again most incumbent cell phone companies will have little interest in deploying such networks as it will clearly undermine their existing revenue stream.  Development of future M2M communications devices and P2P networks must address self healing networks.

How to Deploy 5G Networks

So the only organizations that have the necessary technical skills, motivation and wherewithal to deploy wireless R&E networks are the same one who first brought you the Internet. Eliminating ridiculous cell phone charges will hopefully also stimulate new applications and services for wired and wireless networks. It is also rumored that both Cisco and Google will be releasing products and solutions later this year that addresses these issues.

Our vision is that the cell-centric architecture should evolve into a device-centric one: a given device (human or machine) should be able to communicate by exchanging multiple information flows through several possible sets of heterogeneous nodes,” say Boccardi and co.

South Korea is perhaps the biggest investor in 5g networks with a $1.5B investment and hope to get 5g out for trial usage by as early as 2017 and have it ready for commercial use by the year 2020. While there are other countries such as Japan and the United States who are also investing in 5g, none can match up to how much South Korea has put in.

The move from 4g to 5g networks are small cells and will possibly be the last evolution of wireless networking according to Andy Sutton who is a network architect for EE, the UK Mobile Network. This begs the question whether or not 5G will be fast and efficient enough to sustain itself for the generations to come since it will be the final advancement in networking technologies.

It’s still too early to have any firm say on this though since we’re looking quite far into the future and the move from 4g to 5g networks is still many years away.

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