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5G Mobile Wireless Technology

18 Nov

The new 5G mobile communications system will enable many new mobile capabilities to be realised – offering high speed, enormous capacity, IoT capability, low latency and much more it provides the bearer for many new applications.

 

The 5G mobile cellular communications system provides a far higher level of performance than the previous generations of mobile communications systems.

The new 5G technology is not just the next version of mobile communications, evolving from 1G to 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G.

Instead 5G technology is very different. Previous systems had evolved driven more by what could be done with the latest technology. The new 5G technology has been driven by specific uses ad applications.

5G has been driven by the need to provide ubiquitous connectivity for applications as diverse as automotive communications, remote control with haptic style feedback, huge video downloads, as well as the very low data rate applications like remote sensors and what is being termed the IoT, Internet of Things.

5G Mobile Technology

5G standardisation

The current status of the 5G technology for cellular systems is very much in the early development stages. Very many companies are looking into the technologies that could be used to become part of the system. In addition to this a number of universities have set up 5G research units focussed on developing the technologies for 5G

In addition to this the standards bodies, particularly 3GPP are aware of the development but are not actively planning the 5G systems yet.

Many of the technologies to be used for 5G will start to appear in the systems used for 4G and then as the new 5G cellular system starts to formulate in a more concrete manner, they will be incorporated into the new 5G cellular system.

The major issue with 5G technology is that there is such an enormously wide variation in the requirements: superfast downloads to small data requirements for IoT than any one system will not be able to meet these needs. Accordingly a layer approach is likely to be adopted. As one commentator stated: 5G is not just a mobile technology. It is ubiquitous access to high & low data rate services.

5G cellular systems overview

As the different generations of cellular telecommunications have evolved, each one has brought its own improvements. The same will be true of 5G technology.

  • First generation, 1G:   These phones were analogue and were the first mobile or cellular phones to be used. Although revolutionary in their time they offered very low levels of spectrum efficiency and security.
  • Second generation, 2G:   These were based around digital technology and offered much better spectrum efficiency, security and new features such as text messages and low data rate communications.
  • Third generation, 3G:   The aim of this technology was to provide high speed data. The original technology was enhanced to allow data up to 14 Mbps and more.
  • Fourth generation, 4G:   This was an all-IP based technology capable of providing data rates up to 1 Gbps.

Any new 5th generation, 5G cellular technology needs to provide significant gains over previous systems to provide an adequate business case for mobile operators to invest in any new system.

Facilities that might be seen with 5G technology include far better levels of connectivity and coverage. The term World Wide Wireless Web, or WWWW is being coined for this.

For 5G technology to be able to achieve this, new methods of connecting will be required as one of the main drawbacks with previous generations is lack of coverage, dropped calls and low performance at cell edges. 5G technology will need to address this.

5G requirements

As work moves forwards in the standards bodies the over-riding specifications for the mobile communications system have been defined by the ITU as part of IMT2020.

The currently agreed standards for 5G are summarised below:

 

SUGGESTED 5G WIRELESS PERFORMANCE
PARAMETER SUGGESTED PERFORMANCE
Peak data rate At least 20Gbps downlink and 10Gbps uplink per mobile base station. This represents a 20 fold increase on the downlink over LTE.
5G connection density At least 1 million connected devices per square kilometre (to enable IoT support).
5G mobility 0km/h to “500km/h high speed vehicular” access.
5G energy efficiency The 5G spec calls for radio interfaces that are energy efficient when under load, but also drop into a low energy mode quickly when not in use.
5G spectral efficiency 30bits/Hz downlink and 15 bits/Hz uplink. This assumes 8×4 MIMO (8 spatial layers down, 4 spatial layers up).
5G real-world data rate The spec “only” calls for a per-user download speed of 100Mbps and upload speed of 50Mbps.
5G latency Under ideal circumstances, 5G networks should offer users a maximum latency of just 4ms (compared to 20ms for LTE).

5G communications system

The 5G mobile cellular communications system will be a major shift in the way mobile communications networks operate. To achieve this a totally new radio access network and a new core network are required to provide the performance required.

  • 5G New Radio, 5G NR:   5G new radio is the new name for the 5G radio access network. It consists of the different elements needed for the new radio access network. Using a far more flexible technology the system is able to respond to the different and changing needs of mobile users whether they be a small IoT node, or a high data user, stationary or mobile.
  • 5G NextGen Core Network:   Although initial deployments of 5G will utilise the core network of LTE or possibly even 3G networks, the ultimate aim is to have a new network that is able to handle the much higher data volumes whilst also being able to provide a much lower level of latency.

5G technologies

There are many new 5G technologies and techniques that are being discussed and being developed for inclusion in the 5G standards.

These new technologies and techniques will enable 5G to provide a more flexible and dynamic service.

The technologies being developed for 5G include:

  • Millimetre-Wave communications:   Using frequencies much higher in the frequency spectrum opens up more spectrum and also provides the possibility of having much wide channel bandwidth – possibly 1 – 2 GHz. However this poses new challenges for handset development where maximum frequencies of around 2 GHz and bandwidths of 10 – 20 MHz are currently in use. For 5G, frequencies of above 50GHz are being considered and this will present some real challenges in terms of the circuit design, the technology, and also the way the system is used as these frequencies do not travel as far and are absorbed almost completely by obstacles. Different countries are allocating different spectrum for 5G.
  • Waveforms :   One key area of interest is that of the new waveforms that may be seen. OFDM has been used very successfully in 4G LTE as well as a number of other high data rate systems, but it does have some limitations in some circumstances. Other waveform formats that are being discussed include: GFDM, Generalised Frequency Division Multiplexing, as well as FBMC, Filter Bank Multi-Carrier, UFMC, Universal Filtered MultiCarrier. There is no perfect waveform, and it is possible that OFDM in the form of OFDMA is used as this provides excellent overall performance without being too heavy on the level of processing required.
  • Multiple Access:   Again a variety of new access schemes are being investigated for 5G technology. Techniques including OFDMA, SCMA, NOMA, PDMA, MUSA and IDMA have all been mentioned. As mentioned above it appears that the most likely format could be OFDMA
  • Massive MIMO with beamsteering:   Although MIMO is being used in many applications from LTE to Wi-Fi, etc, the numbers of antennas is fairly limited. Using microwave frequencies opens up the possibility of using many tens of antennas on a single equipment becomes a real possibility because of the antenna sizes and spacings in terms of a wavelength. This would enable beams to be steered to provide enhanced performance.
  • Dense networks:   Reducing the size of cells provides a much more overall effective use of the available spectrum. Techniques to ensure that small cells in the macro-network and deployed as femtocells can operate satisfactorily are required. There is a significant challenge in adding huge numbers of additional cells to a network, and techniques are being developed to enable this.

These are a few of the main techniques being developed and discuss for use within 5G.

5G timeline & dates

5G is developoing rapidly and it needs to meet some demanding timelines. Some trial deployments have occurred and some of the first real deploymets are anticipayed in 2020.

Many countries are rushing to deply 5G as effective communications enable economimc growth and are seen as an essential element of modern day life and industry.

5G is rapidly developing and it is becoming the technology that everyone is moving towards. Not only will it be able to accommodate the superfast speeds required of it, but it will also be possible to accommodate the low data rate requiremets for IoT and IIoT applications. As such 5G will be able to encompass a huge number of different applications, and accommodate very many differnet data types.

The new 5G mobile communications system will enable many new mobile capabilities to be realised – offering high speed, enormous capacity, IoT capability, low latency and much more it provides the bearer for many new applications.

The 5G mobile cellular communications system provides a far higher level of performance than the previous generations of mobile communications systems.

The new 5G technology is not just the next version of mobile communications, evolving from 1G to 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G.

Instead 5G technology is very different. Previous systems had evolved driven more by what could be done with the latest technology. The new 5G technology has been driven by specific uses ad applications.

5G has been driven by the need to provide ubiquitous connectivity for applications as diverse as automotive communications, remote control with haptic style feedback, huge video downloads, as well as the very low data rate applications like remote sensors and what is being termed the IoT, Internet of Things.

5G standardisation

The current status of the 5G technology for cellular systems is very much in the early development stages. Very many companies are looking into the technologies that could be used to become part of the system. In addition to this a number of universities have set up 5G research units focussed on developing the technologies for 5G

In addition to this the standards bodies, particularly 3GPP are aware of the development but are not actively planning the 5G systems yet.

Many of the technologies to be used for 5G will start to appear in the systems used for 4G and then as the new 5G cellular system starts to formulate in a more concrete manner, they will be incorporated into the new 5G cellular system.

The major issue with 5G technology is that there is such an enormously wide variation in the requirements: superfast downloads to small data requirements for IoT than any one system will not be able to meet these needs. Accordingly a layer approach is likely to be adopted. As one commentator stated: 5G is not just a mobile technology. It is ubiquitous access to high & low data rate services.

5G cellular systems overview

As the different generations of cellular telecommunications have evolved, each one has brought its own improvements. The same will be true of 5G technology.

  • First generation, 1G:   These phones were analogue and were the first mobile or cellular phones to be used. Although revolutionary in their time they offered very low levels of spectrum efficiency and security.
  • Second generation, 2G:   These were based around digital technology and offered much better spectrum efficiency, security and new features such as text messages and low data rate communications.
  • Third generation, 3G:   The aim of this technology was to provide high speed data. The original technology was enhanced to allow data up to 14 Mbps and more.
  • Fourth generation, 4G:   This was an all-IP based technology capable of providing data rates up to 1 Gbps.

Any new 5th generation, 5G cellular technology needs to provide significant gains over previous systems to provide an adequate business case for mobile operators to invest in any new system.

Facilities that might be seen with 5G technology include far better levels of connectivity and coverage. The term World Wide Wireless Web, or WWWW is being coined for this.

For 5G technology to be able to achieve this, new methods of connecting will be required as one of the main drawbacks with previous generations is lack of coverage, dropped calls and low performance at cell edges. 5G technology will need to address this.

5G requirements

As work moves forwards in the standards bodies the over-riding specifications for the mobile communications system have been defined by the ITU as part of IMT2020.

The currently agreed standards for 5G are summarised below:

SUGGESTED 5G WIRELESS PERFORMANCE
PARAMETER SUGGESTED PERFORMANCE
Peak data rate At least 20Gbps downlink and 10Gbps uplink per mobile base station. This represents a 20 fold increase on the downlink over LTE.
5G connection density At least 1 million connected devices per square kilometre (to enable IoT support).
5G mobility 0km/h to “500km/h high speed vehicular” access.
5G energy efficiency The 5G spec calls for radio interfaces that are energy efficient when under load, but also drop into a low energy mode quickly when not in use.
5G spectral efficiency 30bits/Hz downlink and 15 bits/Hz uplink. This assumes 8×4 MIMO (8 spatial layers down, 4 spatial layers up).
5G real-world data rate The spec “only” calls for a per-user download speed of 100Mbps and upload speed of 50Mbps.
5G latency Under ideal circumstances, 5G networks should offer users a maximum latency of just 4ms (compared to 20ms for LTE).

5G communications system

The 5G mobile cellular communications system will be a major shift in the way mobile communications networks operate. To achieve this a totally new radio access network and a new core network are required to provide the performance required.

  • 5G New Radio, 5G NR:   5G new radio is the new name for the 5G radio access network. It consists of the different elements needed for the new radio access network. Using a far more flexible technology the system is able to respond to the different and changing needs of mobile users whether they be a small IoT node, or a high data user, stationary or mobile.
  • 5G NextGen Core Network:   Although initial deployments of 5G will utilise the core network of LTE or possibly even 3G networks, the ultimate aim is to have a new network that is able to handle the much higher data volumes whilst also being able to provide a much lower level of latency.

5G technologies

There are many new 5G technologies and techniques that are being discussed and being developed for inclusion in the 5G standards.

These new technologies and techniques will enable 5G to provide a more flexible and dynamic service.

The technologies being developed for 5G include:

  • Millimetre-Wave communications:   Using frequencies much higher in the frequency spectrum opens up more spectrum and also provides the possibility of having much wide channel bandwidth – possibly 1 – 2 GHz. However this poses new challenges for handset development where maximum frequencies of around 2 GHz and bandwidths of 10 – 20 MHz are currently in use. For 5G, frequencies of above 50GHz are being considered and this will present some real challenges in terms of the circuit design, the technology, and also the way the system is used as these frequencies do not travel as far and are absorbed almost completely by obstacles. Different countries are allocating different spectrum for 5G.
  • Waveforms :   One key area of interest is that of the new waveforms that may be seen. OFDM has been used very successfully in 4G LTE as well as a number of other high data rate systems, but it does have some limitations in some circumstances. Other waveform formats that are being discussed include: GFDM, Generalised Frequency Division Multiplexing, as well as FBMC, Filter Bank Multi-Carrier, UFMC, Universal Filtered MultiCarrier. There is no perfect waveform, and it is possible that OFDM in the form of OFDMA is used as this provides excellent overall performance without being too heavy on the level of processing required.
  • Multiple Access:   Again a variety of new access schemes are being investigated for 5G technology. Techniques including OFDMA, SCMA, NOMA, PDMA, MUSA and IDMA have all been mentioned. As mentioned above it appears that the most likely format could be OFDMA
  • Massive MIMO with beamsteering:   Although MIMO is being used in many applications from LTE to Wi-Fi, etc, the numbers of antennas is fairly limited. Using microwave frequencies opens up the possibility of using many tens of antennas on a single equipment becomes a real possibility because of the antenna sizes and spacings in terms of a wavelength. This would enable beams to be steered to provide enhanced performance.
  • Dense networks:   Reducing the size of cells provides a much more overall effective use of the available spectrum. Techniques to ensure that small cells in the macro-network and deployed as femtocells can operate satisfactorily are required. There is a significant challenge in adding huge numbers of additional cells to a network, and techniques are being developed to enable this.

These are a few of the main techniques being developed and discuss for use within 5G.

5G timeline & dates

5G is developoing rapidly and it needs to meet some demanding timelines. Some trial deployments have occurred and some of the first real deploymets are anticipayed in 2020.

Many countries are rushing to deply 5G as effective communications enable economimc growth and are seen as an essential element of modern day life and industry.

5G is rapidly developing and it is becoming the technology that everyone is moving towards. Not only will it be able to accommodate the superfast speeds required of it, but it will also be possible to accommodate the low data rate requiremets for IoT and IIoT applications. As such 5G will be able to encompass a huge number of different applications, and accommodate very many differnet data types.

5G NextGen Core Network

The 5G NG NextGen core network will play a crucial role in enabling the overall performance of the 5G mobile communications system to meet its performance goals.

 

The 5G NextGen, NG core network will play a key role in enabling the performance of the 5G mobile communications system.

Defining the next-generation architecture is the responsibility of the 3GPP’s System Architecture (SA) Technical Specification Group on Service and System Aspects.

The study phase, completed last year in 2016, outlines what this new core network, known as NG Core, or NextGen core network, will look like.

5G NextGen NG core network basics

The requirements for the network for 5G will be particularly diverse. In one instance, very high bandwidth communications are needed, and in other applications there is a need for exceedingly low latency, and then there are also requirements for low data rate communications for machine to machine and IoT applications.

In amongst this there will be normal voice communications, Internet surfing and all the other applications that we have used and become accustomed to using.

As a result the 5G NextGen network will need to accommodate a huge diversity in types of traffic and it will need to be able to accommodate each one with great efficiency and effectiveness. Often it is thought that type suits all approach does not give the optimum performance in any application, but this is what is needed for the 5G network.

To achieve the requirements for the 5G network a number of techniques are being employed. These will make the 5G network considerably more scalable, flexible and efficient.

  • Software defined networking, SDN:   Using software defined networks, it is possible to run the network using software rather than hardware. This provides significant improvements in terms of flexibility and efficiency
  • Network functions virtualisation, NFV :   When using software defined networks it is possible to run the different network function purely using software. This means that generic hardware can be reconfigured to provide the different functions and it can be deployed as required on the network.
  • Network slicing:   As 5G will require very different types of network for the different applications, a scheme known as network slicing has been devices. Using SDN and NFV it will be possible to configure the type of network that an individual user will require for his application. In this way the same hardware using different software can provide a low latency level for one user, whilst providing voice communications for another using different software and other users may want other types of network performance and each one can have a slice of the network with the performance needed.

The performance required for the 5G NextGen network has been defined by the NGMN (Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance). The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance is a mobile telecommunications association of mobile operators, vendors, manufacturers and research institutes and by using the experience of all parties, it is able to develop the strategies for the next generation mobile networks, like that for 5G.

As such the 5G NG, NextGen core network will be able to utilise far greater levels of flexibility to enable it to serve the increased and diverse requirements placed upon it by the radio access network and the increased number of connections and traffic.

5G Waveform: CP-OFDM & DFT-SOFDM

The waveform that has been adopted for the 5G New Radio is based on OFDM but with updates to that used with LTE

 

The standard for the 5G New Radio phase one has been released and within this the waveform to be used has been defined.

A number of candidate waveforms were investigated for 5G, and after much discussion it was decided that a waveform based n OFDM would provide the optimum results.

Accordingly cyclic prefix OFDM, or CP-OFDM was chosen as the main candidate with DFT-SOFDM, discrete Fourier transform spread orthogonal frequency division multiplexing being used in some areas.

5G waveform background

Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing has been an excellent waveform choice for 4G. It provides excellent spectrum efficiency, it can be processed and handled with the processing levels achievable in current mobile handsets, and it operates well with high data rate stream occupying wide bandwidths. It operates well in situations where there is selective fading.

However with the advances in processing capabilities that will be available by 2020 when 5G is expected to have its first launches means that other waveforms can be considered.

There are several advantages to the use of new waveforms for 5G. OFDM requires the use of a cyclic prefix and this occupies space within the data streams. There are also other advantages that can be introduced by using one of a variety of new waveforms for 5G.

One of the key requirements is the availability of processing power. Although Moore’s Law in its basic form is running to the limits of device feature sizes and further advances in miniaturisation are unlikely for a while, other techniques are being developed that mean the spirit of Moore’s Law is able to continue and processing capability will increase. As such new 5G waveforms that require additional processing power, but are able to provide additional advantages are still viable.

5G waveform requirements

The potential applications for 5G including high speed video downloads, gaming, car-to-car / car-to-infrastructure communications, general cellular communications, IoT / M2M communications and the like, all place requirements on the form of 5G waveform scheme that can provide the required performance.

Some of the key requirements that need to be supported by the modulation scheme and overall waveform include:

  • Capable of handling high data rate wide bandwidth signals
  • Able to provide low latency transmissions for long and short data bursts, i.e. very short Transmission Tine Intervals, TTIs, are needed.
  • Capable of fast switching between uplink and downlink for TDD systems that are likely to be used.
  • Enable the possibility of energy efficient communications by minimising the on-times for low data rate devices.

These are a few of the requirements that are needed for 5G waveforms to support the facilities that are needed.

Cyclic Prefix OFDM: CP-OFDM

The specific version of OFDM used in 5G NR downlink is cyclic prefix OFDM, CP-OFDM and it is the same waveform LTE has adopted for the downlink signal.

Basic concept of OFDM, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing used in 5G NR, showing how the sidebands from adjacent carriers cancel at the point of the main carriers
Basic concept of OFDM, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing

The 5G NR uplink has used a different format to 4G LTE. CP-OFDM- and DFT-S-OFDM-based waveforms are used in the uplink. Additionally, 5G NR provides for the use of flexible subcarrier spacing. LTE subcarriers normally had a 15 kHz spacing, but 5G NR allows the subcarriers to be spaced at 15 kHz x 2s with a maximum spacing of 240 kHz. The integral s carrier spacing rather than fractional carrier spacing is required to preserve the orthogonality of the carriers.

The flexible carrier spacing is used to properly support the diverse spectrum bands/types and deployment models that 5G NR will need to accommodate. For example, 5G NR must be able to operate in mmWave bands that have wider channel widths of up to 400 MHz. 3GPP 5G NR Rel-15 specification details the scalable OFDM numerology with 2s scaling of subcarrier spacing that can scale with the channel width, so the FFT size scales so that processing complexity does not increase unnecessarily for wider bandwidths. The flexible carrier spacing also gives additional resilience to the effects of phase noise within the system.

The use of OFDM waveforms offers a lower implementation complexity compared to that which would be needed if some of the other waveforms considered for 5G had been implemented. In addition to this, OFDM is well understood as it has been used for 4G and many other wireless systems.

5G Modulation Schemes

– the modulation scheme or schemes adopted for 5G will play a major role in determining the performance and complexity of the handsets and other nodes used.

 

The modulation schemes used for 5G will have a major impact on performance.

Whilst there are requirements to ensure that the data rates needed can be carried and the 5G modulation schemes performance issues including peak to average power ratio, spectral efficiency, and performance in the presence of interference and noise need to be included in any decisions made.

Peak to average power ratio, PAPR

The peak to average power ratio is one aspect of performance that needs to be considered for any 5G modulation scheme.

The peak to average ratio has a major impact on the efficiency of the power amplifiers. For 2G GSM, the signal level was constant and as a result it was possible to run the final RF amplifier in compression to obtain a high level of efficiency and maximise the battery life.

With the advent of 3G, then its HSPA enhancements and then 4G, the modulation schemes and waveforms have meant that the signals have become progressively more ‘peaky’ with higher levels of peak to average power ratio. This has meant that the final RF amplifiers cannot be run in compression and as the PAPR has increased, so the efficiency of the RF amplifiers has fallen and this is one factor that has shortened battery life.

The opportunity now arises to utilise 5G modulation schemes that can reduce the PAPR and thereby improve efficiency.

Spectral efficiency

One of the key issues with any form of 5G modulation scheme is the spectral efficiency. With spectrum being at a premium, especially in frequencies below 3 GHz, it is essential that any modulation scheme adopted for 5G is able to provide a high level of spectral efficiency.

There is often a balance between higher orders of modulation like 64 QAM as opposed to 16 QAM for example and noise performance. Thus higher order modulation schemes tend to be only sued when there is a good signal to noise ratio.

Accordingly any 5G modulation scheme will need to accommodate high levels of performance under a variety of conditions.

5G modulation schemes

3G and 4G have used modulation schemes including PSK and QAM. These schemes provide excellent spectral efficiency and have enabled the very high data rates to be carried but fall short in terms of their peak to average power ratio.

To overcome the PAPR issue, one option being considered for a 5G modulation scheme is APSK or amplitude Phase Shift Keying.

However in view of the fact that amplitude components of a signal are more subject to noise, which is substantially amplitude based, it is likely that any overall 5G modulation scheme will be adaptive, enabling the system to switch to the most optimum for of modulation for the given situation.

5G Multiple Access Schemes

– preliminary details and information about the multiple access schemes and technology being developed for 5th generation or 5G mobile wireless or cellular telecommunications systems.

 

One key element of any cellular communications system is the multiple access technology that is used.

As a result the 5G multiple access schemes are being carefully considered and researched to ensure that the optimum technique or techniques are adopted.

There are several candidate 5G multiple access schemes that are in the running. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and as a result, no single technique is likely to meet all the requirements.

5G multiple access schemes

There are several candidate systems that are being considered as the 5G multiple access scheme. They include a variety of different ideas.

  • Orthogonal frequency division multiple access, OFDMA:   OFDMA has been widely used and very successful for 4G and could be used as a 5G multiple access scheme. However it does require the use of OFDM and requiring orthogonality between carriers and the use of a cyclic prefix has some drawbacks. As a result other multiple access schemes are being investigated.
  • Sparse Code Multiple Access, SCMA:   SCMA is another idea being considered as a 5G multiple access scheme and it is effectively a combination of OFDMA and CDMA. Normally with OFDMA a carrier or carriers is allocated to a given user. However if each carrier has a spreading code added to it, then it would be able to transmit data to or from multiple users. This technique has been developed to use what are termed sparse code and in this way significant numbers of users can be added while maintaining the spectral efficiency levels.
  • Non-orthogonal multiple access, NOMA:   NOMA is one of the techniques being considered as a 5G multiple access scheme. NOMA superposes multiple users in the power domain, using cancellation techniques to remove the more powerful signal. NOMA could use orthogonal frequency division multiple access, OFDMA or the discrete Fourier transform, DFT-spread OFDM. .

There are several multiple access schemes that could be used with 5G. The one or ones used will be chosen as a result of the standardisation process which is currently onging.

5G Millimetre Wave

– preliminary details and information the millimetre wave technologies being developed for 5G mobile communications

 

One of the options that is most likely to be incorporated into the 5G technologies that are being developed for the 5G cellular telecommunications systems is a millimetre wave capability.

With spectrum being in short supply below 4GHz, frequencies extending up to 60GHz are being considered.

5G millimetre wave basics

One of the interfaces being considered for 5G mobile communications uses millimetre wave frequencies.

It is estimated that bandwidths of several GHz may be required by operators to provide some of the extremely high data rates being forecast.

Currently frequency below 4GHz are being used by cellular communications systems, and by the very nature, these frequencies could only offer a maximum bandwidth of 4 GHz, even if they were all clear for use which is obviously not possible.

By having a 5G millimetre wave interface, much wider bandwidths are possible, and there are several candidate millimeter bands that are being considered for allocation to this type of service.

5G millimeter wave propagation

The propagation characteristics of millimetre wave bands are very different to those below 4GHz. Typically distances that can be achieved are very much less and the signals do not pass through walls and other objects in buildings.

Typically millimetre wave communication is likely to be used for outdoor coverage for dense networks – typically densely used streets and the like. Here, ranges of up to 200 or 300 metres are possible.

One of the issues of using millimetre wave signals is that they can also be affected by natural changes such as rain. This can cause a considerable reduction in signal levels for the duration of the precipitation. This may result in reduced coverage for some periods.

Often these 5G millimetre wave small cells may use beamforming techniques to target the required user equipment and also reduce the possibility of reflections, etc.

Millimetre wave coverage

Simulations have shown that when millimetre wave small cells are set up they provide a good level of coverage. Naturally, typically being lower down than macro cells, the coverage will not be as good, but when considering the level of data they can carry, they provide an excellent way forwards for meeting the needs of 5G systems.

A further issue to be considered when looking at 5G millimetre wave solutions is that they will incur a much greater number of handovers than a normal macro cell. The additional signalling and control needs to be accommodated within the system. Also backhaul issues need to be considered as well.

Source: https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/connectivity/5g-mobile-wireless-cellular/technology-basics.php

Industry 4.0: Opportunities for Telecom in Manufacturing

11 Nov

Manufacturing is going through a period of change as factory owners and operators look to take advantage of technological advances to improve their competitiveness. Changes in several areas have opened up new opportunities, and collectively they provide a new platform for manufacturers.

In the first stages, manufacturers can use their new connected systems to gain critical insights about their operations. These insights can be used to improve the way the business is run, with potential enhancements to every aspect of their businesses. There are significant opportunities for telecom companies to support manufacturers as they follow this process – by the provision of services on the factory shop floor, across campus settings and as products are bought and used by customers.

This vision of the future offers a potential opportunity for wireless telecom vendors and service providers to unseat providers of fixed telecom infrastructure, or to insert their products and services in place of self-provisioned enterprise networks built on fiber Ethernet cabling or expensive, proprietary private wireless networks.

Analysis of existing players in the manufacturing market shows that they have already made moves to position themselves strongly as the ideal suppliers of Industry 4.0 technologies and services. The most advanced of these already have portfolios covering the entire value chain, and can cite experience of building next-generation factories for themselves and for customers. Neither operators nor vendors would be well placed to try to take a lead role in this market, as they are coming from too far behind.

Where they have not already developed their own IoT platforms, operators have an opportunity to become branded resellers of third-party IoT platforms. This will enable them to better control the connectivity that accompanies the overall IoT package, including mobile, fixed and nomadic wireless services.

There is a strong divergence of views between those keen to promote the idea of a wireless (as opposed to simply “connected”), or even mobile (as opposed to nomadic wireless), factory future, and others who simply don’t see their customers ripping out and replacing their factory solutions.

Ways operators might attempt to break into the market include: targeting new factory builds (where using mobile might reduce the upfront networking cost) and targeting factory refurbishments (where the cables need to ripped out anyway). They might also try a completely different tack. Spectrum sub-licensing (where national regulations allow) may make sense here, giving operator revenues (where otherwise they might have none), vendors the opportunity to sell their kit and factories the capability to use licensed spectrum within the geographical confines of their properties but retain control of their infrastructure and (assuming the licensing model makes sense) retain control over costs.

Industry 4.0: Opportunities for Telecom in Manufacturing assesses the roles that telecom operators and their vendors might play in the manufacturing revolution. It looks at what Industry 4.0 is, how that fits with other visions of the industrial future – such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – and what role connectivity will play in enabling manufacturers to revolutionize the ways in which they run their operations. The study discusses how value chains are evolving and where telecom companies might fit into those value chains. Further, it looks at which connectivity technologies might fit within a factory environment and considers the state of Industry 4.0 now. Finally, it profiles companies from various parts of the value chain to show how they are addressing the Industry 4.0 opportunity.

Source: http://www.heavyreading.com/details.asp?sku_id=3474&skuitem_itemid=1704

Looking for 5G’s killer apps? Make a start with these

11 Nov

5G – fifth generation mobile networks are set to launch commercially by next year, 2019, some fixed wireless use cases in early adopter markets even by end of this year. While the race for 5G is at full speed there remains a critical debate about 5G’s “killer app” – what it will primarily be used for and what the business model around 5G will look like.

There is no doubt that in the future consumers will experience much higher data rates on their smartphones with 5G. It will deliver a quantum leap in capacity and data rates by a new radio system that utilizes much larger radio spectrum and achieves new heights in spectral efficiency. In addition to this “more of the same”, 5G will about far more than just watching cat videos on YouTube at much lower production costs for the underlying connection – which is already very good news to network operators. The true business value – and the upside potential for operators – will be about the substantial impact 5G will generate for industries.

This new business area will be enabled by the 5G network architecture providing so-called “network slicing”. Slices are virtual networks tailored to the specific needs of different applications. The multitude of different virtual network slices all run on the same physical network infrastructure. With that approach every application gets precisely the quality of service and connectivity characteristics it needs, such as assured throughput, peak data rate, coverage, reliability and network delay. This programmability transforms the network from a best effort consumer service engine to a predictable connectivity hub for basically any kind of industrial use case able to meet the most stringent and extreme connectivity requirements.

You may have heard statements like these a couple of times before, but you may also lack the real world proofs behind them. Therefore, let’s have a look at some of the “killer apps” of 5G in various industries by way of real projects in which Nokia is collaborating with leading companies in their respective industries who are equally as convinced that 5G will bring significant value add for their respective business models.

5G for automotive – new driving experiences

5G will offer new possibilities for connected cars such as providing higher quality online infotainment or the improved networking between cars and infrastructure for automated driving functions. In a Proof of Concept, Nokia and the BMW Group have been able to show some dedicated use cases, enabled by 5G network slicing. Based on the contrasting services’ characteristics, we have defined three exemplary slices for usage in the automotive context. A first slice is used to update HD maps by guaranteeing a defined data rate over longer time intervals. A second slice is focused on the exchange of time-sensitive data for the inter-vehicle data exchange known as vehicle-to-vehicle communication with high reliability and low transmission latency, which will be an important enabler for enhanced automated driving. A third slice is optimized with the best possible data quality for the streaming of videos in HD quality for infotainment, which can be played on the rear seat entertainment displays. Network slicing technology will ensure that the exchange of safety critical data always gets the highest priority, enabling new connectivity and information services that are not possible today. Experts of BMW Group Research are already today developing solutions to exploit the potential of future 5G networks in the car. Beyond this concrete example, the telecom industry and the automotive industry are coming together in the 5G Automotive Association which fosters the utilization of 5G in the automotive context.

5G for logistics – new processes in complex environments

A major trial is currently being run by the Hamburg Port Authority, Deutsche Telekom and Nokia to test the capabilities of the 5G architecture in an 8,000-hectare industrial area at the Port of Hamburg. The trial is being carried out under the auspices of the 5G.MoNArch (5G Mobile Network Architecture) project led by Nokia. The complex logistics and connected infrastructure within a sea port like Hamburg’s are fundamental to the harbor’s operations and requires a well-designed ICT infrastructure that will face increasing challenges. By 2025, Hamburg will be processing about 18 million containers each year, as well as tens of thousands of trucks per day, self-driving vehicles and about 100,000 sensors, all sending and retrieving data to ensure fluent processes. This scenario calls for a new kind of connectivity. The main requirements of any application in the port include resilience (guaranteed availability, even in the case of failures), security and support for the diverse requirements of the different use cases. In the current trial a variety of applications are being enabled by dedicated network slices, meeting each application’s stringent needs. These include better traffic flow by connected, intelligent transport systems; more secure operations using augmented reality based expert assistance at construction sites; and water gates as well as improved pollution control by connected sensors on moving barges. In a nutshell, the 5G network architecture will play a key role in managing a complex infrastructure in the most efficient way.

5G for Industry 4.0 – new heights in productivity by making factories mobile

One of the most important enablers of the smart factory will be vastly increased connectivity that will link machines, processes, robots and people to create more versatile and more dynamic production capabilities. In modern factories – walls, rooves and the factory floor are the only fixed components. The rest is mobile, with flexible, movable plug-and-play capabilities enabling additional machines and the plant to be connected via wireless connectivity. Today wireline is predominantly used in factories providing the high performance and reliability needed for automation, but lacking flexibility to rapidly meet changing production demands. 5G is the first wireless technology with the high throughput, low latency and extreme reliability that can replace wireline connectivity in a factory. It will allow for entirely new use cases in industrial automation, collaboration and safety. In a joint project Nokia and Bosch have shown that by coupling advanced interactive robots with wireless perimeter intrusion detection, the safety of factory employees can be significantly enhanced. But this is just a start: 5G network slicing will provide end-to-end quality of service and isolation for different applications in a factory to meet stringent demands for reliability and latency. For example 5G can achieve simultaneous ultra-low latency of less than 1 millisecond and 99.999% reliability, making it the only mobile technology suitable for Industry 4.0 factory applications. This makes the inherent flexibility and ease of deployment of wireless connectivity available to high-end industrial automation applications for the first time.

The newly founded 5G-ACIA (5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation) accelerates the collaboration between the manufacturing and telecom industries in order make 5G ready for Industry 4.0.

Automotive, logistics and Industry 4.0 are going to be three “killer apps” for 5G

In a nutshell 5G will significantly impact at least three large industries. This isn’t theory or wishful thinking: these industries are trialing the capabilities of the 5G network architecture to enhance driving experiences and connect mobile machines, vehicles and sensors, all resulting in a wide array of new possibilities.

Source: https://www.nokia.com/blog/looking-5gs-killer-apps-make-start-these/

Unlearn to Unleash Your Data Lake

16 Sep

The Data Science Process is about exploring, experimenting, and testing new data sources and analytic tools quickly.

The Challenge of Unlearning
For the first two decades of my career, I worked to perfect the art of data warehousing. I was fortunate to be at Metaphor Computers in the 1980’s where we refined the art of dimensional modeling and star schemas. I had many years working to perfect my star schema and dimensional modeling skills with data warehouse luminaries like Ralph Kimball, Margy Ross, Warren Thornthwaite, and Bob Becker. It became engrained in every customer conversation; I’d built a star schema and the conformed dimensions in my head as the client explained their data analysis requirements.

Then Yahoo happened to me and soon everything that I held as absolute truth was turned upside down. I was thrown into a brave new world of analytics based upon petabytes of semi-structured and unstructured data, hundreds of millions of customers with 70 to 80 dimensions and hundreds of metrics, and the need to make campaign decisions in fractions of a second. There was no way that my batch “slice and dice” business intelligence and highly structured data warehouse approach was going to work in this brave new world of real-time, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

I struggled to unlearn engrained data warehousing concepts in order to embrace this new real-time, predictive and prescriptive world. And this is one of the biggest challenge facing IT leaders today – how to unlearn what they’ve held as gospel and embrace what is new and different. And nowhere do I see that challenge more evident then when I’m discussing Data Science and the Data Lake.

Embracing The “Art of Failure” and The Data Science Process
Nowadays, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are being asked to lead the digital transformation from a batch world that uses data and analytics to monitor the business to a real-time world that exploits internal and external, structured and unstructured data, to predict what is likely to happen and prescribe recommendations. To power this transition, CIO’s must embrace a new approach for deriving customer, product, and operational insights – the Data Science Process (see Figure 2).

Figure 2:  Data Science Engagement Process

The Data Science Process is about exploring, experimenting, and testing new data sources and analytic tools quickly, failing fast but learning faster. The Data Science process requires business leaders to get comfortable with “good enough” and failing enough times before one becomes comfortable with the analytic results. Predictions are not a perfect world with 100% accuracy. As Yogi Berra famously stated:

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

This highly iterative, fail-fast-but-learn-faster process is the heart of digital transformation – to uncover new customer, product, and operational insights that can optimize key business and operational processes, mitigate regulatory and compliance risks, uncover new revenue streams and create a more compelling, more prescriptive customer engagement. And the platform that is enabling digital transformation is the Data Lake.

The Power of the Data Lake
The data lake exploits the economics of big data; coupling commodity, low-cost servers and storage with open source tools and technologies, is 50x to 100x cheaper to store, manage and analyze data then using traditional, proprietary data warehousing technologies. However, it’s not just cost that makes the data lake a more compelling platform than the data warehouse. The data lake also provides a new way to power the business, based upon new data and analytics capabilities, agility, speed, and flexibility (see Table 1).

Data Warehouse Data Lake
Data structured in heavily-engineered structured dimensional schemas Data structured as-is (structured, semi-structured, and unstructured formats)
Heavily-engineered, pre-processed data ingestion Rapid as-is data ingestion
Generates retrospective reports from historical, operational data sources Generates predictions and prescriptions from a wide variety of internal and external data sources
100% accurate results of past events and performance “Good enough” predictions of future events and performance
Schema-on-load to support the historical reporting on what the business did Schema-on-query to support the rapid data exploration and hypothesis testing
Extremely difficult to ingest and explore new data sources (measured in weeks or months) Easy and fast to ingest and explore new data sources (measured in hours or days)
Monolithic design and implementation (water fall) Natively parallel scale out design and implementation (scrum)
Expensive and proprietary Cheap and open source
Widespread data proliferation (data warehouses and data marts) Single managed source of organizational data
Rigid; hard to change Agile; relatively ease to change

Table 1:  Data Warehouse versus Data Lake

The data lake supports the unique requirements of the data science team to:

  • Rapidly explore and vet new structured and unstructured data sources
  • Experiment with new analytics algorithms and techniques
  • Quantify cause and effect
  • Measure goodness of fit

The data science team needs to be able perform this cycle in hours or days, not weeks or months. The data warehouse cannot support these data science requirements. The data warehouse cannot rapidly exploration the internal and external structured and unstructured data sources. The data warehouse cannot leverage the growing field of deep learning/machine learning/artificial intelligence tools to quantify cause-and-effect. Thinking that the data lake is “cold storage for our data warehouse” – as one data warehouse expert told me – misses the bigger opportunity. That’s yesterday’s “triangle offense” thinking. The world has changed, and just like how the game of basketball is being changed by the “economics of the 3-point shot,” business models are being changed by the “economics of big data.”

But a data lake is more than just a technology stack. To truly exploit the economic potential of the organization’s data, the data lake must come with data management services covering data accuracy, quality, security, completeness and governance. See “Data Lake Plumbers: Operationalizing the Data Lake” for more details (see Figure 3).

Figure 3:  Components of a Data Lake

If the data lake is only going to be used another data repository, then go ahead and toss your data into your unmanageable gaggle of data warehouses and data marts.

BUT if you are looking to exploit the unique characteristics of data and analytics –assets that never deplete, never wear out and can be used across an infinite number of use cases at zero marginal cost – then the data lake is your “collaborative value creation” platform. The data lake becomes that platform that supports the capture, refinement, protection and re-use of your data and analytic assets across the organization.

But one must be ready to unlearn what they held as the gospel truth with respect to data and analytics; to be ready to throw away what they have mastered to embrace new concepts, technologies, and approaches. It’s challenging, but the economics of big data are too compelling to ignore. In the end, the transition will be enlightening and rewarding. I know, because I have made that journey.

Source: http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/4157284

3GPP Burns Midnight Oil for 5G

10 Sep

Long hours, streamlined features to finish draft. The race is on to deliver some form of 5G as soon as possible.

An Intel executive painted a picture of engineers pushing the pedal to the metal to complete an early version of the 5G New Radio (NR) standard by the end of the year. She promised that Intel will have a test system based on its x86 processors and FPGAs as soon as the spec is finished.

The 3GPP group defining the 5G NR has set a priority of finishing a spec for a non-standalone version by the end of the year. It will extend existing LTE core networks with a 5G NR front end for services such as fixed-wireless access.

After that work is finished, the radio-access group will turn its attention to drafting a standalone 5G NR spec by September 2018.

“Right now, NR non-standalone is going fine with lots of motivation, come hell or high water, to declare a standard by the end of December,” said Asha Keddy, an Intel vice president and general manager of its next-generation and standards group. “The teams don’t even break until 10 p.m. on many days, and even then, sometimes they have sessions after dinner.”

To lighten the load, a plenary meeting of the 3GPP radio-access group next week is expected to streamline the proposed feature set for non-standalone NR. While a baseline of features such as channel coding and subcarrier spacing have been set, some features are behind schedule for being defined, such as MIMO beam management, said Keddy.

It’s hard to say what features will be in or out at this stage, given that decisions will depend on agreement among carriers. “Some of these are hit-or-miss, like when [Congress] passes a bill,” she said.

It’s not an easy job, given the wide variety of use cases still being explored for 5G and the time frames involved. “We are talking about writing a standard that will emerge in 2020, peak in 2030, and still be around in 2040 — it’s kind of a responsibility to the future,” she said.

The difficulty is even greater given carrier pressure. For example, AT&T and Verizon have announced plans to roll out fixed-wireless access services next year based on the non-standalone 5G NR, even though that standard won’t be formally ratified until late next year.

N

An Intel 5G test system in the field. (Images: Intel)

An Intel 5G test system in the field. (Images: Intel)

Companies such as Intel and Qualcomm have been supplying CPU- and FPGA-based systems for use in carrier trials. They have been updating the systems’ software to keep pace with developments in 3GPP and carrier requests.

For its part, Intel has deployed about 200 units of its 5G test systems to date. They will be used on some of the fixed-wireless access trials with AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., as well as for other use cases in 5G trials with Korea Telecom and NTT Docomo in Japan.

Some of the systems are testing specialized use cases in vertical markets with widely varied needs, such as automotive, media, and industrial, with companies including GE and Honeywell. The pace of all of the trials is expected to pick up next year once the systems support the 5G non-standalone spec.

Intel’s first 5G test system was released in February 2016 supporting sub-6-GHz and mm-wave frequencies. It launched a second-generation platform with integrated 4×4 MIMO in August 2016.

The current system supports bands including 600–900 MHz, 3.3–4.2 GHz, 4.4–4.9 GHz, 5.1–5.9 GHz, 28 GHz, and 39 GHz. It provides data rates up to 10 Gbits/second.

Keddy would not comment on Intel’s plans for dedicated silicon for 5G either in smartphones or base stations.

In January, Intel announced that a 5G modem for smartphones made in its 14-nm process will sample in the second half of this year. The announcement came before the decision to split NR into the non-standalone and standalone specs.

Similarly, archrival Qualcomm announced late last year that its X50 5G modem will sample in 2017. It uses eight 100-MHz channels, a 2×2 MIMO antenna array, adaptive beamforming techniques, and 64 QAM to achieve a 90-dB link budget and works with a separate 28-GHz transceiver and power management chips.

Source: http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1332248&page_number=2

5G use cases

10 Sep
With 5G promising “ultra-high throughput, ultra-low latency transmission, and edge computing”, Huawei and Softbank’s 5G use cases including real-time UHD video, robotic arm control and more.

Seeking their own slices of 5G supremacy, Japan’s Softbank Corp and the Japanese division of China’s Huawei Technologies have “jointly demonstrated various potential use cases for a 5G network.”

As can be seen by the two photos provided at the end of this article, the demonstration “included real-time UHD video transmission using ultra-high throughput, remote control of a robotic arm using ultra-low latency transmission and remote rendering via a GPU server using edge computing.”

In addition, the real-time UHD video transmission demonstrated throughput of “over 800 Mbps.”

The videos show a game of air Hockey being played, with a description of how this works in example 3, below.

The remote control of the robotic arm also demonstrated an “ultra-low latency one-way transmission of less than 2ms.”With SoftBank planning “various experiments to study 5G technologies and endeavouring to launch 5G commercial services around 2020,” it’s clear these kinds of demonstrations are just a glimpse into what is promised to be a glorious 5G future.

Of course, 5G promises to connect everyone to everything, everywhere, especially via a vast array of IoT devices, so security is still a major issue needing to be solved, but as with the final 5G standards, a lot of work is being done in all these regards to deliver solid solutions backed by superior security, and we’re just going to have to wait and see how successful the industry is at these issues.

As for the edge computing mentioned above, Huawei and Softbank state that, “in edge computing, servers are located near by base stations, i.e. at the edge of an mobile network, with a distributed way.”

The dynamic duo state that “This architecture allows us to realise ultra low latency transmission between the servers and mobile terminals. Also, it is possible to process a huge amount of data gathered by IoT devices to decrease the load of the mobile network.”

Here are the demonstration details provided by both companies, with accompanying infographics:

1. Real-time UHD video transmission

“A UHD camera was installed inside the demonstration room to capture outdoor scenery. The data from this camera was then compressed in real-time using an encoder and transmitted through the ultra-high throughput 5G network to a UHD monitor via a decoder, where the original data was recovered.

“In this demonstration, the scenery of the Odaiba Tokyo Bay area was successfully displayed on the UHD monitor using the ultra-high throughput provided by the 5G network. This technology can be applied to various industries, including tele-health or tele-education.”

Turn phone horizontal to see full image if viewing on mobile:

2. Immersive video

“Scenery was captured by a 180-degree camera equipped with four lenses pointing four different directions installed in the demonstration room, and captured scenery was distributed to smartphones and tablets over the 5G network.

“Four separate cameras were set up to capture the scenery in different directions, and the video images captured by these cameras were stitched together to generate a 180-degree panoramic video image that enabled multiple simultaneous camera views. Then the video image was compressed and distributed to smartphones or tablets in real-time over the 5G network, which gives users a truly realistic user experience.

“Coupled with a 5G network, this technology can be applied to virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).”

3. Remote control of robotic arm with ultra-low latency

“A robotic arm played an air hockey game against a human in this demonstration. A camera installed on top of the air hockey table detected the puck’s position to calculate its trajectory.

“The calculated result was then forwarded to the robotic arm control server to control the robotic arm. In this demonstration, the robotic arm was able to strike back the puck shot by the human player on various trajectories. This technology can be applied to factory automation, for example.”

4. Remote rendering by GPU server

“Rendering is a technology used to generate videos or images using computers with GPUs (Graphic Processor Unit). This technology is used for generating HD videos in computer games or for CAD (Computer Aided Design). The rendering consumes a large amount of computing resources. Therefore, HD computer games or HD CADs were not executable on tablets or smartphones on their own.

“However, edge computing technology provided by the 5G network allows us to enjoy HD computer games or HD CADs on tablets or smartphones. A GPU server located near a 5G base station performed rendering and the image generated by the GPU server was sent to the tablet over the ultra-high throughput and ultra-low latency 5G network. This technology can be applied to check the CAD data at a construction site with a tablet or to enjoy a HD game application on a smartphone.”

Huawei and Softbank note that: “Immersive video” and “remote control of a robotic arm with ultra-low latency” were jointly integrated and configured for demonstration by SoftBank and Huawei. “UHD real-time video transmission” and “Remote rendering with GPU servers” were integrated and configured for demonstration by SoftBank.

Here are the photos of the Air Hockey game in action:

 

5G use cases demonstrated by SoftBank and Huawei

Source: https://www.itwire.com/telecoms-and-nbn/79837-5g-use-cases-demonstrated-by-softbank-and-huawei.html

5G Rollout In The US: Expected Launch Date, Speeds And Functionality

10 Sep

Super-Fast 5G networks are expected to change the way we use the internet.

AT&T is testing 5G out in the real world in partnership with Intel and Ericsson.
The rollout of 5G networks has been anticipated ever since 4G took off. However, it is yet to become a reality. Yet, it is the need of the hour in the age of smart homes, connected cars, and connected devices.

5G is expected to be a major improvement over 4G and might offer speed of over 1 GB per second. According to the International Telecommunication Union’s 5G standard, 5G networks might offer peak speed of 20 GB per second downlink and 10 GB uplink. The real-world data speed is expected to come up to with at least 100 MB per second.

It is expected to cause an increase in consumer data usage which will make the usage of all things connected whether it is smartphones, smart speakers or cars, much easier for users.

Since it will be around 30-50 times faster than the current data speeds, it will make overall usage of smart devices smoother and easier. It might make for more devices such as the upcoming Apple Watch 3 to become LTE capable i.e. devices would come with embedded SIM cards, providing them data rather than being Wi-Fi dependent.

But 5G has been in the works for long. When will it actually launch?

5G networks are expected to launch by 2020 and according to Gartner, they might cause a three-fold increase in number of connected devices. Whenever it is launched, 5G will support more devices than current 4G ones.

It might also lure consumers into using more value-added services which might make it a more profitable deal for network providers.

Many network providers are already claiming to provide 5G including Verizon and AT&T but the fact remains that none have really stepped up to the mantle by providing actual 1 GB per second speed.

5G will need a strong signal and its signals are high and short, therefore, network provider will have to protect their networks against obstructions.

While network providers might get their act together, most probably by 2020, the hardware will also have to come up to par. Smartphones and other smart devices will have to be equipped with 5G-capable bands.

For example, Apple has already received approval from the Federal Communications Commission for testing 5G broadband and is expected to make its upcoming phones, including the iPhone 8, 5G-capable. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8 run on AT&T networks also claim to be 5G-capable.

5G is also expected to accelerate the adoption of technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality and also increase the presence of more artificial-intelligence based apps and games on connected devices.

That being said, 5G also has risks of exposing users to increased radiation. According to the National Toxicology Program, increased radiation might risk in an increase in the occurrence of tumors.

All such issues will need to be worked out before the commercial deployment of 5G.

Source: http://www.cetusnews.com/tech/5G-Rollout-In-The-US–Expected-Launch-Date–Speeds-And-Functionality.B1ee4N2M9-.html

Antenna Design for 5G Communications

7 Jun

With the rollout of the 5th generation mobile network around the corner, technology exploration is in full swing. The new 5G requirements (e.g. 1000x increase in capacity, 10x higher data rates, etc.) will create opportunities for diverse new applications, including automotive, healthcare, industrial and gaming. But to make these requirements technically feasible, higher communication frequencies are needed. For example, the 26 and 28 GHz frequency bands have been allocated for Europe and the USA respectively – more than 10x higher than typical 4G frequencies. Other advancement will include carrier aggregation to increase bandwidth and the use of massive MIMO antenna arrays to separate users through beamforming and spatial multiplexing.

Driving Innovation Through Simulation

The combination of these technology developments will create new challenges that impact design methodologies applied to mobile and base station antennas currently. Higher gain antennas will be needed to sustain communications in the millimeter wavelength band due to the increase in propagation losses. While this can be achieved by using multi-element antenna arrays, it comes at the cost of increased design complexity, reduced beamwidth and sophisticated feed circuits.

Simulation will pave the way to innovate these new antenna designs through rigorous optimization and tradeoff analysis. Altair’s FEKO™ is a comprehensive electromagnetic simulation suite ideal for these type of designs: offering MoM, FEM and FDTD solvers for preliminary antenna simulations, and specialized tools for efficient simulation of large array antennas.

Mobile Devices

In a mobile phone, antenna real estate is typically a very limited commodity, and in most cases, a tradeoff between antenna size and performance is made. In the millimeter band the antenna footprint will be much smaller, and optimization of the antenna geometry will ensure the best antenna performance is achieved for the space that is allocated, also for higher order MIMO configurations.

At these frequencies, the mobile device is also tens of wavelengths in size and the antenna integration process now becomes more like an antenna placement problem – an area where FEKO is well known to excel. When considering MIMO strategies, it is also easier to achieve good isolation between the MIMO elements, due to larger spatial separation that can be achieved at higher frequencies. Similarly, it is more straightforward to achieve good pattern diversity strategies.

 

 

Base Station

FEKO’s high performance solvers and specialized toolsets are well suited for the simulation massive MIMO antenna arrays for 5G base stations. During the design of these arrays, a 2×2 subsection can be optimized to achieve good matching, maximize gain and minimize isolation with neighboring elements –a very efficient approach to minimize nearest neighbor coupling. The design can then be extrapolated up to the large array configurations for final analysis. Farming of the optimization tasks enables these multi-variable and multi-goal to be solved in only a few hours. Analysis of the full array geometry can be efficiently solved with FEKO’s FDTD or MLFMM method: while FDTD is extremely efficient (1.5 hrs for 16×16 planar array), MLFMM might also be a good choice depending on the specific antenna geometry.

 

 

The 5G Channel and Network Deployment

The mobile and base station antenna patterns that are simulated in FEKO, can used in WinProp™ for high-level system analysis of the 5G radio network coverage and to determine channel statistics for urban, rural and indoor scenarios.

 

 

WinProp is already extensively used for 4G/LTE network planning. However, the use cases for 5G networks will be even more relevant largely due to the different factors that occur in the millimeter band. These include higher path loss from atmospheric absorption and rainfall, minimal penetration into walls and stronger effects due to surface roughness.

In addition to being able to calculate the angular and delay spread, WinProp also provides a platform to analyze and compare the performance of different MIMO configurations while taking beamforming into account.

 

The Road to 5G

While some of the challenges that lie ahead to meet the 5G requirements may still seem daunting, simulation can already be used today to develop understanding and explore innovative solutions. FEKO offers comprehensive solutions for device and base station antenna design, while WinProp will determine the requirements for successful network deployment.

 

Source: http://innovationintelligence.com/antenna-design-for-5g-communications/

SD-LAN VS LAN: WHAT ARE THE KEY DIFFERENCES?

7 Jun

To understand SD-LAN, let’s backtrack a bit and look at the architecture and technologies that led to its emergence.

First, what is SDN?

Software-defined networking (SDN) is a new architecture that decouples the network control and forwarding functions, enabling network control to become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted for applications and network services.

This allows network engineers and administrators to respond quickly to changing business requirements because they can shape traffic from a centralized console without having to touch individual devices. It also delivers services to where they’re needed in the network, without regard to what specific devices a server or other device is connected to.

Functional separation, network virtualization, and automation through programmability are the key technologies.

But SDN has two obvious shortcomings:

  • It’s really about protocols (rather than operations), staff, as well as end-user-visible features, function, and capabilities.
  • It has relatively little impact at the access layer (intermediary and edge switches and access points, in particular). Yet these are critical elements that define wireless LANs today.

And so, what is SD-WAN?

Like SDN, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) separates the control and data planes of the WAN and enables a degree of control across multiple WAN elements, physical and virtual, which is otherwise not possible.

However, while SDN is an architecture, SD-WAN is a buyable technology.

Much of the technology that makes up SD-WAN is not new; rather it’s the packaging of it together – aggregation technologies, central management, the ability to dynamically share network bandwidth across connection points.

Its ease of deployment, central manageability, and reduced costs make SD-WAN an attractive option for many businesses, according to Gartner analyst Andrew Lerner, who tracks the SD-WAN market closely. Lerner estimates that an SD-WAN can be up to two and a half times less expensive than a traditional WAN architecture. SD-LAN is taking complex technology to solve complex problems, but allowing IT departments work faster and smarter in the process.

So where and how does SD-LAN fit in?

SD-LAN builds on the principles of SDN in the data center and SD-WAN to bring specific benefits of adaptability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and scale to wired and wireless access networks.

All of this happens while providing mission-critical business continuity to the network access layer.

Put simply: SD-LAN is an application- and policy-driven architecture that unchains hardware and software layers while creating self-organizing and centrally-managed networks that are simpler to operate, integrate, and scale.

1) Application optimization prioritizes and changes network behavior based on the apps 

  • Dynamic optimization of the LAN, driven by app priorities
  • Ability to focus network resources where they serve the organization’s most important needs
  • Fine-grained application visibility and control at the network edge

2) Secure, identity-driven access dynamically defines what users, devices, and things can do when they access the SD-LAN.

  • Context-based policy control polices access by user, device, application, location, available bandwidth, or time of day
  • Access can be granted or revoked at a granular level for collections of users, devices and things, or just one of those, on corporate, guest and IoT networks
  • IoT networks increase the chances of security breaches, since many IoT devices, cameras and sensors have limited built-in security. IoT devices need to be uniquely identified on the Wi-Fi network, which is made possible by software-defined private pre-shared keys.

3) Adaptive access self-optimizes, self-heals, and self- organizes wireless access points and access switches.

  • Control without the controllers—dynamic control protocols are used to distribute a shared control plane for increased resiliency, scale, and speed
  • Ability to intelligently adapt device coverage and capacity through use of software definable radios and multiple connection technologies (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/wave 1/wave 2/MIMO/ MU-MIMO, BLE, and extensibility through USB)
  • A unified layer of wireless and wired infrastructure devices, with shared policies and management
  • The removal of hardware dependency, providing seamless introduction of new access points and switches into existing network infrastructure. All hardware platforms should support the same software.

4) Centralized cloud-based network management reduces cost and complexity of network operations with centralized public or private cloud networking.

  • Deployment in public or private cloud with a unified architecture for flexible operations
  • Centralized management for simplified network planning, deployment, and troubleshooting
  • Ability to distribute policy changes quickly and efficiently across geographically distributed locations

5) Open APIs with programmable interfaces allow tight integration of network and application infrastructures.

  • Programmability that enables apps to derive information from the network and enables the network to respond to app requirements.
  • A “big data” cloud architecture to enable insights from users, devices, and things

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into making SD-LAN work. It’s taking complex technology to solve complex problems, but allowing IT departments work faster and smarter in the process.

Source: http://boundless.aerohive.com/technology/SD-LAN-vs-LAN-What-Are-The-Key-Differences.html

Kleinschalige DDoS-aanvallen leveren het grootste gevaar op

7 Jun

Hacker (bron: FreeImages.com/Jakub Krechowicz)

Kleine DDoS-aanvallen met een beperkte omvang leveren de grootste bedreiging op voor bedrijven. Dergelijke aanvallen kunnen firewalls en intrusion prevention systems (IPS) offline brengen en security professionals afleiden, terwijl de aanvallers malware installeren op systemen van het bedrijf.

Dit meldt beveiligingsbedrijf Corero Network Security in haar ‘DDoS Trends Report’. 71% van alle DDoS-aanvallen die het bedrijf in het eerste kwartaal van 2017 heeft gedetecteerd duurde minder dan 10 minuten. 80% had een capaciteit van minder dan 1 Gbps. Dit zijn dan ook de aanvallen die Corero Network Security als kleine DDoS-aanvallen omschrijft.

Nieuwe aanvalsmethoden testen

“In plaats van hun vermogen volledig prijs te geven door grootschalige, omvangrijke DDoS-aanvallen uit te voeren die een website verlammen, stelt het gebruik van korte aanvallen kwaadwillenden in staat netwerken te testen op kwetsbaarheden en het succes van nieuwe methodes te monitoren zonder gedetecteerd te worden. De meeste cloud-gebaseerde scrubbing oplossing detecteren geen DDoS-aanvallen die minder dan 10 minuten duren. De schade is hierdoor al veroorzaakt voordat de aanvallen zelfs maar gerapporteerd kan worden”, aldus Ashley Stephenson, CEO van Corero Network Security.

“Veel niet-verzadigende aanvallen die aan het begin van dit jaar zijn waargenomen kunnen dan ook onderdeel zijn van een testfase, waarin hackers experimenteren met nieuwe technieken voordat zij deze op industriële schaal inzetten.”

Gemiddeld 4,1 cyberaanvallen per dag

Gemiddeld hebben bedrijven te maken met 4,1 cyberaanvallen per dag, wat 9% meer is dan in het laatste kwartaal van 2016. Het merendeel van de aanvallen is klein in omvang en duurt slechts kort. Wel meldt Corero een toename van 55% te zien in het aantal aanvallen met een capaciteit van meer dan 10 Gbps in verhouding met Q4 2016.

Tot slot waarschuwt Stephenson voor de komst van de Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming (AVG), die vanaf mei 2018 van kracht is. Zij waarschuwt dat kleinschalige DDoS-aanvallen aanvallers de mogelijkheid kunnen bieden bedrijfsnetwerken binnen te dringen en data te stelen. Het is volgens Stephenson dan ook noodzakelijk dat bedrijven goed inzicht hebben in hun netwerk om potentiële DDoS-aanvallen direct te detecteren en blokkeren.

Source: http://infosecuritymagazine.nl/2017/06/07/kleinschalige-ddos-aanvallen-leveren-het-grootste-gevaar-op/
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