Home EuropeEurope I 2015 Moving towards a 1Gigabit world – The new horizons of 5G networks

Moving towards a 1Gigabit world – The new horizons of 5G networks

by Administrator
Stefano PileriIssue:Europe I 2015
Article no.:8
Topic:Moving towards a 1Gigabit world – The new horizons of 5G networks
Author:Stefano Pileri
PDF size:232KB

About author

Stefano Pileri, CEO, Italtel

Stefano Pileri graduated in Electronic Engineering in 1980 and holds a Masters in Applied Electromagnetics. His thesis, in Microwave Technology, was published in the IEEE Proceedings on Communication.
Since September 2010 he is Italtel Chief Executive Officer with the task of leading the company in financial restructuring following a new industrial strategy based on the development of the Network and System Integration In Europe and Latin America with a strong component of Engineering, Research and Development in the Telecommunications Market, Enterprise and Public Administration Market.

Before becoming CEO of Italtel, he has spent his entire career in Telecom Italia where, until the end of 2009, he was the Chief Technology Officer and Director of Technology & Operations. Reported to him the divisions Open Access Network, Information Technology and Real Estate, with the aim of increasing the transparency and quality of the network, develop innovation in services offered to the enterprises, public administration and families and then continue along the path of efficiency and cost reduction.

In 2005 he had been appointed Chief Technology Officer with the responsibility to integrate Fixed Network, Mobile Network and Information Technology. In this role developed the project of Fixed and Mobile convergence and opened the way to the development project of Next Generation Access Network (NGAN) in the fixed network and LTE project in the mobile network, currently under deployment.

In 1998, just after the completion of the privatization of Telecom Italia, he was appointed head of the Network of Telecom Italy.

In 1982 he began his career in SIP with increasing responsibility in Information Technology with particular regard to information technology to support business processes and network control. In 1993 he became head of the Network in the Region of Emilia Romagna, with responsibility for technical development and operation of regional facilities. In 1996 he took on responsibility for planning and engineering of the Network at national level.

During his career he has always devoted considerable attention to accelerating the development of ICT sector in Italy with constructive and high level relationships both with public institutions and private organizations. From 2009 to 2011 he served as President of the Federation of Confindustria Innovative and Technological Services and before that, from 2007 to 2010, he served as Vice President of the Union of Industries of Rome with the responsibilities of the project Digital City of Rome.

He has received several international awards. Among these, the Tele Management Forum Award, the International Engineering Consortium Award in the USA and EUCIP Champion.

Article abstract

The advent of 5G will revolutionize the field of communications, bringing wireless experience to a completely new level. It will provide a wealth of features and services, making the world so connected that it could become a smaller place to live.

Full Article

Social development will lead to changes in the way mobile and wireless communication systems are used. Essential services such as e-banking, e-learning and e-health will continue to proliferate and become more mobile. On-demand information and entertainment, for instance in the form of augmented reality, will be progressively delivered over mobile and wireless communication systems. These developments will lead to an avalanche of mobile and wireless traffic volume, which is predicted to increase a thousand-fold over the next decade.

Ultra Broadband Networks
The new architectures and technologies of Ultra Broadband Telecommunications are characterized by many innovations, the importance of which is not yet fully foreseeable:
• Various types of terminals (smartphones, tablets, PCs) and a growing number of smart objects will be able to access the new networks through wireless and mobile connections. To allow this, networks will have many small antennas, connected via high-capillary fibre optic carriers. In a few years time, the speed available on individual terminals will approach 1000 Mbit/s (from the current tens of Mbit/s) and network latency will be reduced to few milliseconds (from the current hundreds of milliseconds).
• Fibre optic will be by far the most widely used carrier in access and backbone. Thanks to its characteristic low attenuation, it will crush the segment of aggregation and backhauling in access, getting rid of the last mile, which will increase up to tens of kilometers and allow the drastic reduction of the number of local exchanges.
• Access and backbone will progressively become based on a simple electronic system. Mobile access is developing according to the 4G LTE standard (research is already starting on 5G architecture and technology), with hybrid architecture based on macro cells and “small cells” called Wireless Heterogeneous Network (HetNet). Meanwhile fixed access is taking on FTTC technologies (VDSL vectoring) and will quickly move onto technologies, like FTTH (GPON), which are more likely to stand the test of time.
• Network backbones will tend to integrate the elements of IP routing with those of optical transport. IP protocol will be used in all network segments and for all communication services (voice, video communication, messaging, and streaming and broadcast television).
• The intelligence required for network functions (authentication, security, profile management, caching, transcoding), for service provision (IP multimedia system, real time web communication) and for management systems (OSS and BSS) will be virtualized on the Cloud in accordance with the emerging standards of Software Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization.
Thus tomorrow’s networks will have just three main components: Access, IP Backbone and Cloud. This change meets several needs; it greatly reduces the cost of increasing network capacity; offers smart network features for the creation of services and applications by other subjects (OTT and other developers); and, finally, allows speed and network latency by a factor of 100 better than today.

Figure 1 – Framework of Next Generation Networks

Towards 5G

Over the last years customers have become accustomed to expecting the same quality of experience from Internet applications regardless of the time, their location and the device they are using. This expectation is growing and can be better fulfilled as the gap of the QoE between mobile and fixed network becomes narrower and higher data rates are offered by mobile networks. To meet the more and more challenging requirements imposed by market trends, it is necessary to define a new generation mobile communications system – a fifth (5G) system.

Advantages of 5G communication systems
5G aims to provide a myriad of services to the end users at a high speed. The applications developed to avail these services are extremely user friendly and minimize the interaction between the application and the user. In particular:
– User personalization: High data transfer rates and ubiquitous coverage of 5G networks would provide access to a large repository of data and services. Users would have flexibility to filter the data and services as per their preferences by configuring the operational mode of their devices in order to preselect the service features they want to use. For example, a user in a mall interested in buying clothes should receive alerts about various discount offers on clothes rather than about other accessories.

– Terminal and network heterogeneity: Terminal heterogeneity refers to the different types of terminals in terms of the size, weight, display features, power consumption and even the different types of access networks like WiMAX, Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) which differ according to coverage area, data rate, latency and data loss rate. Each of these terminals and services cater to different user requirements. This is also called service personalization.

– High performance: 4G low transfer rates restrict users’ ability to take advantage of rich multimedia content across wireless networks. 5G is expected to provide wireless download speeds of more than 1Gbps in Local Area Networks (LAN) and 500 Mbps in Wide Area Networks (WAN), about 260 times greater than the 3G wireless networks.

– Interoperability: 4G multiple standards restrict users’ mobility and interoperation across different networks. 5G aims to provide a unified global standard which will facilitate global mobility and service portability. In other words, end users can subscribe to different services from different service providers using the same mobile device.

– Intelligent networking: 4G is based primarily on cell or base station WAN design while 5G aims to build hybrid networks which utilize both the Wireless LAN concept and WAN design. Thus, the world would have base stations providing ubiquitous high speed network coverage to users everywhere. For example, if a user walking outdoors was browsing the Internet using GPRS (General Packet Radio Service-WAN design), a seamless hand-over from GPRS to Wi-Fi would take place the moment he enters a mall without his knowledge.

– Network convergence: Network convergence is the efficient coexistence of multimedia, voice and data communication within a single network. Currently the telecommunications environment is divided into wireless and fixed line communication. To avail these different kinds of services, end users require different devices, such as cellular phones, fixed line phones, laptops and PDA’s. Once the fixed mobile convergence is in place in 5G, the distinction between these services will disappear. Current 4G technology is not able to capture the market share as effectively as the fixed line services, partly due to its low bit rates of 384kbps, and because of the high costs associated with these services. However, with the emergence of 5G aiming to move to a global integrated IP-based network, the wireless sector will be able to match the fixed line sector in terms of both costs and speed. 5G will lead to convergence in terms of devices and services.

– Lower power consumption: Battery technology has not been able to keep pace with the growing telecom industry. 3G devices required one battery while 4G required two batteries. Battery drain is a persistent problem of wireless devices. 5G aims to break this directly proportional rule. Shorter communication links is one of the few solutions proposed to meet this requirement.

Figure 2 – 5G Network Requirements: 4G vs 5G

What new technology will be required in the 5G era?
In order to achieve these new services, new technology will be required. Solutions which will build on current technology offerings and are capable of fulfilling 5G aspirations include:

– New spectrum ranges: More radio spectrum is vital to meet increased demand for capacity and data rates in the 5G era. Until now, only frequencies below 6 GHz have been considered, mostly due to their ability to provide wide area coverage. While more spectrum below 6 GHz is needed (also for 5G) and innovative techniques will be put into operation to make more efficient use of already allocated spectrum, there will also be a growing need to unlock new spectrum bands in the 6 to 100 GHz range.

– New radio access technologies for ultra-dense deployments: Exploiting centimeter wave and millimeter wave spectrum for ultra-dense high capacity scenarios, will require new radio interfaces that can take advantage of massive MIMO and beamforming techniques. Flexible air interfaces will be needed to handle the differing characteristics inherent in large frequency ranges. Significant effort needs to be put into channel measurements and modeling in those bands in order to understand the practical performance of millimeter wave bands. The reward will be contiguous carrier bandwidths of 1-2 GHz, for example.

– Optimized frame structure: Various future applications like vehicle-to-vehicle communication and the tactile Internet require minimal latency. Achieving radio latency values of one millisecond will require extremely small radio sub-frame lengths. In combination with flexible dynamic TDD, the bandwidth and power efficiency of the system can be optimized.

– Architectural evolution and multi-technology integration: 5G will provide high quality and consistent connectivity for people and things, creating the perception of infinite capacity. Therefore, the variety of solutions for the different 5G use cases and the multiple network layers will be combined with unified control of the network operation. Different radio access layers and technologies will tightly collaborate with each other and use cognitive capabilities and Software Defined Networks (SDN) technologies.

The advent of 5G will revolutionize the field of communications, bringing wireless experience to a completely new level. It will provide a wealth of features and services, making the world so connected that it could become a smaller place to live.

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