What is 5G network? Learn more about 5G from physicist

3G, 4G, 5G network

5G (network) systems are more technologically advanced, and they transfer the amount of information you want to send much faster. In 5G, there is nothing five – 5 in G simply means the fifth generation or the fifth generation of mobile technology. 3G was the third generation, 4G was the fourth, and 2019 brings the fifth. For the first time, mobile networks can meet some requirements that previously could not even come close to supporting, and that is, for example, the speed of response, which is very important. Illustrated example: If you were to download a movie in an hour and watch it in full resolution, with 5G, it would take a few minutes.

It is easy to fall into the trap and underestimate how fast the 5G network will be. The most significant difference will be the reduced latency or speed of signal transmission from one device to another. To illustrate this picture – the latency of the 3G network was 100 milliseconds, the 4G network 50 ms, while the expected latency of the 5G network was 1 ms or less. The speed of data transfer via the 5G network will be so high that the delay time will be reduced to the level of non-existence. However, the application is more significant than downloading and sharing entertainment content: Autonomous vehicles (cars without drivers), monitoring the health of people, increasing efficiency in agricultural production.

5G network Features

The speed of the 5G network will range from 50 MBps to over 2 Gbps at first. The fastest 5G network known as mmWave (millimeter wave), provides speeds up to and over 2 Gbps. There is a significant difference between max 4G and 5G network speeds. The maximum download speed that can be achieved with a 4G network is 1 Gbps, while with a 5G network, the highest download speed is 20 Gbps. The low-band spectrum can cover the largest area but is significantly weaker than the others.

We expect that 5G network will be ten times faster than the 4G LTE network at best, but some experts claim that it could be up to 100 times faster than it. To illustrate, in 4G network, we need at least 10 min to download a two-hour movie, but in 5G network, we can do it in less than 10 seconds. The specific download speed will depend on several factors, such as location and network traffic.

When we talk about its speed, it will be faster than the 4G network by as much as 1000 times. It will have greater device flexibility, better network reliability, as well as the ability to connect up to a million devices per square kilometer. Simply put, with a 5G network we will have very fast internet and a much more stable connection without cracking. There is a comparison in terms of bandwidth between 4G and 5G in existing bands. 4G network is already approaching Shannon’s data communication speed limit. 5G speeds in the less common millimeter spectrum can be significantly higher, with their much better range and shorter range and therefore greater reuse of frequencies.

List of 5G network benefits

  • The average data rate of about 1 Gbps
  • Total delay (delay) of 1 ms
  • Increased radio spectrum efficiency
  • Improved communication security (smart radio)
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • Better radio signal coverage and a higher baud rate of 10 Gbps per cell
  •  Wireless internet that will enable broadband communication and mass application of multimedia content
  •  Service reliability of almost a hundred percent
  •  Ability to service 1 trillion IoT terminal devices

The services we expect in the 5G mobile network are:

  • Interaction between man and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  •  Broadband experience anywhere, anytime
  •  Better management of remote devices
  •  Smart vehicles, transport, and infrastructure
  •  Media content anywhere

Understanding the development of 5G network

Over the past years, mobile communication has progressed from pure voice transmission to today’s communication. We also notice a lot of progress in everyday communications. The fifth-generation (5G) mobile network will be not only an evolution of the broadband network but a unique network with completely new service capabilities. The 5G network will provide the user with a range of performance improvements in terms of increased network capacity, less latency, greater mobility, and increased network reliability and security. It will allow a much greater simultaneous connection of terminal devices to the same base page, extend the battery life of end devices, and help users to manage their data.

Fifth-generation technology requires configurations of multiple inputs and multiple output antennas with many inputs (Multiple Input Multiple Output). This type of technology will be implemented in each base station, which means that each base station will have a significant number of antennas to increase data transfer speed and network capacity. It will allow many more users to be served at the same time in the same frequency band with significant energy savings, using a simple power management scheme.

The plan is to upgrade the existing access networks with a completely new technology, which works at very high frequencies. Such technology will revolutionize the mobile industry, not only because of the large bandwidth but also because of the ability to reduce the size of antennas.

The high frequencies are short-range (about one kilometer, less than one mile), so the cell structures must be placed at a shorter distance so that the entire signal coverage area is covered. This type of cell placement is called the development of hyperdense small cells and reduces the distance of the base station from the terminal to a minimum.

The range of macrocells is from 1 to 35 km (0.6 – 18 miles). They provide coverage for users who move at high speeds, for example, cars.The range of microcells is from 100 to 1000 meters (109.361 – 1093.61 yards). The antennas are below the average roof height.The range of picocells is from 10 to 200 meters (10.9 – 218.723 yards). They can increase network capacity in places where a large number of users want to access the network.The range of femtocells is less than 10 meters. They can be found in an environment where there are not many users, for example, home or small office.
Table No.1. Differences in cell strength.

User in 5G mobile network

The fifth-generation mobile network will play an influential role in the lives of users, enabling unlimited access to information and data transfer at very high speeds, anywhere at any time. The 5G network is a network concept where personalization fills connectivity and new technology and connects it all, resulting in technologies. It will bring more efficient use of frequency spectrum, increased network security and privacy, cloud computing, and reduced power consumption.

CSS Insight analysts have discovered research into the future of the new 5G mobile network technology. They predicted that by 2023, there would be more than a billion users worldwide, which will be a faster growth rate than in the fourth generation networks. After reaching over a billion users in 2023, the network will grow rapidly, and over 2.5 billion users are expected by 2025. Fixed Wireless Access was developed to meet the needs for higher data speeds in the US and Australia and is the first commercially available devices to be expected from 2019. As the 5G network develops over the years, more terminal devices will be available to users.

Availability of 5G devices.

How does any network affect our health?

For example, autonomous vehicles have been around for several years. However, we can be sure that we will not see them on the roads for at least for another ten years or more, due to strict testing conditions for customer safety. It is important for people to understand how these systems work and to develop the trust of the general public towards new solutions. We remember that at the beginning of 1900 people all over the world were afraid of electricity. Also, they had the same feeling about the first cars, etc. Today, we do not fear these things, but we encounter innovations that we do not understand, and the reaction is similar. 

However, if there are fear and concern, then it must be proven scientifically on clear evidence and a scientific method. 5G network itself is more energy-efficient than 4G and all previous systems. So we expect that even the radiation would be less. People are exposed to radiation from many sources every day. Radiation can also be positive on the one hand. For example, our body needs to produce vitamin D, sufficient exposure to the sun. If we are too exposed to strong sunlight, our skin will burn, and there is a high probability of cancer. So, it all comes down to moderation again. 

One of the most famous studies is the Danish study, in which around 420 thousand people were analyzed. These are the people who used cell phones from 1982 to 1995, and the results of the research were quite surprising. According to the obtained results, the appearance of tumors in people who used mobile phones did not increase but decreased. Therefore, cell phone use is not accountable for the decline in the incidence of tumors. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conducted its research in 2011 on human health. The research was among many mobile phone users in 11 countries, and the results again showed that the use of mobile phones does not affect the occurrence of brain tumors. 

Millimeter waves 

The frequency spectrum is a vast factor in the development of mobile services. The success of the fifth-generation 5G network is in the use of free higher frequency spectrum in combination with the frequency spectrum used today. Allocating a new frequency spectrum to meet the needs of the new network is a crucial act in the emergence of 5G technologies. It is only possible if the bandwidth is extended to above a high frequency called a millimeter-wave (mmWave). The cells that will work at high frequencies are micro, pico, and femtocells, which will all be controlled by macrocells.

Millimeter-waves can be divided into two different categories:
1) The frequency range 20 – 40GHz for microcells;
2) The frequency of 60 GHz for pico and femtocells.

With the increase in the number of mobile devices, the number of used frequency spectrum also increased. This fact leads to two factors: the demand for the frequency spectrum and the congestion of the frequency spectrum, which will be crucial in the next mobile networks. At the same time, the user’s desire for higher transmission speeds and the use of an enhanced frequency band will make the free frequency band disappear in the future.

Frequency Division

All terminal devices require the use of a particular frequency band to enable data transmission and strive to use it as efficiently as possible. Next-generation technologies are systems with more efficient use of spectrum. For example, The Line of Sight (LOS) system. It operates at frequencies up to 100 GHz, reducing the size of the components in the terminal device using multiple frequency bands, merging them into one. Frequency sharing consists of three dimensions: frequency, time, and location and can be used by multiple users simultaneously. Some examples of frequency band sharing are frequency reuse in FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access) and later in TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) systems.

Frequency band methods can be divided into categories, based on the priority of radio spectrum access:

  1.  Horizontal frequency division: All terminal devices have equal spectrum access rights
  2. Vertical frequency sharing: Primary users give priority to spectrum access
  3.  Hierarchical frequency division: Advanced vertical split option

 European Electronic Communications Code:

  •  Availability of 5G radio spectrum by 2020 in the EU
  •  20 years of investment predictability for spectrum licenses
  • Increased coordination and expert evaluation of planned radio spectrum allocation procedures

The test results will help operators in 5G network design as well as in planning new products and services. In Europe, countries testing the 5G network uses lower and higher frequency bands. The lower frequency bands are those in the band 3400-3800 MHz, while the higher frequencies range from 24.25 to 27.5 GHz. In the US, the range of lower frequencies is in the range of 3100 to 3550 MHz and 3700 to 4200 MHz, and the higher is from 27.5 to 28.35 GHz and 37 to 40 GHz.

Antennas and towers

5G networks require new antennas to deliver higher speeds for communication below 6 GHz and millimeter waves (mmWave). These new antennas in technological language can mislead readers. There are active and passive antennas. In a traditional antenna system, one passive antenna or several passive antennas in the form of arrays are combined with a radio chain to support communication systems. It is important to note here that passive antenna technology has developed significantly in recent years and is now capable of supporting legacy 4G systems as well as 5G systems in the 3.5 GHz frequency bands. 5G networks are increasingly adopting Active Antenna Systems (AAS) to increase radio flow capacity and coverage.

Unlike passive, active antenna systems are characterized by a stronger integration of RF electronics with an antenna with massive elements to enable miniaturization and increase efficiency. 5G base stations apply a large number of antenna elements to receive and receive multiple users with parallel data flows.

The active antenna system integrates the antenna array with the front ends of the transceiver. An active antenna system typically includes interface amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, switches, and pre-drivers to address the transmission and reception of huge MIMO requests in compact form factors. The passive-active antenna system is another increase from traditional passive antenna systems. The passive-active antenna system combines a 5G active antenna with a passive base station antenna already used in legacy mobile networks.

5G network and the conspiracy theories

There are a lot of people around the world who believe that 5G is closely related to the covid-19 epidemic. Is 5G directly related to the spread of the coronavirus epidemic? Definitely not. There is no evidence that these two are connected in any way.

Another conspiracy theory is the digital order; new technologies will change the world and the system. The US Congress is also talking about the introduction of the digital dollar. Our banks advise us to use the contactless payment method. The question arises: Is a virus pandemic a means by which people will be ‘forced’ to accept the “Digital Order”? Of course, this is just one of the conspiracy theories that can arouse human concern and ask a variety of questions and seek answers regarding 5G technology and the new digital order in general.


A key feature of a 5G system is network stacking. The previous generation provided some aspects of this functionality for dedicated core networks but compared to the new one, 5G network is a much more powerful concept that includes a complete Public Land Mobile Network. Network stacking allows the operator to implement multiple independent PLMN networks, each tailored to different client needs, providing capabilities and customer service to their needs.

Applications developed for the 5G network are very diverse and have different network requirements, especially in terms of latency, peak data rates, end device connection density, and device power. 5G technology is certainly something that is widely implemented on a global level. Opinions differ on the positive and negative aspects of the 5G network. 5G network is something that will improve our daily lives and facilitate our life in the new “digital” era. I leave it to you to conclude.

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