5G network: 5G is a massive breakthrough that’s changing the way devices connect to the internet, and more importantly, to each other. In fact, as 5G is being rolled it’s changing everything that uses a wireless connection at this point, it is pretty much everything.
So, what’s so special about a 5G future?
First of all, it’s fast. Like, really fast — 20 gigabits per second over wireless. That’s 100-to-250-times faster than 4G. More impressive is 5G’s low-latency rate, or the amount of delay between the sending and receiving of information. 5G operates at latency of 1 millisecond or less, which is almost real-time. It is revolutionizing the future, and companies are spending billions to set up their networks and to fund new technologies that can use it.
But few drawback do exist. 5G uses a mix of frequencies, with most of the attention on millimetre waves compared to the 15-40 centimetre-long waves used by 4G. And shorter waves and higher frequencies have one big drawback: they don’t go very far. Whereas on 4G networks, you can go ten kilometres and barely lose signal. 5G maxes out at about 300 meters, and it can’t even go through walls or rain.
So, what does that mean? Well, it’s a gift and a curse. Having such a short signal distance means building a lot of transmitters, every couple hundred meters in every direction. On the other hand, it also means that you can pack more devices into one area.
For such scenarios 5G planning becomes very crucial and evident.
Before stepping in to 5G planning, let’s discuss on some 5G concepts like:
- Millimetre wave (mmWave) communications
- 5G mmW propagation modelling
Traditionally, cellular networks use frequencies from 300 MHz to 3 GHz to provide mobile broadband services, by transmitting a signal in this band, the received signal power is reliable for detecting after propagation over several kilometres. In particular, the indoor coverage can also be provided as the penetration loss is low in this sub-mmWave band. However, with the explosion of the data traffic, relying alone on the spectrum below 3 GHz will be no longer feasible data rate of 1-10 Gbps.
On the other hand, there is a large amount of spectrum above 3GHz, in particular of the mmWave range (30 GHz-300 GHz), to be explored for mobile communication. Due to its bandwidth in excess of 200 GHz and its potential to provide much higher capacity than the traditional cellular networks, the mmWave communications is selected as one of the key technologies for 5G NR.
In addition, mmWave goes well with massive MIMO and ultra-dense small cell deployment, two other key enabling technologies for 5G NR.
Effect of oxygen and water on Frequency band, shows how mmWave bands suffer from the oxygen absorption at the 57-64 GHz band, and water vapour absorption at the 164-200 GHz band. Due to their short wavelengths, mmWave signal propagation will be more affected by weather conditions and small objects. Rain and snow may affect the mmWave links dramatically. Small objects such as vehicles, trees, foliage, furniture, and human bodies will all affect mmWave signal propagation and even block the radio link completely. Therefore, radio planning tools that support mmWave are needed to study many “what – if” scenarios for mmWave small cell deployment.
For the accurate planning of 5G network, Lepton with its diversified experience and databases of geodata for modern networks can aide with highly precise 3d databases like 3D building models, elevation product, Integrating outdoor GIS and indoor 3D building models. These databases that forms the base for any planning tools when included with strong planning radio tools like Mentum, Atool would provide and network plan which is near perfect with maximum coverage, throughput and minimum fade points or interference zones.
A Case study on Fixed Wireless Access:
FWA is likely to be the earliest 5G use case. In FWA, an indoor customer premise equipment (CPE) will receive the signal from an outdoor macro cell and then retransmit to indoor users. In order to obtain optimal received signals from outdoor macro cells, the location where the CPE will be installed needs to be carefully considered. With advanced Radio Planning tools like and RF Analysis in 3D using data having joint outdoor indoor modelling capability, the good signal coverage regions for CPE locations are clearly identified, which help to ensure excellent indoor communications quality and to reduce the manual work of testing. Furthermore, given the candidate locations in coverage regions of good signal quality, the optimal CPE location can be obtained using optimization modules.