5G - The Basics


5G is being released in a series of 4 waves. Wave 1 started in 2018 and is the release of Fixed Wireless Access. Wave 2 has slowly started in 2019 and will allow for consumer cellular devices to be connected to 5G. Wave 3 is expected to start in 2020 and will allow for IoT products to be connected to 5G. Wave 4 will be in 2021 or later, and is for ultra reliable, low latency applications.

When 5G standards were set, it wasn’t only smartphones that were taken into consideration. IoT products were reviewed, and the 5G standards were set so they should work much better for IoT projects than 4G did. 5G was set up with the future in mind. It was set up to anticipate the requirement for current use cases, as well as future ones, such as smart energy, driverless cars, etc.

There are three categories of communication covered by 5G. They are known as Massive, Machine-Type Communication (mMTC), Ultra-Reliable, Low Latency Communications (URLLC), and Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB).

One of the biggest changes with 5G is New Radio (NR). It supports mmWave, which operates from 20-300 GHz. As this is a band that isn’t commonly used, its data delivery speed is very high. In theory,5G NR can reach peak rates of up to 77 Gbps in Frequency Range 1 (FR1), below 6 GHz,
and up to 216 Gbps in Frequency Range 2 (FR2), between 24.25 and 52.6 GHz. It also is able to support very high network power savings.

To see more information on this topic, view Sierra Wireless’s white paper.
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