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G Next Generation


5G (5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems) corresponds to the next phase of mobile telecommunications standards after the current 4G standards. 5G is also referred to as beyond 2020 mobile communications technologies. 5G aims to provide throughputs up to several Gbps. 5G is not yet defined and official, it aims to emerge in 2020. Every big Telecommunication Companies take an interest in this new technology, in addition to the big institutions and the states. The European Union for example financed some programs on 5G such as 5Gnow, IJoin, Tropic and

Timeline of 5G technology

Fig. 3.3 Timeline of 5G technology

the most important: METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society) created in November 2012. In China, the IMT- 2020 (5G) Promotion group was created in February 2013, in Korea the 5GForum in June 2013 and in Japan, the 2020 and Beyond AdHoc group in October 2013. Furthermore, the Huawei Company announced it had invested in 5G technologies since 2009; South Korea announced an investment of more than one billion euros.

We already cited one typical 5G standard: the WiGig IEEE 802.11ad. Another standard is the LTE-B, the next generation of Long Term Evolution Advanced. It will be developed from 2014 to 2016. It will comprise: LTE Hotspot improvement and small cells, multi-stream aggregation, 3D beamforming and multi-RAT (Radio Access Technology) operation enhancement [23]. Theoretical throughputs of 50 Gbps are expected. The Timeline for 5G is shown in Fig. 3.3.

5G aims to ensure continuity in challenging situations, such as high mobility (e.g. HST) and dense and sparsely populated areas. 5G will also enable to develop Internet of Things by providing a platform able to connect a large number of sensors and devices simultaneously with stringent energy and transmission constraints. Mission critical applications requiring high reliability, such as public safety and railways, will be a part of 5G infrastructure [24]. One unified infrastructure will be able to integrate networking, computing and storage resources, which will also allow to preserve security and privacy. The 5G technology aims to improve performance by increasing capacity, mobility, terminal location, reliability and availability while decreasing latency.

It is important to notice that 5G can be seen as an addendum to the 4G. In other words, the investments done by Railways in 4G will be re-usable when 5G is available. The 5G would bring additional access technologies like millimeter waves mostly dedicated for IoT but should not jeopardize the already deployed 4G infrastructure. Some people or some industry already challenge the fact to adopt 4G for Railways claiming that 5G is almost here.

Two main documents are expected by the ITU to define the 5G [25]:

• IMT.VISION (deadline July 2015): “Framework and overall objectives of the

future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond”, which objective is to define the framework and overall objectives of IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) for 2020 and beyond to drive the future developments for IMT;

• IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS (deadline October 2014), which aims to provide a view of future IMT technology aspects 2015-2020 and beyond and to provide information on trends of future IMT technology aspects.

The METIS objectives are to lay the foundation, to ensure a global forum and to build an early global consensus for 5G mobile and wireless communications. The planning is as follows [25]:

  • • 2012-2014: exploratory research;
  • • 2015-2017: pre-standardization activities;
  • • 2018-2019: standardization activities;
  • • From 2020: commercialization.

In terms of technical challenges, the objectives are:

  • • A gain of 1000 on mobile data volume;
  • • A gain of 10 to 100 on the number of connected devices;
  • • A gain of 10 to 100 on the throughputs (up to 10 Gbps);
  • • A diminution of 5 on the end-to-end latency;
  • • A gain of 10 on energy consumption with higher battery life relying on low-power devices.

The Fig. 3.4 presents the challenges and scenarios of the 5G, which summarizes the objectives of the emerging standard concerning throughputs, number of users, mobility, latency and low-power devices.

Challenges and scenarios of the 5G from [25]

Fig. 3.4 Challenges and scenarios of the 5G from [25]

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