Sunday, April 19, 2015

Moving towards IoT: 5G challenges and trends

5G is not just faster data and/or higher capacity only. It is much more than these obvious characteristics.

For one thing for IoT to succeed; the grand vision created for its debut on a universal scale, 5G is a must. More users; more devices interconnected at any instant of time. The 5G must address the issues arising out of interconnected devices in addition to only users. Also for IoT to succeed additional items like coverage of the serviced region (Can you hear me now!) and more efficient networks.
The data rates required by 5G are some 1000 times that provided by 4G to make things happen with low latency. One immediate challenge is the unavailability of spectrum (700 MHZ to 3 GHZ). Two options open to work on are,
• Explore new spectrum
• Innovate usage of existing spectrum to send out more bits
Explosive growth of connected devices both arising out of human interaction as well as from embedded devices. The connected devices are heterogeneous in nature with low as well as high bandwidth which can presents significant design challenge to work in unison. This impacts deterministic response time and must be well understood to realize the full potential.
Moving towards 5G
• Overcoming the limitation of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing - exploratory generalized orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (GOFDM) as demonstrated by University of Dresden, Germany providing 30% more data rate than 4G designed by using National Instruments RF tools and LabView.  -Reference:
• Increasing the number of access points (densification)- Use of Multiple input, multiple output(MIMO) base stations' promise of increased efficiency and better energy efficiency - Lund University MIMO experiments demonstrate date rates some  100 times
• Using wavelength region not heavily populated like the 28GHZ, 38GHZ and the 71 to 76 GHZ range - usability demonstrated by NYU Wireless and Nokia has prototypes a mmWave communication link achieving some 100 times 4G rates.

It may not just one of these will pave towards 5G but a combination of these and yet to be made new developments will ultimately steer 5G towards the future.

This post was motivated after reading the PDF document from National Instruments (NI) and draws heavily from its content. The added references are for those who may want to read more.


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