The fifth generation of wireless technology, known as 5G, will connect billions of smart devices and sensors while delivering higher bandwidth and lower latency than ever before.

For this to happen, the proper infrastructure must be in place. Building geographically dense small cells to relay radio signals, boosting network efficiency and the radio spectrum is required.  As a result, antenna technology has increasingly become a more critical piece of the network puzzle due to spectrum utilization, virtualization, and optimization.

Kathrein’s 100 years of wireless expertise has shaped the world’s wireless communications networks.  With this experience, Kathrein is ready to help Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) deliver on the promise of 5G.  To further assist, we are participating in these key 5G organizations:

5GAmericas — Kathrein is a member of the Board of Governors of 5G Americas (formerly 4G Americas), the influential industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers.

Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance — Kathrein is a key contributor to this group, which is focused on 5G and accelerating the development of LTE-Advanced and its ecosystem.

IEEE — Kathrein is a member of the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.

3GPP — Kathrein is a key contributor to the reports and specifications that define 3GPP technologies.

Small Cell Forum — Kathrein participates to aid in small cell deployments by removing commercial and technical barriers and working with regulators and municipalities.

Use Cases for 5G

The ITU and 3GPP have divided 5G use cases into three main categories:

Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)

eMBB is the most obvious extension of LTE capability, providing higher speeds for applications such as streaming, Web access, video conferencing, and virtual reality. Highest speeds will occur in small cells with limited movement speed of end users, such as with pedestrians.

Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC)

Massive machine-type communications extends LTE Internet of Things capabilities—for example, NB-IoT— to support huge numbers of devices with lower costs, enhanced coverage, and long battery life. As shown in the ITU objectives, below, 5G will support ten times as many devices in an area as LTE.

Ultra-Reliable and Low-Latency Communications (URLLC)

Of the three categories, URLLC enables wireless applications as never before possible. Driven by high dependability and extremely short network traversal time, URLLC, also referred to as “mission-critical” communications, will enable industrial automation, drone control, new medical applications, and autonomous vehicles. This category is also referred to as critical machine-type communications (cMTC).

Many elements are interacting to transform wireless technology, but the factors playing the most important roles are radio advances granting access to far more spectrum, specific capabilities for IoT, small cells, new network architectures that leverage network function virtualization and software-defined networking, and new means to employ unlicensed spectrum. Except for access to high-band spectrum, a 5G objective, these advances apply to both LTE and 5G.

If 5G is going to deliver speeds 10 times faster than 4G, then naturally this will require more base stations in a given area—increasing the density of the network itself. Mobile network operators (MNOs) have begun this process in their 3G and 4G networks, with increased sectorization and the addition of small cells. Regardless of how 5G is ultimately defined, it will require more densification across macro sites and within small cells. In a 5G world, networks will need to depend on intelligent, automatic spectrum allocation to maintain quality as well as speed.

Critical to facilitating the capabilities of a 5G network is the fact that networks are becoming programmable. Using a distributed, software-enabled network based on virtualization and new architectural approaches such as Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and network slicing, operators and third parties will be able to deploy new services and applications more rapidly, and in a more scalable fashion.

Kathrein can develop and participate in 5G workshops, information sessions, requests for quote, and other partnership opportunities.  For more information, please contact sales@kathrein.com.