5G (5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems) is a term used in some research papers and projects to denote the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advanced standards. 5G is also referred to as beyond 2020 mobile communications technologies. 5G does not describe any particular specification in any official document published by any telecommunication standardisation body.
Although updated standards that define capabilities beyond those defined in the current 4G standards are under consideration, those new capabilities are still being grouped under the current 4G standards.
Background of 5G
A new mobile generation has appeared approximately every 10th year since the first 1G system, Nordic Mobile Telephone, was introduced in 1981. The first 2G system started to roll out in 1992, the first 3G system first appeared in 2001 and 4G systems fully compliant with IMT Advanced were standardised in 2012. The development of the 2G (GSM) and 3G (IMT-2000 and UMTS) standards took about 10 years from the official start of the R&D projects, and development of 4G systems started in 2001 or 2002. Predecessor technologies have occurred on the market a few years before the new mobile generation, for example the pre-3G system CdmaOne/IS95 in the US in 1995, and the pre-4G systems Mobile WiMAX in South-Korea 2006, and first release-LTE in Scandinavia 2009.
Mobile generations typically refer to non–backwards-compatible cellular standards following requirements stated by ITU-R, such as IMT-2000 for 3G and IMT-Advanced for 4G. In parallel with the development of the ITU-R mobile generations, IEEE and other standardisation bodies also develop wireless communication technologies, often for higher data rates and higher frequencies but shorter transmission ranges.
Based on the above observations, some sources suggest that a new generation of 5G standards may be introduced approximately in the early 2020s. However, still no transnational 5G development projects have officially been launched, and there is still a large extent of debate on what 5G is exactly about. Prior to 2012, some industry representatives have expressed skepticism towards 5G but the trends clearly changed since 2012.
New mobile generations are typically assigned new frequency bands and wider spectral bandwidth per frequency channel (1G up to 30 kHz, 2G up to 200 kHz, 3G up to 20 MHz, and 4G up to 100 MHz), but skeptics argue that there is little room for larger channel bandwidths and new frequency bands suitable for land-mobile radio. From users' point of view, previous mobile generations have implied substantial increase in peak bitrate (i.e. physical layer net bitrates for short-distance communication).
If 5G appears, and reflects these prognoses, the major difference from a user point of view between 4G and 5G techniques must be something else than increased maximum throughput; for example higher system spectral efficiency (data volume per area unit), lower battery consumption, lower outage probability (better coverage), high bit rates in larger portions of the coverage area, lower latencies, higher number of supported devices, lower infrastructure deployment costs, higher versatility and scalability or higher reliability of communications. Those are the objectives in several of the research papers below.
In Europe, Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner, committed in 2013 50 million euros for research to deliver 5G mobile technology by 2020. In particular, The METIS 2020 Project aims at reaching world-wide consensus on the future global mobile and wireless communications system. The METIS overall technical goal is to provide a system concept that supports 1000 times higher mobile system spectral efficiency as compared with current LTE deployments. In addition, in 2013 another project has started, called 5GrEEn, linked to project METIS and focusing on the design of Green 5G Mobile networks. Here the goal is to develop guidelines for the definition of new generation network with particular care of energy efficiency, sustainability and affordability aspects.
Key concepts suggested in scientific papers discussing 5G and beyond 4G wireless communications are:
- Massive Dense Networks also known as Massive Distributed MIMO providing green flexible small cells 5G Green Dense Small Cells. A transmission point equipped with a very large number of antennas that simultaneously serve multiple users. With massive MIMO multiple messages for several terminals can be transmitted on the same time-frequency resource, maximising beamforming gain while minimising interference.
- Advanced interference and mobility management, achieved with the cooperation of different transmission points with overlapped coverage, and encompassing the option of a flexible usage of resources for uplink and downlink transmission in each cell, the option of direct device-to-device transmission and advanced interference cancellation techniques.
- Efficient support of machine-type devices to enable the Internet of Things with potentially higher numbers of connected devices, as well as novel applications such as mission critical control or traffic safety, requiring reduced latency and enhanced reliability.
- The usage of millimetre wave frequencies (e.g. up to 90 GHz) for wireless backhaul and/or access (IEEE rather than ITU generations)
- Pervasive networks providing ubiquitous computing: The user can simultaneously be connected to several wireless access technologies and seamlessly move between them (See Media independent handover or vertical handover, IEEE 802.21, also expected to be provided by future 4G releases. See also multihoming.). These access technologies can be 2.5G, 3G, 4G, or 5G mobile networks, Wi-Fi, WPAN, or any other future access technology. In 5G, the concept may be further developed into multiple concurrent data transfer paths.
- Multi-hop networks: A major issue in beyond 4G systems is to make the high bit rates available in a larger portion of the cell, especially to users in an exposed position in between several base stations. In current research, this issue is addressed by cellular repeaters and macro-diversity techniques, also known as group cooperative relay, where also users could be potential cooperative nodes thanks to the use of direct device-to-device (D2D) communications.
- Cognitive radio technology, also known as smart-radio: allowing different radio technologies to share the same spectrum efficiently by adaptively finding unused spectrum and adapting the transmission scheme to the requirements of the technologies currently sharing the spectrum. This dynamic radio resource management is achieved in a distributed fashion, and relies on software-defined radio. See also the IEEE 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks.
- Dynamic Adhoc Wireless Networks (DAWN), essentially identical to Mobile ad hoc network (MANET), Wireless mesh network (WMN) or wireless grids, combined with smart antennas, cooperative diversity and flexible modulation.
- Vandermonde-subspace frequency division multiplexing (VFDM): a modulation scheme to allow the co-existence of macro-cells and cognitive radio small-cells in a two-tiered LTE/4G network.
- IPv6, where a visiting care-of mobile IP address is assigned according to location and connected network.
- Wearable devices with AI capabilities.
- One unified global standard.
- Real wireless world with no more limitation with access and zone issues.
- User centric (or cell phone developer initiated) network concept instead of operator-initiated (as in 1G) or system developer initiated (as in 2G, 3G and 4G) standards
- World wide wireless web (WWWW), i.e. comprehensive wireless-based web applications that include full multimedia capability beyond 4G speeds.
- In 2008, the South Korean IT R&D program of "5G mobile communication systems based on beam-division multiple access and relays with group cooperation" was formed.
- On 8 October 2012, the UK's University of Surrey secured £35M for new 5G research centre, joint funded between the British government's UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) and a consortium of key international mobile operators and infrastructure providers –including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe, Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde & Schwarz, and Aircom International– it will offer testing facilities to mobile operators keen to develop a mobile standard that uses less energy and radio spectrum whilst delivering faster than current 4G speeds, with aspirations for the new technology to be ready within a decade.
- On 1 November 2012, the EU project "Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society" (METIS) starts its activity towards the definition of 5G. METIS intends to ensure an early global consensus on these systems. In this sense, METIS will play an important role of building consensus among other external major stakeholders prior to global standardisation activities. This will be done by initiating and addressing work in relevant global fora (e.g. ITU-R), as well as in national and regional regulatory bodies.
- On 1 January 2013, the ICT Labs project 5GrEEn (Towards Green 5G Mobile Networks) starts its activity under the EIT framework, and linked with the project carrier METIS.
- In February 2013, ITU-R Working Party 5D (WP 5D) started two study items: (1) Study on IMT Vision for 2020 and beyond, and; (2) Study on future technology trends for terrestrial IMT systems. Both aiming at having a better understanding of future technical aspects of mobile communications towards the definition of the next generation mobile.
- On 12 May 2013, Samsung Electronics stated that they have developed the world's first "5G" system. The core technology has a maximum speed of tens of Gbps (gigabits per second). In testing, the transfer speeds for the “5G” network sent data at 1.056 Gbit/s to a distance of up to 2 kilometres.
- In July 2013, India and Israel have agreed to work jointly on development of fifth generation (5G) telecom technologies. 
- On November 6th, 2013, Huawei announced plans to invest a minimum of $600 million dollars into R&D for next generation 5G networks capable of speeds 100 times faster than modern LTE networks.
- Head-mounted display (HMD)
- IEEE 802.11u authentication
- IEEE P1905 hybrid networking
- Ka band
- OpenFlow/OpenRadio for sharing backhaul.
- Ultra-wideband (UWB)
- Virtual retinal display
- Web 2.0
- Web 3.0
- Akhtar, Shakil (August 2008) . Pagani, Margherita, ed. 2G-5G Networks: Evolution of Technologies, Standards, and Deployment (pdf) (Second ed.). Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States: IGI Global. pp. 522–532. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch070. ISBN 978-1-60566-014-1. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- Emerging Wireless Technologies; A look into the future of wireless communications – beyond 3G. SafeCom (a US Department of Homeland Security program). unknown. Retrieved 27 September 2013. "Since the general model of 10 years to develop a new mobile system is being followed, that timeline would suggest 4G should be operational some time around 2011."
- Xichun Li; Abudulla Gani; Rosli Salleh; Omar Zakaria (February 2009). "The Future of Mobile Wireless Communication Networks" (pdf). International Conference on Communication Software and Networks. ISBN 978-0-7695-3522-7. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "The METIS 2020 Project – Mobile and Wireless Communications Enablers for the 2020 Information Society" (pdf). METIS. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "Interview with Ericsson CTO: There will be no 5G - we have reached the channel limits". DNA India. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "Mobile communications: Fresh €50 million EU research grants in 2013 to develop '5G' technology". Europa.eu. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "5GrEEn project webpage - Towards Green 5G Mobile Networks". EIT ICT Labs. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- T. L. Marzetta (November 2010). "Noncooperative Cellular Wireless with Unlimited Numbers of Base Station Antennas". IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol. 9, no. 11. Bell Labs., Alcatel-Lucent. pp. 56–61, 3590–3600. ISSN 1536-1276. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- J. Hoydis; S. ten Brink; M. Debbah (February 2013). "Massive MIMO in the UL/DL of Cellular Networks: How Many Antennas Do We Need?". IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 31, no. 2. Bell Labs., Alcatel-Lucent. pp. 160–171. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- D. Gesbert; S. Hanly; H. Huang; S. Shamai; W. Yu (December 2010). "Multi-cell MIMO cooperative networks: A new look at interference". IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 28, no. 9. EURECOM. pp. 1380–1408. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Emil Björnson; Eduard Jorswieck (2013). "Optimal Resource Allocation in Coordinated Multi-Cell Systems". Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory, vol. 9, no. 2-3. NOW – The Essence of Knowledge. pp. 113–381. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- R. Baldemair; E. Dahlman; G. Fodor; G. Mildh; S. Parkvall; Y. Selen; H. Tullberg; K. Balachandran (March 2013). "Evolving Wireless Communications: Addressing the Challenges and Expectations of the Future". IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, vol. 8, no. 1. Ericsson Research. pp. 24–30. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Abdullah Gani; Xichun Li; Lina Yang; Omar Zakaria; Nor Badrul Anuar (February 2009). "Multi-Bandwidth Data Path Design for 5G Wireless Mobile Internets". WSEAS Transactions on Information Science and Applications archive, Volume 6, Issue 2. ISSN 1790-0832. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- The Korean IT R&D program of MKE/IITA: 2008-F-004-01 "5G mobile communication systems based on beam-division multiple access and relays with group cooperation".
- Loretta W. Prencipe (28 February 2003). "Tomorrow's 5g cell phone; Cognitive radio, a 5g device, could forever alter the power balance from wireless service provider to user". Infoworld Newsletters / Networking. IDG Group. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Cornelia-Ionela Badoi; Neeli Prasad; Victor Croitoru; Ramjee Prasad. "5G based cognitive radio". Wireless Personal Communications, Volume 57, Number 3. pp. 441–464. doi:10.1007/s11277-010-0082-9, Springer. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Leonardo S. Cardoso; Marco Maso; Mari Kobayashi; Mérouane Debbah (July 2011). "Orthogonal LTE two-tier Cellular Networks" (pdf). 2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC). pp. 1–5. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Toni Janevski (10–13 January 2009). "5G Mobile Phone Concept". Consumer Communications and Networking Conference, 2009 6th IEEE [1-4244-2308-2]. Facility of Electrical Engineering & Information Technology, University Sv. Kiril i Metodij. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Kelly, Spencer (13 October 2012 time: 00:09:11-00:09:39). "BBC Click Programme - Kenya". BBC News Channel. Retrieved 15 October 2012. "Some of the world biggest telecoms firms have joined forces with the UK government to fund a new 5G research centre. The facility, to be based at the University of Surrey, will offer testing facilities to operators keen to develop a mobile standard that uses less energy and radio spectrum, while delivering faster speeds than current 4G technology that's been launched in around 100 countries, including several British cities. They say the new tech could be ready within a decade."
- "The University Of Surrey Secures £35M For New 5G Research Centre". University of Surrey. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "5G research centre gets major funding grant". BBC News. BBC News Online. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Philipson, Alice (9 October 2012). "Britain aims to join mobile broadband leaders with £35m '5G' research centre". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "삼성전자, 5세대 이동통신 핵심기술 세계 최초 개발". 12 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- "5G Is Already Ridiculously Fast". 12 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "India and Israel have agreed to work jointly on development of 5G". 25 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- "Huawei plans $600m investment in 10Gbps 5G network". 6 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
4th Generation (4G)
|Mobile Telephony Generations||Succeeded by
6th Generation (6G) (a future standard)