5G’s usage scenarios are wide-ranging and diverse. Not all options will be available at short notice or will become reality at the same time. At the same time, many applications are already possible with LTE. The 5G development already shows that 5G will be more than a high-speed turbo. From a technical point of view, 5G is like a modular system from which the functions are combined in such a way that people, things, and processes are optimally wirelessly networked with one another.
There are likely to be three areas on which network operators will focus: supplying inner-city areas with high capacity, solutions for industrial and business customers, and bridging the last mile where laying fiber-optic cables are out of the question.
5G brings capacity to cities
When serving inner-city areas, the mobile radio networks have to cope with a high number of simultaneous users. At large events, even modern 4G mobile networks still reach their limits, for example in connection with music or sports events, Christmas markets, or on New Year’s Eve, when tens of thousands of customers have to be served simultaneously in a confined space. If, in addition, ultra-high-resolution images and videos make up a large part of the data volume, the capacity must be adjusted further. With 5G, network operators can cope better with such situations. 5G technology enables high data transmission rates or a high data capacity with new methods. covering in difficult situations, such as in house canyons or inside buildings, is easier. With a small cell network (Small Cells ), the network can be compressed in places with many users and thus more capacity can be made available. Small cells also have to be connected to a good fiber-optic infrastructure.
5G as virtual fiber
LTE (4G) data rates from 500 Mbit to one gigabit are already possible today. A decisive factor for the performance of the mobile radio connection is not necessarily a particularly high data rate, but the optimal adaptation to the requirements of a specific application. No matter whether in the city, on the train, or in the country. 5G technology can achieve significantly higher peak data rates than 4G, but more important and decisive are higher average data rates so that constant performance is possible for users. The peak data rate of 5G radio transmission, on the other hand, will hardly be needed by an individual user, but it is important for interactive applications and the total capacity of the mobile radio cells. With its high performance and high average data rates, 5G can bridge the last mile to the user as a virtual optical fiber.
Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things
In the industrial sector there is a lot of talk about the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT). In the Internet of Things, devices can pass on information or “understand each other”. The networking of machines and devices is still at the beginning but should gain momentum with 5G, as some technical foundations are laid that are important for IoT. In particular, ultra-short latencies should be mentioned here, i.e. response times in the range of 1 millisecond. In industrial production, the continuous exchange of data between machines, systems, people and robots will become increasingly important. Industrial robots can be controlled in real-time based on 5G technology.
The economic networking of a large number of sensors is particularly important for IoT. With 5G, the number of connected devices can be increased to several hundred thousand per base station. Since these sensors are often installed in hard-to-reach places or embedded in other objects, the economical use of energy is very important here. With narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), a corresponding 3GPP mobile radio standard is already practically usable in the first LTE networks.
Mobility, logistics and trade
One of the applications for 5G is to be connected driving. Automated and networked driving is designed to increase road safety and improve traffic flow so that resources are conserved and harmful emissions are reduced. Suitably equipped vehicles must be even able to move safely without a network connection, but through communication between vehicles (car-to-car communication) and d, he integration of traffic data and vehicle sensors incur additional benefits such as assisted overtaking or the formation of emergency lanes. The most important prerequisite for these applications is high availability and low latencies.
5G also ensures greater networking between the various modes of transport. Networked local public transport can react faster if there is an increased demand for passenger transport or if a route does not currently have to be traveled. In logistics, traffic is reduced through a highly efficient route and transport planning. The logistics area benefits from 5G in a variety of ways. Connected and highly automated vehicles will also exist in the transportation sector. Networked sensors are also used for the transport of goods, which transmit the position, temperature, vibrations, and the like to logistics centers or forwarding agents.
In healthcare, the focus of planning around 5G is primarily on telemedical applications. The concepts, which primarily aim to improve medical care in structurally weak areas, go from specialist care to the intensive care. Also, the networking of the ambulance to transfer vital data to the hospital, remote treatment, and telemonitoring of long-term patients, video-based medical consultations and telemedicine consultations between physicians in smaller acute hospitals and specialists in other hospitals can be realized with 5G-Technik.
Agricultural processes are already partially intelligently networked today. Services such as the maintenance intervals of machines, optimal fertilization, and harvesting strategies, and extensive automation of the process chain can be achieved. Smart farming can be implemented with 5G: Soil quality, fertilization cycles, current and precise weather data, these and other information come together on the display of self-propelled tractors and support the farmer in the efficient management of areas.
Intelligent supply networks can be expanded and controlled with 5G technology in such a way that the absorption capacity of the networks is optimized. Generators, network operators, storage facilities, and consumers are interconnected via so-called virtual power plants. 5G also enables the easier implementation of intelligent building technology such as smart metering, heating system control, or the monitoring of supply infrastructures such as water and wastewater or ventilation systems.