There’s an incredible buzz around 5th Generation wireless systems (5G). 5G is the next-generation network evolved from the existing 4G/LTE network. It’s key features are its higher capacity and lower latency. This will enable it to support a considerably higher density of mobile users as well as providing the foundation for the Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M Communications.
The 5G network promises much greater connectivity across our homes, industries and events. It’s likely to speed up the move towards automation in transportation and change the way in which we access goods and services.
The 5G revolution is predicted to have a huge impact on optical networking, creating a massive demand for fibre cables, optical transceivers for 5G networks and a wide range of supporting optical products.
What is the advantage of 5G over 4G networks?
5G networks have a range of benefits for users over existing 4G networks. They promise a considerable increase in speed with speeds up to 10Gbps representing a 100x increase compared to 4G.
The amount of time it takes for a signal to go from its source to its receiver is referred to as latency, and with each wireless generation the aim has been to reduce that time. 5G promises round trip transmission of data taking less than five milliseconds. This is faster than human visual processing.
5G will be able to deliver up to 1000x more capacity than 4G. This enhanced capacity will help businesses and government scale up their operations. It will also create a platform for the development of IoT as well as smart cities and automated transport systems.
Greater speed and capacity will create the potential for larger amounts of data to be transmitted than was possible with 4G LTE networks.
Why is fibre necessary for 5G networks?
For 5G to grow, wireless carriers will need to take advantage of high capacity-fibre networks. These networks will often include underground or aerial fibre optic cable that is not currently being used.
Fibre is able to utilise different wavelengths so that multiple signals can be transmitted over the same strand of fibre. This helps to enable faster speeds, improved mobile coverage and creates more reliable networks. Fibre aids low latency, making mobile networks more responsive and able to increase connection speeds while accommodating multiple devices at once.
Fibre will help 5G eliminate technological hang-ups for different devices and people connected to the network. This will, in turn, make new technology more accessible, applicable and understandable for the regular consumer while driving down costs overall.
What is the impact of 5G on optical networks?
5G is already increasing mobile user expectations about what they will be able to do with their devices. From online shopping to downloading movies faster and more reliably, and a range of case-uses that haven’t yet been conceived, the demand for data will be considerably greater.
Optical networks will need the ability as well as the capacity to adapt to changing demand if they are not to become a bandwidth bottleneck.
The need for optical transceivers for 5G networks
To achieve this, the demand for high-rate optical transceivers will significantly increase because the 5G network requires higher base-station/cell-site density. Optical communications will be the cornerstone technology independent of various fronthaul options. Currently, LTE base stations generally use 10G optical transceivers. This changes with 5G networks, where it’s expected that 25G/100G optical transceivers will be preferred when it comes to the optical fronthaul network.
The final composition of the 5G network fronthaul architecture hasn’t yet been determined, but it’s apparent that the network will employ both grey and colour optics for 25Gbps based on the 5G bandwidth requirement.
A comprehensive range of network transceivers
At AT-GBICS, we’re helping to facilitate the 5G revolution. We stock a comprehensive range of network transceivers. Our compatibility guarantee means that you can be confident that we will only sell products that meet or exceed the vendor specification with compliance to all MSA standards and protocols. Every product is uniquely serialised and we offer a lifetime warranty on all of our products.