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5G Applications | 5G Use Cases

This article describes 5G applications and 5G use cases. The most common applications or use cases of 5G are enhanced mobile broadband, Live TV, remote surgery, IoT, gaming, autonomous cars etc.

What is 5G NR ?

The term 5G refers to fifth generation of wireless technology which follows same 3GPP roadmap followed earlier by 3G and 4G. First 3GPP specifications for 5G technology have been published in Dec. 2017

The speed of 4G technology was adequate to offer video streaming and online gaming services but it does not address needs of certain use cases which are IoT (Internet of Things), Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) etc. To address these requirements, 5G has been developed. Typically 5G deployment include small cells in almost every street corner in addition to mobile towers like 4G.

5G applications span across multiple industries such as public safety, automotive industry, broadcasting industry, Aeronautical, health, utilities, education etc.

Benefits of 5G technology

The features or benefits of 5G wireless technology are as follows.
➨5G supports wide range of spectrums below 1 GHz, from 1 to 6 GHz and mmwave range 24/30 GHz to 300 GHz.
➨5G supports 10-20 Gbps peak throughput and 15 Tbps/Km2
➨Programmability as per use cases using network slicing concept
➨5G supports 1-2 ms of latency which enables certain latency sensitive use cases such as mobile games, AR/VR etc.
➨5G suppors virtualized network functions e.g. Virtual RAN, Virtual EPC, Virtual IMS
➨High capacity to allow more devices to connect concurrently i.e. 500,000 UEs/Km2
➨Low battery consumption
➨It is very reliable as it offers 99.99% availability.
➨5G offers mobility (500-1000 Km/hr) to extend high quality coverage to users traveling in cars, trains and airplanes.

5G Applications | 5G Use Cases

Let us understand applications of use cases of 5G NR (New Radio) technology. Following three major characteristics lead to following use cases.
• 5G offers enhanced mobile broadband (Peak speed : 20 Gbps, Edge speed : 100 Mbps)
• 5G offers ultra reliablity & low latency (1ms latency, 10-9 Error Rate)
• 5G offers massive machine type communications (1 million device connections per Km2, High energy efficiency, 20 dB coverage enhancement)

5G Use Cases or 5G applications

5G Use Case #1 : Enhanced Mobile Broadband

With data speeds in 10 to 20 Gbps range, 5G is well suited for eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband) services. In eMBB scenario, CPE or routers housed with 5G modems connect with 5G network for internet access. WiFi is used for local shared access of single 5G internet connection among multiple users. The eMBB services are installed in places which include trains, PTS (Public Transport Systems), malls, airports, sports events with large users etc.

5G Use Case #2 : Fixed Wireless

The 5G offer broadband access to residential or small enterprise customers using 5G CPE connected with 5G gNB. This can be used by multiple devices such as television, VOIP phone, mobile, tablet, laptop etc. WiFi feature on 5G CPE helps in using this 5G connection simultaneously among multiple users.

Fixed wireless services eliminate the need of last mile connectivity by unnecessary digging and laying of cables. Installation is very simple. Service provider provides 5G compliant CPE which connects automatically with the 5G tower or 5G small cell when powered ON. The service provider authenticates CPE device before granting access to the 5G internet.

5G Use Case #3 : Live TV

As mentioned higher bandwidth and low latency allows 5G service providers to stream live TV. SK Telecom has already demonstrated live TV broadcasting over 5G network. Most of the 5G service providers relay 5G services along with OTT (Over the Top) such as Apple TV or YouTube TV using their own or third party services. Live TV services are available to residential or enterprise users at airports, hotels etc.

5G Use Case #4 : Robotic Surgery

5G offers ultra low latency (i.e. 0.5 to 1ms) which makes 5G ideal for latency sensitive applications such as remote surgery using robotic arm. This 5G use case allows doctor to remotely diagnose patient by performing surgery. This feature allows hospitals to quickly attend patients and save their lives. Moreover patients benefit by eliminating transport and consecutively money. Due to Covid-19, there is huge demand in use of telemedicine services by patients who do not need in-person consultation. This reduces chances of getting exposed to unavoidable diseases. Due to 4G and now 5G, use of telemedicine services have been increased across the globe.

5G Use Case #5 : Autonomous Cars

Self driving automonous cars consume lot of bandwidth and requires quick responses from the network. These cars need to quickly decide whether object ahead is vehicle or human being. Autonomous cars require to access cloud continuously using wireless network.

5G fulfills the need of autonomous cars as it supports higher bandwidth and low latency. The MEC (Multi Access Edge Computing) helps car manufacturers to host their applications and make services available at edge of the network. Autonomous cars push statistics of their health to the applications using cloud.

5G Use Case #6 : Massive IoT

Several countries are deploying IoT networks for their smart city initiatives. IoT solutions connect smart meters, surveillance cameras, smart traffic lights, light poles, temperature monitoring devices to the internet. This is known as massive IoT.

5G supports millions of devices per square Km. Hence 5G supports this massive IoT use case. In IoT use cases, sensors/devices are either directly connected with 5G tower or through Gateway. Devices are connected with IoT gateway using protocols such as zigbee/LoRa etc. This gateway connects with 5G tower.

Conclusion: Other than the 5G use cases mentioned above, there are many more which include online gaming, Augmented Reality (AR) & Vertual Reality (VR), Smart home/building, smart city etc. The 5G applications are also many which include voice, 3D video, UHD screens, e-health (mission critical applications), Industrial automation etc.


This 5G tutorial also covers following sub topics on the 5G technology:
5G basic tutorial
5G Frequency Bands
5G millimeter wave tutorial
5G mm wave frame
5G millimeter wave channel sounding
Difference between 4G and 5G
5G testing and test equipments
5G network architecture

5G NR Numerology | 5G NR Terminology

5G NR Control channels | 5G NR Traffic Channels | 5G NR Reference Signals and sequences

Other Standard Physical Layers

•  LTE Physical layer  •  WiMAX OFDM Physical layer   •  Wireless physical layer overview   •  11b physical layer   •  11a physical layer   •  fixed wimax physical layer-OFDM   •  mobile wimax physical layer-OFDMA   •  11n physical layer  •  GSM Physical layer  •  TD-SCDMA Physical layer   •  GPRS physical layer  •  LDACS1 Physical layer  •  10,40,100 Gigabit Ethernet Physical layer  •  Zigbee Physical layer  •  WCDMA Physical layer  •  Bluetooth Physical layer  •  WLAN 802.11ac Physical layer  •  WLAN 802.11ad Physical layer 

RF and Wireless Terminologies