MDSi Updates, Blogs, News, and Events

MDSi Updates, Blogs, News, and Events

5G is Coming- How are Carriers Bracing for it?

Posted by Melissa Huntley on Nov 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM
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2020 is now the set forecast for the 5G revolution to come to life in the United States. How are Mobile Carriers Gearing up for the big launch? One recent carriers acquisition in October 2016 is already planning for the 5G innovation. With the acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T, there will be even more direct accessibility for small cell towers and cellular map coverage. According to Gartner, the advantage of the merger would also mean greater ability to address urgency for consumer related, cloud based content distribution, which would be across not only 5G, but Wi-Fi and LTE as well. 

5G waves and frequencies will be not happen by merely adding additional cell towers to cities, but would need to expand to street light poles and inside buildings. Wireless Carriers are already starting to look at ways 5G will be optimized and what steps need to fall into place in order to get ready for the next generation. In August, 2016 the FCC met up with the Historic Preservation to address DAS (distributed antenna systems), small cells, and other hardware equipment being installed on historic buildings that are hundreds of years old. "The interconnected world of the future will be the result of decisions we make today. That is why 5G is a national priority, and why today’s agreement to streamline small cell deployment will play a critical role in the successful deployment of next generation wireless service,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The FCC and the Historic Preservation came to a decision that as long as the small facility deployment doesn't negatively impact any historical sites, wireless carriers are free to install necessary cellular equipment onto them.  With more cellular equipment in place, small cells will have a greater coverage mobile map. 


Unlike 4G, 5G utilizes millimeter wave spectrum in order to increase high speed wireless communication, thus making our connections to our smart phone devices, or streaming of our TV's faster. AT&T already plans to bring the use of hybrid millimeter wave trials, targeting apartment building in large cities. So how will this work? According to Fiercetelecom.com "To deliver the service to each user, AT&T is using mmWave wireless technology to send a multi-gigabit signal from a central building connected to fiber to neighboring locations, and then is connecting each unit over the existing in-building wiring. When a neighboring building receives the multi-gigabit mmWave wireless signal, AT&T converts it to a wired internet connection. The telco then uses existing or new wiring in the property to offer internet access directly to each unit." With these multi-gigabit power lines in place, 5G can be used for mobile or fixed deployments. 

Carriers have been devoting millions of dollars and years into researching and optimizing the next generation of 5G. Stay tuned for more updates on 5G.