Expectations of the new 5G are high. However, what does the introduction of this new standard mean? What does it do and where are the benefits for applications in the M2M and IoT area?
5G stands for the fifth generation in mobile communications and is the successor to LTE (4G), UMTS (3G) and GSM (2G). UMTS and LTE were already the basis for new forms of communication that have fundamentally changed everyday life through social media platforms and messenger services. With 5G, a technological quantum leap is imminent that bring about much more far-reaching changes than any previous generation of mobile communications standards.
Moreover, with good reason: 5G is the first genuine network of machines. Studies assume that around 25 billion devices are networked worldwide by 2020. In all conceivable public and private areas of life and work, such as housing, infrastructure, industry, and transport, not only people but increasingly machines are communicating.
This change creates new technological requirements that are to be covered by 5G as the new standard. The potential of 5G is evident in three areas:
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)
eMBB enables high data transfer rates for applications such as high-definition video streaming, augmented reality, or virtual reality with data rates of up to 10 or 20 gigabits per second.
Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC)
mMTC is primarily used to connect as many devices as possible and allows connection densities of up to one million MTC components per square kilometre – the prerequisite for implementing Smart City, Smart Home, or Smart Agriculture concepts.
Ultra Reliable and Low Latency Communication (uRLLC)
uRLLC should be able to handle extremely time- and safety-critical applications with the lowest latency time (1ms) without the risk of failure. Areas of use include autonomous driving, automatic driving assistants, car-to-car communication, and predictive maintenance of systems.
The possibility of connecting an almost unlimited number of machines, systems, devices and sensors using Massive Machine Type Communication opens up an immense potential of use scenarios for M2M applications in areas such as e-health, industry 4.0, environmental technology, smart farming, and intelligent logistics.