The next generation of wireless known as 5G will provide at least 10-fold improvement in the user experience and must be able to handle low-cost devices across the whole range of 5G frequency bands.
That's according to Nokia Networks, which released a white paper covering 10 key rules of 5G deployment. The company studied dense deployments in Tokyo and Madrid, which formed the basis of some of its recommendations.
Nokia says it has conducted extensive research showing that an LTE-based HetNet can cope with the capacity demands up to a thousand times greater than was common in 2010. But to meet capacity needs beyond that, small cells using 5G frequency bands will need to be deployed with an LTE macro/HetNet overlay.
"The key challenge for LTE Advanced to provide an excellent end-user experience is to satisfy the demand for cell-edge data rates that will grow to 100 Mbit/second in 2030," the paper said. "This requires a higher bandwidth compared with existing spectrum allocation below 6 GHz. Our analysis shows that up to 2 GHz of spectrum could be used for cellular below 6 GHz. This will be divided among several operators, so, for example, four operators would receive only 500 MHz each. To satisfy the 5G requirements for capacity and data rates, new and more advanced 5G systems are needed."
Nokia foresees using the "full spectrum range," from below 1 GHz to 100 GHz, providing wide area coverage and high capacity in dense areas. While more spectrum below 6 GHz is needed and new promising techniques such as Licensed Shared Access (LSA)/Authorized Shared Access (ASA) will increase the use of existing frequencies, "there will be an increasing need to unlock new spectrum bands from 6 to 100 GHz for mobile use. This range can be broadly split into two parts, centimeter wave (cmWave) and millimeter wave (mmWave), based on different radio propagation characteristics and possible carrier bandwidth," Nokia writes.
ASA/LSA is a regulatory concept to allow spectrum sharing under well-defined conditions. Nokia says ASA could be a solution for bands that can't be totally vacated by their incumbent users, but where that usage is low.
"We expect that systems currently operated in licensed bands (such as LTE-A) will play a major role in providing coverage for 5G," the vendor said. "Furthermore, Wi-Fi will continue to be a relevant solution for low-cost, best effort data, in particular indoors. However, ultra dense deployments with high traffic demand and low latency requirements will be the environment in which revolutionary technologies will emerge and the system design will vary according to the carrier frequency."
Nokia announced last month it will acquire Alcatel-Lucent, a deal that some believe was driven in part by the desire to be more competitive in 5G. Nokia also has been a prominent partner with NYU Wireless, which has conducted cutting-edge research into millimeter wave technology. NYU Wireless and Nokia held their second Brooklyn 5G Summit in April.
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