Fifth Generation Cellular Networks

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Philip Branch


Telecommunications, Wireless, Mobile Cellular


In this article the emerging requirements that are driving the fifth generation of mobile cellular networks are discussed and the technologies that will most likely be used to satisfy those requirements are identified. Proposals for 5G are at an early stage, but there is an expectation that the early 2020s will see the first deployments.

The requirements for 5G are increased download speeds, the need to deal with increased cell density, increased bandwidth efficiency and availability of new bandwidth. It is likely that 5G will play a role in the emerging Internet of Things, potentially resulting in enormous increase in the number of attached devices.

To meet the expected requirements 5G is likely to make use of spectrum in the millimetre range, beam-forming antenna arrays, massive Multi-Input Multi-Output, and fundamental changes to base station design. In this paper the key drivers for 5G are discussed including the very large numbers of devices in cells, the need to make available new spectrum, energy efficient ways of implementing base station capabilities, standards developments so far and 5G related issues for Australia.


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