Home5GThe elements required for IoT and a 5G network

The elements required for IoT and a 5G network

DALLAS–Prabhakar Chitrapu, lead member of the technical staff for small cell platforms at AT&T, gave a presentation on the road to a 5G network as part of a workshop titled Small Cell Forum@SCWS: The Path to 5G Workshop at SCWS 2016. He mapped out some of the challenges associated with building the IoT, and how a 5G network needs to operate moving forward.

Network providers have several challenges to overcome when building for IoT. They need to provide:

  • Low-cost
  • Long battery life
  • Enhanced coverage
  • Scale
  • Narrowband and broadband

scsw 5g network AT&T

According to Chitrapu, there is more unknown than is known about 5G. He gave five dimensions to the up-and-coming network:

  • Enhanced mobile broadband – broadband on steroids
    • Throughputs of 5 gigabits per second
    • UHD video (4K, 8K)
    • VR and AR
    • Cloud gaming
    • Broadband kiosks,
    • Vehicular (cars, buses, trains, aerial stations)
  • Ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC)
    • Industrial control
    • Remote manipulation
    • Tactile internet
    • Mission critical apps
  • IoT
    • Narrowband and broadband
    • IoT 3GPP standards
    • LTE-NB IoT standards set in summer 2016
    • Cat M1 trials starting in November
    • Cat NB1 progressing
  • Vehicular
    • Navigation, diagnostics, safety, roadside assist, stolen vehicle recovery, emergency call, in-car voice, in-car entertainment and internet access, usage based insurance, etc.
  • Smart Cities
    • Energy, transport, buildings, healthcare, security, infrastructure, governance, etc.

Chitrapu identified four categories for 5G network technology enablers and the technologies within each:

  • LTE-Advanced Evolution

  • Narrowband

  • New Radio

  • NexGen Core

  • MultiRAT integration and management

  • Softwarization


  • NFVV

  • SDN

  • Network slicing

  • Management and orchestration

  • Open source


  • mm wave

  • New waveforms

  • Massive MIMO and beamforming

  • Advanced inter-node coordination

  • Hetnet and densification

  • Device-to-device communication


  • Mobile edge computing

  • Virtual and augmented reality

  • Tactile internet

  • AI

  • Cloud

  • Big data analytics

AT&T is currently demoing 5G trials in Austin, Texas, Atlanta and San Ramon, California. These first use cases use fixed broadband in the 15 to 18 GHz spectrum, delivering multi-gigabit-per-second speeds.

SCWS workshop

According to Chitrapu, the network operator will be the conductor for the future state for 5G. Here are reasons why:

  • Operators know how to do this for global
    • Roaming
    • Service interoperability
    • Operations
  • Business drivers
    • Enterprises want services – operators need to find model
    • Innovation and speed are advantage in enterprise where you have room to fail forward.
  • Propose business operations innovation
    • Federating infrastructure now under 4G in preparation for 5G
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