From a business perspective, “5G” is really an excellent name.
Just two characters, concise, receiving both easy to remember memory, but also easy to spread. For the general public , they can see at a glance that 5G is an upgrade of 4G and a more advanced communication technology.
However, from a technical point of view, the overly simple term “5G” has also brought many negative effects.
While it conceals the technical complexity, it also obscures people’s accurate understanding of its boundaries and internal structure. In other words, everyone knows about 5G, but few people can really tell what 5G is and what it includes.
Public fuzzy cognitive 5G, leading to 5G evaluation congregation diverse. Some people say that 5G is omnipotent and will change society. Others say that 5G is a complete scam and false demand.
What exactly is 5G?
5G is not a strictly defined concrete object, but a general reference, a huge technology collection, and an integrated system. At present, there are at least hundreds of devices in this world, which are called 5G devices. There are also thousands of technologies, which are called 5G technologies. The shape of the 5G network is different for each operator.
More importantly, some devices are both 5G devices and 4G devices. Some technologies are both 5G technology and 4G technology (even Wi-Fi technology). Some networks are both 5G and 4G networks.
For example, a technology like NB-IoT is itself a castrated version of 4G LTE technology. As a result, it has changed and changed into a 5G technology.
For another example, OFDMA and MIMO technologies, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are both in use, and 4G is also in use.
In other words, there is no clear boundary between 5G and other communication technologies. In many cases, they are in a state of common development of “you in you and you in me”.
“You have me I have you”
Simply comparing 5G with other communication technologies does not make much sense. Each technology has its own characteristics, as well as their respective uses. 5G and them are not all substitutes. It is very important to understand this point.
We all know that there is no breakthrough in the basic theory of communication. Today, electromagnetic waves are still the main means of communication, and Shannon’s formula is still valid. This determines that the capabilities of 5G have not undergone subversive changes, and can only be called “limited improvements.”
Some people may say that compared with 4G, 5G’s performance indicators have indeed been greatly improved?
Comparison of 4G and 5G indicators
Indeed, the indicators have improved. But behind the increase in indicators, not all of them come from technological innovations, but more from resource tilt care (for example, larger spectrum bandwidth division), normal process upgrades, and performance reallocation.
The evaluation indicators of communication technology generally include: speed, coverage capacity, number of connections, delay, capacity, mobility, energy consumption, cost and other aspects. Different usage scenarios have different indicators.
Taking the VR scenario as an example, the energy efficiency of 5G is indeed higher (lower power consumption per bit), but for higher speed, energy consumption, coverage, and cost are sacrificed. This is a compromise balance.
And we also need to note that many of the technical characteristics of 5G are not exclusive. For example, Wi-Fi 6/6E, in certain indicators, can pose a threat to 5G.
Many advantages of 5G have been over-packaged. Many shortcomings of 5G have also been deliberately concealed. Irrational propaganda has caused users to have too high expectations for 5G, and the result is not conducive to the healthy development of 5G.
If 2G is a bicycle, 3G is a tractor, and 4G is a car, then what is 5G?
Many media on the Internet say that 5G is a rocket. I think it is too far off the mark. 5G has not become a rocket, nor has it become an airplane, not even a high-speed rail, it is still a car. It’s just that 5G has changed from Santana to Cherokee, the top speed has been increased, and then you can climb steep slopes, cross the snow, and trickle down the creek.
Value Judgment of 5G
The current value of 5G is overestimated and will fall, but over time, it should grow slowly.
The future evolution of 5G
Next, we take a closer look at the evolution of the various components of 5G.
Readers who are a little knowledgeable know that mobile communication networks have three major components: access network, bearer network, and core network.
In the eyes of laymen, the three major parts are communications. However, in our own view, the three major parts are three completely different worlds.
5G is a package of communication technology standards, which includes many aspects of mobile communication networks, but not all the details.
Among the three major parts, the penetration level of the 5G standard is completely different.
The access network part, especially the wireless air interface technology 5G NR (New Radio) under the access network, is the core part of 5G, and it is also the part with the largest length and the most detailed regulations in the standard document.
Each parameter of the 5G NR wireless air interface has a clear definition. Every signal or channel also has a clear explanation.
I mentioned definitions and boundaries earlier. Regarding the air interface, we can say that 5G has clear definitions and boundaries.
For the core network, the 5G specification documents also have relatively clear definitions, including the role of the name of the network element, and the signaling format and parameters between the network element and the network element. Although the 5G core network and the 4G core network have some intersections (especially IMS), their boundaries are still clear.
Finally, look at the bearer network.
The bearer network is completely different from the previous two. The technical standards of the bearer network are not uniformly specified by 3GPP, but defined by a bunch of organizations such as IEEE, ITU-T, OIF, MSA, etc. The three major domestic operators have chosen their own different routes, and their technologies have similarities and differences.
Therefore, the 5G bearer network is the least clearly defined and borderless (in other words, there is actually no recognized and unified 5G bearer network technology). The technology promoted by operators can be called as they want, and they can all be called 5G bearer networks.
Moreover, the bearer network is not dedicated to mobile communications. Fixed-line broadband communications share a large number of bearer network (transmission network) equipment with mobile communications. If it is called 5G bearer network in general, it is not accurate.
Personally, I believe that the evolution of mobile communication technology after 5G is unlikely to continue the iterative development of the entire network in the form of 6G and 7G.
The wireless air interface part may independently undergo iterative evolution in the form of 6G NR and 7G NR. The bearer network and core network will bid farewell to the iterative evolution (replacement of the entire network) and turn to a growth evolution (repairs, small replacements, cumulative upgrades).
The bearer network, once a complete all-optical network is truly realized, it means that the skeleton has been built. Unless there is a disruptive technology (to replace optical fiber), otherwise, there will be no batch equipment upgrades.
The improvement of the bearer network capacity, in terms of capacity capacity, is a process of mature higher-speed optical module technology, lower cost, and batch replacement (400G→800G→1.2T→……). In addition, it is the process of intelligent operation and maintenance management. AI is introduced to optimize scheduling, and the main equipment of the entire network will not be replaced at will.
There is nothing new in the core network.
In terms of function, the 5G core network does not have any more functions than the 4G core network, but a cloud-based platform is replaced. For users, there is not much difference in experience, mainly for the convenience of operator management and cost reduction. The extra slicing function network elements mainly serve industrial Internet scenarios such as the Industrial Internet and the Internet of Vehicles. A bigger change is happening on the UPF side of the media. In order to meet the needs of massive data transmission and low latency, everyone pays more attention to the improvement of UPF’s processing capabilities.
After cloudification, the 5G core network will fall into greater confusion. At present, there is no clear development direction at all. The only thing that can be thought of is native intelligence and native security. In other words, how to integrate AI technology into core network equipment and how to make the core network have stronger security capabilities. In these two directions, the necessity of intergenerational upgrade (replacement and upgrade of all equipment as a whole) is not yet seen.
Everyone understands that, except for the possibility of generational replacement in a relatively complete technology package such as the wireless air interface, it is almost impossible for the bearer network and core network to undergo generational replacement. Intergenerational replacement is too costly and too expensive for operators. A complete set of equipment needs to be replaced every five or ten years. Who can afford it?
Therefore, by 6G, there may be no more 6G bearer network and 6G core network. Only 6G wireless technology (6G NR?), through the introduction of terahertz, super surface, and AI QAM, continue to strengthen the air interface capabilities.
For 6G, I suggest you don’t expect too much. I think it is still a car, not a rocket.
As the saying goes, the ass decides the head. In fact, the ass also determines the mouth.
In an impetuous society, what you hear and see is not necessarily the truth. Many people say that you have to pay attention to his identity and the starting point of interest. Blindly touting the technological advancement of 5G is either ignorant or fraudulent.
5G is a whole through- letter industry make every effort to get out of something. The embarrassing situation of 5G also reflects the bleak development prospects of the communications industry. On the one hand, we are eager for breakthroughs in basic theories. On the other hand, we also hope to find new demands, emerge new hot spots, and drive the industry to new prosperity.
How long will we have to wait on this day?
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/how-do-you-think-about-5g/
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