Taking 5G to work, in offices, and on the factory floor – will it help?

in great shape / 5G Artist’s Imprint.

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In our last 5G lecturer, we talked about the potential impact of the 5G cellular protocol — and the different bands on which it operates — on gaming. Today, we are going to explore what throughput and latency associated with a 5G network can mean for work rather than play.

For the most part, the improvements are iterative, not revolutionary, and are the ones we talked about in Gaming Peace. Advanced equipment in towers means lower network latency, and mmwave connections to outdoor equipment mean less contention for sub-6GHz devices from buildings.

This person is adding additional Gs to a transmission tower.
in great shape / This person is adding additional Gs to a transmission tower.

morfous / getty

Where MMWave connections to devices are possible — which, for the most part, would mean “in high-population areas” —users can expect extremely high throughput and low latency. But we have less range and penetration than mmWave’s sub-6 GHz connection that we are familiar with, and we don’t expect to be able to get a connection from indoor users. You don’t necessarily need a clean line of sight on a tower – the use of large-scale MIMO antenna arrays mmWave deployment is highly directional and can make good use of RF reflection to achieve obstacles – but an external wall. Can be perforated through an exterior wall for. Almost certainly too much is expected.

Remote work in quarantine era

Gamers tend to like it a lot, most telecoolers – whether they realize it or not – rely more on low latency than high throughput. When you need a high throughput (measured in Mbps or megabits of data per second) to download a large file over an Office VPN, you need consistent, low latency to keep remote controls on track or smoothly. (Measured in milliseconds) require a work PC from home.

While we expect most remote workers to continue relying on Wi-Fi to get internet from their laptops and home PCs, many videoconference calls are made from smartphones and tablets with LTE modems. As shown in the cellular modems of 5G towers and new mobile devices, we can expect significant improvements in latency and throughput alike. Some of that benefit will come from improvements in protocols – such as strict control times, designed for high-performance chipsets in modern devices – but much of this will come from having more spectrum to allocate to users, resulting in There will be more available airtime and less controversy.

In fact, we can expect throughput at 400Mbps Gush mmWave connection.

High-quality 5G cellular data connections can also make remote work more accessible to working-class people, many of whom may not have traditional Internet connections and Wi-Fi devices, instead of their home computing devices Rely on a phone or tablet. Reducing the need to invest in expensive equipment to seem “professional” can help businesses and employees alike.

Millimeter wave – now, and in the future

The truly revolutionary claims we made about 5G are mostly about the millimeter wave – extremely high bandwidth, high frequency spectrum from 24GHz to 39GHz. The millimeter-wave spectrum provides 800MHz wide channels, sub-1ms over-the-air (OTA) latency and extremely high contention. In fact, we can expect throughput at 400Mbps Gush MMWave connection – where “edge” means “if the connection was any worse, it would not be connected at all.”

We’re going to speculate a little bit on some attractive possibilities for mmWave in the future, but we’re going to keep things real- At the moment, end-user mmWave technology is really just in direct development with what the industry calls “mobile broadband usage Has increased in terms of. “Translated into English, which roughly means” normal people, doing normal stuff on their phones. ”

We talked to David Hall, director of National Instruments. NI is an Austin, TX based company heavily involved in testing new RF equipment – including both Wi-Fi and cellular gear in its design stages. While Hall is excited about MimiWave, he says that the vast majority of current deployments are sub 6GHz, and he does not see the deployment of indoor mmWave as likely to happen at any time in the near future.

This person is performing electromagnetic testing in a special test room, which will use the testing equipment of the National Instruments.
in great shape / This person is performing electromagnetic testing in a special test room, which will use the testing equipment of the National Instruments.

Monty Raksen / Getty

Although MMWave has incredible promise, it has some growing pains to work through, and is the easiest place to work through them, while technology is in its relative infancy, where publicity is simple. Power efficiency is one of the big sticking points; As Hall points out, we’ve been working on more and more efficient sub 6GHz handset technology since 1983, while mmWave has only had a few years to “bake”.

Due to the extremely directional nature of mmwave connections, beamforming is also very important for technology and is still under development. Hall has described a lot of work targeting this feature — maintaining connections is important as users move around and go through obstacles, so the phones under test are rotated on their own axes and in RF test rooms Move around soft barriers to ensure that large-scale MIMOs can keep them targeted and connected.

Although there are still few callowables to work with in production, mmWave technology has incredible potential for high device density – transferring 256-element large-scale MIMO arrays used in today’s mmWave tower deployments and 128 different 2×2 are able to achieve up to mmWave. Simultaneous devices on the same channel. This ability to avoid congestion when “talking” on so many devices simultaneously is a big part of mmWave’s promise of highly reliable, low-latency connections.

In theory, we could eventually see the deployment of indoor mmwave in factory-floor-like settings, where sensors and robotic devices alike could benefit from real-time wireless communication with human operators, and by transmitting the bucketload of telemetry Can control suites. Although it is easy to deploy standard Wi-Fi technology, Wi-Fi is less reliable – especially in environments with extreme device density. Since airtime is not centrally controlled with Wi-Fi, many active devices mean multiple packet collisions, automatic backoff-and-retrieval, and inconsistent latency for all.

In practice, that mmWave-controlled factory floor scenario probably won’t be common anytime soon. To really take advantage of this hypothetical automated device-intensive scenario, we’ll be looking for IOT-grade, inexpensive mmWave radios — and Hall says NI is not seeing such devices under test.