Why 5G Might Really be Different

New revenue sources and business models have been a hoped-for by-product of 3G and 4G mobile networks, and many supporters hope the same will be true for 5G, perhaps the first next-generation mobile network being designed specifically with new Internet of Things apps and fixed network substitution in mind.

The role of millimeter wave spectrum above 6 GHz also is important, as such resources are expected to provide very high capacity in high-density areas where there is a short distance between users and the network antennas.

Also, many observers believe the initial use cases will involve targeted “add capacity” deployments, rather than a general deployment over wide geographic areas. That might involve high-traffic venues and indoor locations.

At least for the moment, some proponents believe Wi-Fi handoff will not be fully integrated and seamless.

And many believe new sorts of providers might emerge, including community-based 5G networks that will interoperate with mobile carrier 5G networks.

Low mobility and fixed service also is envisioned, to support fixed Internet of Things sensors, for example. Other possible use cases include migration of public switched network services from fixed to mobile networks.

And that is why 5G might really be different: it is the first next generation platform to be optimized for new application classes (Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communications) as well as fixed network substitution.

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