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Study and Investigation on 5G Technology: A Systematic Review

Ramraj dangi.

1 School of Computing Science and Engineering, VIT University Bhopal, Bhopal 466114, India; [email protected] (R.D.); [email protected] (P.L.)

Praveen Lalwani

Gaurav choudhary.

2 Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark; moc.liamg@7777yrahduohcvaruag

3 Department of Information Security Engineering, Soonchunhyang University, Asan-si 31538, Korea

Giovanni Pau

4 Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Kore University of Enna, 94100 Enna, Italy; [email protected]

Associated Data

Not applicable.

In wireless communication, Fifth Generation (5G) Technology is a recent generation of mobile networks. In this paper, evaluations in the field of mobile communication technology are presented. In each evolution, multiple challenges were faced that were captured with the help of next-generation mobile networks. Among all the previously existing mobile networks, 5G provides a high-speed internet facility, anytime, anywhere, for everyone. 5G is slightly different due to its novel features such as interconnecting people, controlling devices, objects, and machines. 5G mobile system will bring diverse levels of performance and capability, which will serve as new user experiences and connect new enterprises. Therefore, it is essential to know where the enterprise can utilize the benefits of 5G. In this research article, it was observed that extensive research and analysis unfolds different aspects, namely, millimeter wave (mmWave), massive multiple-input and multiple-output (Massive-MIMO), small cell, mobile edge computing (MEC), beamforming, different antenna technology, etc. This article’s main aim is to highlight some of the most recent enhancements made towards the 5G mobile system and discuss its future research objectives.

1. Introduction

Most recently, in three decades, rapid growth was marked in the field of wireless communication concerning the transition of 1G to 4G [ 1 , 2 ]. The main motto behind this research was the requirements of high bandwidth and very low latency. 5G provides a high data rate, improved quality of service (QoS), low-latency, high coverage, high reliability, and economically affordable services. 5G delivers services categorized into three categories: (1) Extreme mobile broadband (eMBB). It is a nonstandalone architecture that offers high-speed internet connectivity, greater bandwidth, moderate latency, UltraHD streaming videos, virtual reality and augmented reality (AR/VR) media, and many more. (2) Massive machine type communication (eMTC), 3GPP releases it in its 13th specification. It provides long-range and broadband machine-type communication at a very cost-effective price with less power consumption. eMTC brings a high data rate service, low power, extended coverage via less device complexity through mobile carriers for IoT applications. (3) ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) offers low-latency and ultra-high reliability, rich quality of service (QoS), which is not possible with traditional mobile network architecture. URLLC is designed for on-demand real-time interaction such as remote surgery, vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication, industry 4.0, smart grids, intelligent transport system, etc. [ 3 ].

1.1. Evolution from 1G to 5G

First generation (1G): 1G cell phone was launched between the 1970s and 80s, based on analog technology, which works just like a landline phone. It suffers in various ways, such as poor battery life, voice quality, and dropped calls. In 1G, the maximum achievable speed was 2.4 Kbps.

Second Generation (2G): In 2G, the first digital system was offered in 1991, providing improved mobile voice communication over 1G. In addition, Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile (GSM) concepts were also discussed. In 2G, the maximum achievable speed was 1 Mpbs.

Third Generation (3G): When technology ventured from 2G GSM frameworks into 3G universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS) framework, users encountered higher system speed and quicker download speed making constant video calls. 3G was the first mobile broadband system that was formed to provide the voice with some multimedia. The technology behind 3G was high-speed packet access (HSPA/HSPA+). 3G used MIMO for multiplying the power of the wireless network, and it also used packet switching for fast data transmission.

Fourth Generation (4G): It is purely mobile broadband standard. In digital mobile communication, it was observed information rate that upgraded from 20 to 60 Mbps in 4G [ 4 ]. It works on LTE and WiMAX technologies, as well as provides wider bandwidth up to 100 Mhz. It was launched in 2010.

Fourth Generation LTE-A (4.5G): It is an advanced version of standard 4G LTE. LTE-A uses MIMO technology to combine multiple antennas for both transmitters as well as a receiver. Using MIMO, multiple signals and multiple antennas can work simultaneously, making LTE-A three times faster than standard 4G. LTE-A offered an improved system limit, decreased deferral in the application server, access triple traffic (Data, Voice, and Video) wirelessly at any time anywhere in the world.LTE-A delivers speeds of over 42 Mbps and up to 90 Mbps.

Fifth Generation (5G): 5G is a pillar of digital transformation; it is a real improvement on all the previous mobile generation networks. 5G brings three different services for end user like Extreme mobile broadband (eMBB). It offers high-speed internet connectivity, greater bandwidth, moderate latency, UltraHD streaming videos, virtual reality and augmented reality (AR/VR) media, and many more. Massive machine type communication (eMTC), it provides long-range and broadband machine-type communication at a very cost-effective price with less power consumption. eMTC brings a high data rate service, low power, extended coverage via less device complexity through mobile carriers for IoT applications. Ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) offers low-latency and ultra-high reliability, rich quality of service (QoS), which is not possible with traditional mobile network architecture. URLLC is designed for on-demand real-time interaction such as remote surgery, vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication, industry 4.0, smart grids, intelligent transport system, etc. 5G faster than 4G and offers remote-controlled operation over a reliable network with zero delays. It provides down-link maximum throughput of up to 20 Gbps. In addition, 5G also supports 4G WWWW (4th Generation World Wide Wireless Web) [ 5 ] and is based on Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) protocol. 5G provides unlimited internet connection at your convenience, anytime, anywhere with extremely high speed, high throughput, low-latency, higher reliability and scalability, and energy-efficient mobile communication technology [ 6 ]. 5G mainly divided in two parts 6 GHz 5G and Millimeter wave(mmWave) 5G.

6 GHz is a mid frequency band which works as a mid point between capacity and coverage to offer perfect environment for 5G connectivity. 6 GHz spectrum will provide high bandwidth with improved network performance. It offers continuous channels that will reduce the need for network densification when mid-band spectrum is not available and it makes 5G connectivity affordable at anytime, anywhere for everyone.

mmWave is an essential technology of 5G network which build high performance network. 5G mmWave offer diverse services that is why all network providers should add on this technology in their 5G deployment planning. There are lots of service providers who deployed 5G mmWave, and their simulation result shows that 5G mmwave is a far less used spectrum. It provides very high speed wireless communication and it also offers ultra-wide bandwidth for next generation mobile network.

The evolution of wireless mobile technologies are presented in Table 1 . The abbreviations used in this paper are mentioned in Table 2 .

Summary of Mobile Technology.

GenerationsAccess TechniquesTransmission TechniquesError Correction MechanismData RateFrequency BandBandwidthApplicationDescription
1GFDMA, AMPSCircuit SwitchingNA2.4 kbps800 MHzAnalogVoiceLet us talk to each other
2GGSM, TDMA, CDMACircuit SwitchingNA10 kbps800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz25 MHzVoice and DataLet us send messages and travel with improved data services
3GWCDMA, UMTS, CDMA 2000, HSUPA/HSDPACircuit and Packet SwitchingTurbo Codes384 kbps to 5 Mbps800 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2100 MHz25 MHzVoice, Data, and Video CallingLet us experience surfing internet and unleashing mobile applications
4GLTEA, OFDMA, SCFDMA, WIMAXPacket switchingTurbo Codes100 Mbps to 200 Mbps2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz initially100 MHzVoice, Data, Video Calling, HD Television, and Online Gaming.Let’s share voice and data over fast broadband internet based on unified networks architectures and IP protocols
5GBDMA, NOMA, FBMCPacket SwitchingLDPC10 Gbps to 50 Gbps1.8 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 30–300 GHz30–300 GHzVoice, Data, Video Calling, Ultra HD video, Virtual Reality applicationsExpanded the broadband wireless services beyond mobile internet with IOT and V2X.

Table of Notations and Abbreviations.

AbbreviationFull FormAbbreviationFull Form
AMFAccess and Mobility Management FunctionM2MMachine-to-Machine
AT&TAmerican Telephone and TelegraphmmWavemillimeter wave
BSBase StationNGMNNext Generation Mobile Networks
CDMACode-Division Multiple AccessNOMANon-Orthogonal Multiple Access
CSIChannel State InformationNFVNetwork Functions Virtualization
D2DDevice to DeviceOFDMOrthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
EEEnergy EfficiencyOMAOrthogonal Multiple Access
EMBBEnhanced mobile broadband:QoSQuality of Service
ETSIEuropean Telecommunications Standards InstituteRNNRecurrent Neural Network
eMTCMassive Machine Type CommunicationSDNSoftware-Defined Networking
FDMAFrequency Division Multiple AccessSCSuperposition Coding
FDDFrequency Division DuplexSICSuccessive Interference Cancellation
GSMGlobal System for MobileTDMATime Division Multiple Access
HSPAHigh Speed Packet AccessTDDTime Division Duplex
IoTInternet of ThingsUEUser Equipment
IETFInternet Engineering Task ForceURLLCUltra Reliable Low Latency Communication
LTELong-Term EvolutionUMTCUniversal Mobile Telecommunications System
MLMachine LearningV2VVehicle to Vehicle
MIMOMultiple Input Multiple OutputV2XVehicle to Everything

1.2. Key Contributions

The objective of this survey is to provide a detailed guide of 5G key technologies, methods to researchers, and to help with understanding how the recent works addressed 5G problems and developed solutions to tackle the 5G challenges; i.e., what are new methods that must be applied and how can they solve problems? Highlights of the research article are as follows.

  • This survey focused on the recent trends and development in the era of 5G and novel contributions by the researcher community and discussed technical details on essential aspects of the 5G advancement.
  • In this paper, the evolution of the mobile network from 1G to 5G is presented. In addition, the growth of mobile communication under different attributes is also discussed.
  • This paper covers the emerging applications and research groups working on 5G & different research areas in 5G wireless communication network with a descriptive taxonomy.
  • This survey discusses the current vision of the 5G networks, advantages, applications, key technologies, and key features. Furthermore, machine learning prospects are also explored with the emerging requirements in the 5G era. The article also focused on technical aspects of 5G IoT Based approaches and optimization techniques for 5G.
  • we provide an extensive overview and recent advancement of emerging technologies of 5G mobile network, namely, MIMO, Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA), mmWave, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), and optimization. Also, a technical summary is discussed by highlighting the context of current approaches and corresponding challenges.
  • Security challenges and considerations while developing 5G technology are discussed.
  • Finally, the paper concludes with the future directives.

The existing survey focused on architecture, key concepts, and implementation challenges and issues. In contrast, this survey covers the state-of-the-art techniques as well as corresponding recent novel developments by researchers. Various recent significant papers are discussed with the key technologies accelerating the development and production of 5G products.

2. Existing Surveys and Their Applicability

In this paper, a detailed survey on various technologies of 5G networks is presented. Various researchers have worked on different technologies of 5G networks. In this section, Table 3 gives a tabular representation of existing surveys of 5G networks. Massive MIMO, NOMA, small cell, mmWave, beamforming, and MEC are the six main pillars that helped to implement 5G networks in real life.

A comparative overview of existing surveys on different technologies of 5G networks.

Authors& ReferencesMIMONOMAMmWave5G IOT5G MLSmall CellBeamformingMEC5G Optimization
Chataut and Akl [ ]Yes-Yes---Yes--
Prasad et al. [ ]Yes-Yes------
Kiani and Nsari [ ]-Yes-----Yes-
Timotheou and Krikidis [ ]-Yes------Yes
Yong Niu et al. [ ]--Yes--Yes---
Qiao et al. [ ]--Yes-----Yes
Ramesh et al. [ ]Yes-Yes------
Khurpade et al. [ ]YesYes-Yes-----
Bega et al. [ ]----Yes---Yes
Abrol and jha [ ]-----Yes--Yes
Wei et al. [ ]-Yes ------
Jakob Hoydis et al. [ ]-----Yes---
Papadopoulos et al. [ ]Yes-----Yes--
Shweta Rajoria et al. [ ]Yes-Yes--YesYes--
Demosthenes Vouyioukas [ ]Yes-----Yes--
Al-Imari et al. [ ]-YesYes------
Michael Till Beck et al. [ ]------ Yes-
Shuo Wang et al. [ ]------ Yes-
Gupta and Jha [ ]Yes----Yes-Yes-
Our SurveyYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

2.1. Limitations of Existing Surveys

The existing survey focused on architecture, key concepts, and implementation challenges and issues. The numerous current surveys focused on various 5G technologies with different parameters, and the authors did not cover all the technologies of the 5G network in detail with challenges and recent advancements. Few authors worked on MIMO (Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access) NOMA, MEC, small cell technologies. In contrast, some others worked on beamforming, Millimeter-wave (mmWave). But the existing survey did not cover all the technologies of the 5G network from a research and advancement perspective. No detailed survey is available in the market covering all the 5G network technologies and currently published research trade-offs. So, our main aim is to give a detailed study of all the technologies working on the 5G network. In contrast, this survey covers the state-of-the-art techniques as well as corresponding recent novel developments by researchers. Various recent significant papers are discussed with the key technologies accelerating the development and production of 5G products. This survey article collected key information about 5G technology and recent advancements, and it can be a kind of a guide for the reader. This survey provides an umbrella approach to bring multiple solutions and recent improvements in a single place to accelerate the 5G research with the latest key enabling solutions and reviews. A systematic layout representation of the survey in Figure 1 . We provide a state-of-the-art comparative overview of the existing surveys on different technologies of 5G networks in Table 3 .

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Object name is sensors-22-00026-g001.jpg

Systematic layout representation of survey.

2.2. Article Organization

This article is organized under the following sections. Section 2 presents existing surveys and their applicability. In Section 3 , the preliminaries of 5G technology are presented. In Section 4 , recent advances of 5G technology based on Massive MIMO, NOMA, Millimeter Wave, 5G with IoT, machine learning for 5G, and Optimization in 5G are provided. In Section 5 , a description of novel 5G features over 4G is provided. Section 6 covered all the security concerns of the 5G network. Section 7 , 5G technology based on above-stated challenges summarize in tabular form. Finally, Section 8 and Section 9 conclude the study, which paves the path for future research.

3. Preliminary Section

3.1. emerging 5g paradigms and its features.

5G provides very high speed, low latency, and highly salable connectivity between multiple devices and IoT worldwide. 5G will provide a very flexible model to develop a modern generation of applications and industry goals [ 26 , 27 ]. There are many services offered by 5G network architecture are stated below:

Massive machine to machine communications: 5G offers novel, massive machine-to-machine communications [ 28 ], also known as the IoT [ 29 ], that provide connectivity between lots of machines without any involvement of humans. This service enhances the applications of 5G and provides connectivity between agriculture, construction, and industries [ 30 ].

Ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC): This service offers real-time management of machines, high-speed vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity, industrial connectivity and security principles, and highly secure transport system, and multiple autonomous actions. Low latency communications also clear up a different area where remote medical care, procedures, and operation are all achievable [ 31 ].

Enhanced mobile broadband: Enhance mobile broadband is an important use case of 5G system, which uses massive MIMO antenna, mmWave, beamforming techniques to offer very high-speed connectivity across a wide range of areas [ 32 ].

For communities: 5G provides a very flexible internet connection between lots of machines to make smart homes, smart schools, smart laboratories, safer and smart automobiles, and good health care centers [ 33 ].

For businesses and industry: As 5G works on higher spectrum ranges from 24 to 100 GHz. This higher frequency range provides secure low latency communication and high-speed wireless connectivity between IoT devices and industry 4.0, which opens a market for end-users to enhance their business models [ 34 ].

New and Emerging technologies: As 5G came up with many new technologies like beamforming, massive MIMO, mmWave, small cell, NOMA, MEC, and network slicing, it introduced many new features to the market. Like virtual reality (VR), users can experience the physical presence of people who are millions of kilometers away from them. Many new technologies like smart homes, smart workplaces, smart schools, smart sports academy also came into the market with this 5G Mobile network model [ 35 ].

3.2. Commercial Service Providers of 5G

5G provides high-speed internet browsing, streaming, and downloading with very high reliability and low latency. 5G network will change your working style, and it will increase new business opportunities and provide innovations that we cannot imagine. This section covers top service providers of 5G network [ 36 , 37 ].

Ericsson: Ericsson is a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company, investing around 25.62 billion USD in 5G network, which makes it the biggest telecommunication company. It claims that it is the only company working on all the continents to make the 5G network a global standard for the next generation wireless communication. Ericsson developed the first 5G radio prototype that enables the operators to set up the live field trials in their network, which helps operators understand how 5G reacts. It plays a vital role in the development of 5G hardware. It currently provides 5G services in over 27 countries with content providers like China Mobile, GCI, LGU+, AT&T, Rogers, and many more. It has 100 commercial agreements with different operators as of 2020.

Verizon: It is American multinational telecommunication which was founded in 1983. Verizon started offering 5G services in April 2020, and by December 2020, it has actively provided 5G services in 30 cities of the USA. They planned that by the end of 2021, they would deploy 5G in 30 more new cities. Verizon deployed a 5G network on mmWave, a very high band spectrum between 30 to 300 GHz. As it is a significantly less used spectrum, it provides very high-speed wireless communication. MmWave offers ultra-wide bandwidth for next-generation mobile networks. MmWave is a faster and high-band spectrum that has a limited range. Verizon planned to increase its number of 5G cells by 500% by 2020. Verizon also has an ultra wide-band flagship 5G service which is the best 5G service that increases the market price of Verizon.

Nokia: Nokia is a Finnish multinational telecommunications company which was founded in 1865. Nokia is one of the companies which adopted 5G technology very early. It is developing, researching, and building partnerships with various 5G renders to offer 5G communication as soon as possible. Nokia collaborated with Deutsche Telekom and Hamburg Port Authority and provided them 8000-hectare site for their 5G MoNArch project. Nokia is the only company that supplies 5G technology to all the operators of different countries like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US and Verizon in the USA, Korea Telecom, LG U+ and SK Telecom in South Korea and NTT DOCOMO, KDDI, and SoftBank in Japan. Presently, Nokia has around 150+ agreements and 29 live networks all over the world. Nokia is continuously working hard on 5G technology to expand 5G networks all over the globe.

AT&T: AT&T is an American multinational company that was the first to deploy a 5G network in reality in 2018. They built a gigabit 5G network connection in Waco, TX, Kalamazoo, MI, and South Bend to achieve this. It is the first company that archives 1–2 gigabit per second speed in 2019. AT&T claims that it provides a 5G network connection among 225 million people worldwide by using a 6 GHz spectrum band.

T-Mobile: T-Mobile US (TMUS) is an American wireless network operator which was the first service provider that offers a real 5G nationwide network. The company knew that high-band 5G was not feasible nationwide, so they used a 600 MHz spectrum to build a significant portion of its 5G network. TMUS is planning that by 2024 they will double the total capacity and triple the full 5G capacity of T-Mobile and Sprint combined. The sprint buyout is helping T-Mobile move forward the company’s current market price to 129.98 USD.

Samsung: Samsung started their research in 5G technology in 2011. In 2013, Samsung successfully developed the world’s first adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka bands for cellular communications. Samsung provides several hundred times faster data transmission than standard 4G for core 5G mobile communication systems. The company achieved a lot of success in the next generation of technology, and it is considered one of the leading companies in the 5G domain.

Qualcomm: Qualcomm is an American multinational corporation in San Diego, California. It is also one of the leading company which is working on 5G chip. Qualcomm’s first 5G modem chip was announced in October 2016, and a prototype was demonstrated in October 2017. Qualcomm mainly focuses on building products while other companies talk about 5G; Qualcomm is building the technologies. According to one magazine, Qualcomm was working on three main areas of 5G networks. Firstly, radios that would use bandwidth from any network it has access to; secondly, creating more extensive ranges of spectrum by combining smaller pieces; and thirdly, a set of services for internet applications.

ZTE Corporation: ZTE Corporation was founded in 1985. It is a partially Chinese state-owned technology company that works in telecommunication. It was a leading company that worked on 4G LTE, and it is still maintaining its value and doing research and tests on 5G. It is the first company that proposed Pre5G technology with some series of solutions.

NEC Corporation: NEC Corporation is a Japanese multinational information technology and electronics corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. ZTE also started their research on 5G, and they introduced a new business concept. NEC’s main aim is to develop 5G NR for the global mobile system and create secure and intelligent technologies to realize 5G services.

Cisco: Cisco is a USA networking hardware company that also sleeves up for 5G network. Cisco’s primary focus is to support 5G in three ways: Service—enable 5G services faster so all service providers can increase their business. Infrastructure—build 5G-oriented infrastructure to implement 5G more quickly. Automation—make a more scalable, flexible, and reliable 5G network. The companies know the importance of 5G, and they want to connect more than 30 billion devices in the next couple of years. Cisco intends to work on network hardening as it is a vital part of 5G network. Cisco used AI with deep learning to develop a 5G Security Architecture, enabling Secure Network Transformation.

3.3. 5G Research Groups

Many research groups from all over the world are working on a 5G wireless mobile network [ 38 ]. These groups are continuously working on various aspects of 5G. The list of those research groups are presented as follows: 5GNOW (5th Generation Non-Orthogonal Waveform for Asynchronous Signaling), NEWCOM (Network of Excellence in Wireless Communication), 5GIC (5G Innovation Center), NYU (New York University) Wireless, 5GPPP (5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership), EMPHATIC (Enhanced Multi-carrier Technology for Professional Adhoc and Cell-Based Communication), ETRI(Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute), METIS (Mobile and wireless communication Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society) [ 39 ]. The various research groups along with the research area are presented in Table 4 .

Research groups working on 5G mobile networks.

Research GroupsResearch AreaDescription
METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society)Working 5G FrameworkMETIS focused on RAN architecture and designed an air interface which evaluates data rates on peak hours, traffic load per region, traffic volume per user and actual client data rates. They have generate METIS published an article on February, 2015 in which they developed RAN architecture with simulation results. They design an air interface which evaluates data rates on peak hours, traffic load per region, traffic volume per user and actual client data rates.They have generate very less RAN latency under 1ms. They also introduced diverse RAN model and traffic flow in different situation like malls, offices, colleges and stadiums.
5G PPP (5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership)Next generation mobile network communication, high speed Connectivity.Fifth generation infrastructure public partnership project is a joint startup by two groups (European Commission and European ICT industry). 5G-PPP will provide various standards architectures, solutions and technologies for next generation mobile network in coming decade. The main motto behind 5G-PPP is that, through this project, European Commission wants to give their contribution in smart cities, e-health, intelligent transport, education, entertainment, and media.
5GNOW (5th Generation Non-Orthogonal Waveforms for asynchronous signaling)Non-orthogonal Multiple Access5GNOW’s is working on modulation and multiplexing techniques for next generation network. 5GNOW’s offers ultra-high reliability and ultra-low latency communication with visible waveform for 5G. 5GNOW’s also worked on acquiring time and frequency plane information of a signal using short term Fourier transform (STFT)
EMPhAtiC (Enhanced Multicarrier Technology for Professional Ad-Hoc and Cell-Based Communications)MIMO TransmissionEMPhAtiC is working on MIMO transmission to develop a secure communication techniques with asynchronicity based on flexible filter bank and multihop. Recently they also launched MIMO based trans-receiver technique under frequency selective channels for Filter Bank Multi-Carrier (FBMC)
NEWCOM (Network of Excellence in Wireless Communications)Advanced aspects of wireless communicationsNEWCOM is working on energy efficiency, channel efficiency, multihop communication in wireless communication. Recently, they are working on cloud RAN, mobile broadband, local and distributed antenna techniques and multi-hop communication for 5G network. Finally, in their final research they give on result that QAM modulation schema, system bandwidth and resource block is used to process the base band.
NYU New York University WirelessMillimeter WaveNYU Wireless is research center working on wireless communication, sensors, networking and devices. In their recent research, NYU focuses on developing smaller and lighter antennas with directional beamforming to provide reliable wireless communication.
5GIC 5G Innovation CentreDecreasing network costs, Preallocation of resources according to user’s need, point-to-point communication, Highspeed connectivity.5GIC, is a UK’s research group, which is working on high-speed wireless communication. In their recent research they got 1Tbps speed in point-to-point wireless communication. Their main focus is on developing ultra-low latency app services.
ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute)Device-to-device communication, MHN protocol stackETRI (Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute), is a research group of Korea, which is focusing on improving the reliability of 5G network, device-to-device communication and MHN protocol stack.

3.4. 5G Applications

5G is faster than 4G and offers remote-controlled operation over a reliable network with zero delays. It provides down-link maximum throughput of up to 20 Gbps. In addition, 5G also supports 4G WWWW (4th Generation World Wide Wireless Web) [ 5 ] and is based on Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) protocol. 5G provides unlimited internet connection at your convenience, anytime, anywhere with extremely high speed, high throughput, low-latency, higher reliability, greater scalablility, and energy-efficient mobile communication technology [ 6 ].

There are lots of applications of 5G mobile network are as follows:

  • High-speed mobile network: 5G is an advancement on all the previous mobile network technologies, which offers very high speed downloading speeds 0 of up to 10 to 20 Gbps. The 5G wireless network works as a fiber optic internet connection. 5G is different from all the conventional mobile transmission technologies, and it offers both voice and high-speed data connectivity efficiently. 5G offers very low latency communication of less than a millisecond, useful for autonomous driving and mission-critical applications. 5G will use millimeter waves for data transmission, providing higher bandwidth and a massive data rate than lower LTE bands. As 5 Gis a fast mobile network technology, it will enable virtual access to high processing power and secure and safe access to cloud services and enterprise applications. Small cell is one of the best features of 5G, which brings lots of advantages like high coverage, high-speed data transfer, power saving, easy and fast cloud access, etc. [ 40 ].
  • Entertainment and multimedia: In one analysis in 2015, it was found that more than 50 percent of mobile internet traffic was used for video downloading. This trend will surely increase in the future, which will make video streaming more common. 5G will offer High-speed streaming of 4K videos with crystal clear audio, and it will make a high definition virtual world on your mobile. 5G will benefit the entertainment industry as it offers 120 frames per second with high resolution and higher dynamic range video streaming, and HD TV channels can also be accessed on mobile devices without any interruptions. 5G provides low latency high definition communication so augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) will be very easily implemented in the future. Virtual reality games are trendy these days, and many companies are investing in HD virtual reality games. The 5G network will offer high-speed internet connectivity with a better gaming experience [ 41 ].
  • Smart homes : smart home appliances and products are in demand these days. The 5G network makes smart homes more real as it offers high-speed connectivity and monitoring of smart appliances. Smart home appliances are easily accessed and configured from remote locations using the 5G network as it offers very high-speed low latency communication.
  • Smart cities: 5G wireless network also helps develop smart cities applications such as automatic traffic management, weather update, local area broadcasting, energy-saving, efficient power supply, smart lighting system, water resource management, crowd management, emergency control, etc.
  • Industrial IoT: 5G wireless technology will provide lots of features for future industries such as safety, process tracking, smart packing, shipping, energy efficiency, automation of equipment, predictive maintenance, and logistics. 5G smart sensor technology also offers smarter, safer, cost-effective, and energy-saving industrial IoT operations.
  • Smart Farming: 5G technology will play a crucial role in agriculture and smart farming. 5G sensors and GPS technology will help farmers track live attacks on crops and manage them quickly. These smart sensors can also be used for irrigation, pest, insect, and electricity control.
  • Autonomous Driving: The 5G wireless network offers very low latency high-speed communication, significant for autonomous driving. It means self-driving cars will come to real life soon with 5G wireless networks. Using 5G autonomous cars can easily communicate with smart traffic signs, objects, and other vehicles running on the road. 5G’s low latency feature makes self-driving more real as every millisecond is essential for autonomous vehicles, decision-making is done in microseconds to avoid accidents.
  • Healthcare and mission-critical applications: 5G technology will bring modernization in medicine where doctors and practitioners can perform advanced medical procedures. The 5G network will provide connectivity between all classrooms, so attending seminars and lectures will be easier. Through 5G technology, patients can connect with doctors and take their advice. Scientists are building smart medical devices which can help people with chronic medical conditions. The 5G network will boost the healthcare industry with smart devices, the internet of medical things, smart sensors, HD medical imaging technologies, and smart analytics systems. 5G will help access cloud storage, so accessing healthcare data will be very easy from any location worldwide. Doctors and medical practitioners can easily store and share large files like MRI reports within seconds using the 5G network.
  • Satellite Internet: In many remote areas, ground base stations are not available, so 5G will play a crucial role in providing connectivity in such areas. The 5G network will provide connectivity using satellite systems, and the satellite system uses a constellation of multiple small satellites to provide connectivity in urban and rural areas across the world.

4. 5G Technologies

This section describes recent advances of 5G Massive MIMO, 5G NOMA, 5G millimeter wave, 5G IOT, 5G with machine learning, and 5G optimization-based approaches. In addition, the summary is also presented in each subsection that paves the researchers for the future research direction.

4.1. 5G Massive MIMO

Multiple-input-multiple-out (MIMO) is a very important technology for wireless systems. It is used for sending and receiving multiple signals simultaneously over the same radio channel. MIMO plays a very big role in WI-FI, 3G, 4G, and 4G LTE-A networks. MIMO is mainly used to achieve high spectral efficiency and energy efficiency but it was not up to the mark MIMO provides low throughput and very low reliable connectivity. To resolve this, lots of MIMO technology like single user MIMO (SU-MIMO), multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO) and network MIMO were used. However, these new MIMO also did not still fulfill the demand of end users. Massive MIMO is an advancement of MIMO technology used in the 5G network in which hundreds and thousands of antennas are attached with base stations to increase throughput and spectral efficiency. Multiple transmit and receive antennas are used in massive MIMO to increase the transmission rate and spectral efficiency. When multiple UEs generate downlink traffic simultaneously, massive MIMO gains higher capacity. Massive MIMO uses extra antennas to move energy into smaller regions of space to increase spectral efficiency and throughput [ 43 ]. In traditional systems data collection from smart sensors is a complex task as it increases latency, reduced data rate and reduced reliability. While massive MIMO with beamforming and huge multiplexing techniques can sense data from different sensors with low latency, high data rate and higher reliability. Massive MIMO will help in transmitting the data in real-time collected from different sensors to central monitoring locations for smart sensor applications like self-driving cars, healthcare centers, smart grids, smart cities, smart highways, smart homes, and smart enterprises [ 44 ].

Highlights of 5G Massive MIMO technology are as follows:

  • Data rate: Massive MIMO is advised as the one of the dominant technologies to provide wireless high speed and high data rate in the gigabits per seconds.
  • The relationship between wave frequency and antenna size: Both are inversely proportional to each other. It means lower frequency signals need a bigger antenna and vise versa.

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Pictorial representation of multi-input and multi-output (MIMO).

  • MIMO role in 5G: Massive MIMO will play a crucial role in the deployment of future 5G mobile communication as greater spectral and energy efficiency could be enabled.

State-of-the-Art Approaches

Plenty of approaches were proposed to resolve the issues of conventional MIMO [ 7 ].

The MIMO multirate, feed-forward controller is suggested by Mae et al. [ 46 ]. In the simulation, the proposed model generates the smooth control input, unlike the conventional MIMO, which generates oscillated control inputs. It also outperformed concerning the error rate. However, a combination of multirate and single rate can be used for better results.

The performance of stand-alone MIMO, distributed MIMO with and without corporation MIMO, was investigated by Panzner et al. [ 47 ]. In addition, an idea about the integration of large scale in the 5G technology was also presented. In the experimental analysis, different MIMO configurations are considered. The variation in the ratio of overall transmit antennas to spatial is deemed step-wise from equality to ten.

The simulation of massive MIMO noncooperative and cooperative systems for down-link behavior was performed by He et al. [ 48 ]. It depends on present LTE systems, which deal with various antennas in the base station set-up. It was observed that collaboration in different BS improves the system behaviors, whereas throughput is reduced slightly in this approach. However, a new method can be developed which can enhance both system behavior and throughput.

In [ 8 ], different approaches that increased the energy efficiency benefits provided by massive MIMO were presented. They analyzed the massive MIMO technology and described the detailed design of the energy consumption model for massive MIMO systems. This article has explored several techniques to enhance massive MIMO systems’ energy efficiency (EE) gains. This paper reviews standard EE-maximization approaches for the conventional massive MIMO systems, namely, scaling number of antennas, real-time implementing low-complexity operations at the base station (BS), power amplifier losses minimization, and radio frequency (RF) chain minimization requirements. In addition, open research direction is also identified.

In [ 49 ], various existing approaches based on different antenna selection and scheduling, user selection and scheduling, and joint antenna and user scheduling methods adopted in massive MIMO systems are presented in this paper. The objective of this survey article was to make awareness about the current research and future research direction in MIMO for systems. They analyzed that complete utilization of resources and bandwidth was the most crucial factor which enhances the sum rate.

In [ 50 ], authors discussed the development of various techniques for pilot contamination. To calculate the impact of pilot contamination in time division duplex (TDD) massive MIMO system, TDD and frequency division duplexing FDD patterns in massive MIMO techniques are used. They discussed different issues in pilot contamination in TDD massive MIMO systems with all the possible future directions of research. They also classified various techniques to generate the channel information for both pilot-based and subspace-based approaches.

In [ 19 ], the authors defined the uplink and downlink services for a massive MIMO system. In addition, it maintains a performance matrix that measures the impact of pilot contamination on different performances. They also examined the various application of massive MIMO such as small cells, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) schemes, massive MIMO IEEE 802, 3rd generation partnership project (3GPP) specifications, and higher frequency bands. They considered their research work crucial for cutting edge massive MIMO and covered many issues like system throughput performance and channel state acquisition at higher frequencies.

In [ 13 ], various approaches were suggested for MIMO future generation wireless communication. They made a comparative study based on performance indicators such as peak data rate, energy efficiency, latency, throughput, etc. The key findings of this survey are as follows: (1) spatial multiplexing improves the energy efficiency; (2) design of MIMO play a vital role in the enhancement of throughput; (3) enhancement of mMIMO focusing on energy & spectral performance; (4) discussed the future challenges to improve the system design.

In [ 51 ], the study of large-scale MIMO systems for an energy-efficient system sharing method was presented. For the resource allocation, circuit energy and transmit energy expenditures were taken into consideration. In addition, the optimization techniques were applied for an energy-efficient resource sharing system to enlarge the energy efficiency for individual QoS and energy constraints. The author also examined the BS configuration, which includes homogeneous and heterogeneous UEs. While simulating, they discussed that the total number of transmit antennas plays a vital role in boosting energy efficiency. They highlighted that the highest energy efficiency was obtained when the BS was set up with 100 antennas that serve 20 UEs.

This section includes various works done on 5G MIMO technology by different author’s. Table 5 shows how different author’s worked on improvement of various parameters such as throughput, latency, energy efficiency, and spectral efficiency with 5G MIMO technology.

Summary of massive MIMO-based approaches in 5G technology.

ApproachThroughputLatencyEnergy EfficiencySpectral Efficiency
Panzner et al. [ ]GoodLowGoodAverage
He et al. [ ]AverageLowAverage-
Prasad et al. [ ]Good-GoodAvearge
Papadopoulos et al. [ ]GoodLowAverageAvearge
Ramesh et al. [ ]GoodAverageGoodGood
Zhou et al. [ ]Average-GoodAverage

4.2. 5G Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA)

NOMA is a very important radio access technology used in next generation wireless communication. Compared to previous orthogonal multiple access techniques, NOMA offers lots of benefits like high spectrum efficiency, low latency with high reliability and high speed massive connectivity. NOMA mainly works on a baseline to serve multiple users with the same resources in terms of time, space and frequency. NOMA is mainly divided into two main categories one is code domain NOMA and another is power domain NOMA. Code-domain NOMA can improve the spectral efficiency of mMIMO, which improves the connectivity in 5G wireless communication. Code-domain NOMA was divided into some more multiple access techniques like sparse code multiple access, lattice-partition multiple access, multi-user shared access and pattern-division multiple access [ 52 ]. Power-domain NOMA is widely used in 5G wireless networks as it performs well with various wireless communication techniques such as MIMO, beamforming, space-time coding, network coding, full-duplex and cooperative communication etc. [ 53 ]. The conventional orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) used by 3GPP in 4G LTE network provides very low spectral efficiency when bandwidth resources are allocated to users with low channel state information (CSI). NOMA resolved this issue as it enables users to access all the subcarrier channels so bandwidth resources allocated to the users with low CSI can still be accessed by the users with strong CSI which increases the spectral efficiency. The 5G network will support heterogeneous architecture in which small cell and macro base stations work for spectrum sharing. NOMA is a key technology of the 5G wireless system which is very helpful for heterogeneous networks as multiple users can share their data in a small cell using the NOMA principle.The NOMA is helpful in various applications like ultra-dense networks (UDN), machine to machine (M2M) communication and massive machine type communication (mMTC). As NOMA provides lots of features it has some challenges too such as NOMA needs huge computational power for a large number of users at high data rates to run the SIC algorithms. Second, when users are moving from the networks, to manage power allocation optimization is a challenging task for NOMA [ 54 ]. Hybrid NOMA (HNOMA) is a combination of power-domain and code-domain NOMA. HNOMA uses both power differences and orthogonal resources for transmission among multiple users. As HNOMA is using both power-domain NOMA and code-domain NOMA it can achieve higher spectral efficiency than Power-domain NOMA and code-domain NOMA. In HNOMA multiple groups can simultaneously transmit signals at the same time. It uses a message passing algorithm (MPA) and successive interference cancellation (SIC)-based detection at the base station for these groups [ 55 ].

Highlights of 5G NOMA technology as follows:

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Pictorial representation of orthogonal and Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA).

  • NOMA provides higher data rates and resolves all the loop holes of OMA that makes 5G mobile network more scalable and reliable.
  • As multiple users use same frequency band simultaneously it increases the performance of whole network.
  • To setup intracell and intercell interference NOMA provides nonorthogonal transmission on the transmitter end.
  • The primary fundamental of NOMA is to improve the spectrum efficiency by strengthening the ramification of receiver.

State-of-the-Art of Approaches

A plenty of approaches were developed to address the various issues in NOMA.

A novel approach to address the multiple receiving signals at the same frequency is proposed in [ 22 ]. In NOMA, multiple users use the same sub-carrier, which improves the fairness and throughput of the system. As a nonorthogonal method is used among multiple users, at the time of retrieving the user’s signal at the receiver’s end, joint processing is required. They proposed solutions to optimize the receiver and the radio resource allocation of uplink NOMA. Firstly, the authors proposed an iterative MUDD which utilizes the information produced by the channel decoder to improve the performance of the multiuser detector. After that, the author suggested a power allocation and novel subcarrier that enhances the users’ weighted sum rate for the NOMA scheme. Their proposed model showed that NOMA performed well as compared to OFDM in terms of fairness and efficiency.

In [ 53 ], the author’s reviewed a power-domain NOMA that uses superposition coding (SC) and successive interference cancellation (SIC) at the transmitter and the receiver end. Lots of analyses were held that described that NOMA effectively satisfies user data rate demands and network-level of 5G technologies. The paper presented a complete review of recent advances in the 5G NOMA system. It showed the comparative analysis regarding allocation procedures, user fairness, state-of-the-art efficiency evaluation, user pairing pattern, etc. The study also analyzes NOMA’s behavior when working with other wireless communication techniques, namely, beamforming, MIMO, cooperative connections, network, space-time coding, etc.

In [ 9 ], the authors proposed NOMA with MEC, which improves the QoS as well as reduces the latency of the 5G wireless network. This model increases the uplink NOMA by decreasing the user’s uplink energy consumption. They formulated an optimized NOMA framework that reduces the energy consumption of MEC by using computing and communication resource allocation, user clustering, and transmit powers.

In [ 10 ], the authors proposed a model which investigates outage probability under average channel state information CSI and data rate in full CSI to resolve the problem of optimal power allocation, which increase the NOMA downlink system among users. They developed simple low-complexity algorithms to provide the optimal solution. The obtained simulation results showed NOMA’s efficiency, achieving higher performance fairness compared to the TDMA configurations. It was observed from the results that NOMA, through the appropriate power amplifiers (PA), ensures the high-performance fairness requirement for the future 5G wireless communication networks.

In [ 56 ], researchers discussed that the NOMA technology and waveform modulation techniques had been used in the 5G mobile network. Therefore, this research gave a detailed survey of non-orthogonal waveform modulation techniques and NOMA schemes for next-generation mobile networks. By analyzing and comparing multiple access technologies, they considered the future evolution of these technologies for 5G mobile communication.

In [ 57 ], the authors surveyed non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) from the development phase to the recent developments. They have also compared NOMA techniques with traditional OMA techniques concerning information theory. The author discussed the NOMA schemes categorically as power and code domain, including the design principles, operating principles, and features. Comparison is based upon the system’s performance, spectral efficiency, and the receiver’s complexity. Also discussed are the future challenges, open issues, and their expectations of NOMA and how it will support the key requirements of 5G mobile communication systems with massive connectivity and low latency.

In [ 17 ], authors present the first review of an elementary NOMA model with two users, which clarify its central precepts. After that, a general design with multicarrier supports with a random number of users on each sub-carrier is analyzed. In performance evaluation with the existing approaches, resource sharing and multiple-input multiple-output NOMA are examined. Furthermore, they took the key elements of NOMA and its potential research demands. Finally, they reviewed the two-user SC-NOMA design and a multi-user MC-NOMA design to highlight NOMA’s basic approaches and conventions. They also present the research study about the performance examination, resource assignment, and MIMO in NOMA.

In this section, various works by different authors done on 5G NOMA technology is covered. Table 6 shows how other authors worked on the improvement of various parameters such as spectral efficiency, fairness, and computing capacity with 5G NOMA technology.

Summary of NOMA-based approaches in 5G technology.

ApproachSpectral EfficiencyFairnessComputing Capacity
Al-Imari et al. [ ]GoodGoodAverage
Islam et al. [ ]GoodAverageAverage
Kiani and Nsari [ ]AverageGoodGood
Timotheou and Krikidis [ ]GoodGoodAverage
Wei et al. [ ]GoodAverageGood

4.3. 5G Millimeter Wave (mmWave)

Millimeter wave is an extremely high frequency band, which is very useful for 5G wireless networks. MmWave uses 30 GHz to 300 GHz spectrum band for transmission. The frequency band between 30 GHz to 300 GHz is known as mmWave because these waves have wavelengths between 1 to 10 mm. Till now radar systems and satellites are only using mmWave as these are very fast frequency bands which provide very high speed wireless communication. Many mobile network providers also started mmWave for transmitting data between base stations. Using two ways the speed of data transmission can be improved one is by increasing spectrum utilization and second is by increasing spectrum bandwidth. Out of these two approaches increasing bandwidth is quite easy and better. The frequency band below 5 GHz is very crowded as many technologies are using it so to boost up the data transmission rate 5G wireless network uses mmWave technology which instead of increasing spectrum utilization, increases the spectrum bandwidth [ 58 ]. To maximize the signal bandwidth in wireless communication the carrier frequency should also be increased by 5% because the signal bandwidth is directly proportional to carrier frequencies. The frequency band between 28 GHz to 60 GHz is very useful for 5G wireless communication as 28 GHz frequency band offers up to 1 GHz spectrum bandwidth and 60 GHz frequency band offers 2 GHz spectrum bandwidth. 4G LTE provides 2 GHz carrier frequency which offers only 100 MHz spectrum bandwidth. However, the use of mmWave increases the spectrum bandwidth 10 times, which leads to better transmission speeds [ 59 , 60 ].

Highlights of 5G mmWave are as follows:

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Pictorial representation of millimeter wave.

  • The 5G mmWave offer three advantages: (1) MmWave is very less used new Band, (2) MmWave signals carry more data than lower frequency wave, and (3) MmWave can be incorporated with MIMO antenna with the potential to offer a higher magnitude capacity compared to current communication systems.

In [ 11 ], the authors presented the survey of mmWave communications for 5G. The advantage of mmWave communications is adaptability, i.e., it supports the architectures and protocols up-gradation, which consists of integrated circuits, systems, etc. The authors over-viewed the present solutions and examined them concerning effectiveness, performance, and complexity. They also discussed the open research issues of mmWave communications in 5G concerning the software-defined network (SDN) architecture, network state information, efficient regulation techniques, and the heterogeneous system.

In [ 61 ], the authors present the recent work done by investigators in 5G; they discussed the design issues and demands of mmWave 5G antennas for cellular handsets. After that, they designed a small size and low-profile 60 GHz array of antenna units that contain 3D planer mesh-grid antenna elements. For the future prospect, a framework is designed in which antenna components are used to operate cellular handsets on mmWave 5G smartphones. In addition, they cross-checked the mesh-grid array of antennas with the polarized beam for upcoming hardware challenges.

In [ 12 ], the authors considered the suitability of the mmWave band for 5G cellular systems. They suggested a resource allocation system for concurrent D2D communications in mmWave 5G cellular systems, and it improves network efficiency and maintains network connectivity. This research article can serve as guidance for simulating D2D communications in mmWave 5G cellular systems. Massive mmWave BS may be set up to obtain a high delivery rate and aggregate efficiency. Therefore, many wireless users can hand off frequently between the mmWave base terminals, and it emerges the demand to search the neighbor having better network connectivity.

In [ 62 ], the authors provided a brief description of the cellular spectrum which ranges from 1 GHz to 3 GHz and is very crowed. In addition, they presented various noteworthy factors to set up mmWave communications in 5G, namely, channel characteristics regarding mmWave signal attenuation due to free space propagation, atmospheric gaseous, and rain. In addition, hybrid beamforming architecture in the mmWave technique is analyzed. They also suggested methods for the blockage effect in mmWave communications due to penetration damage. Finally, the authors have studied designing the mmWave transmission with small beams in nonorthogonal device-to-device communication.

This section covered various works done on 5G mmWave technology. The Table 7 shows how different author’s worked on the improvement of various parameters i.e., transmission rate, coverage, and cost, with 5G mmWave technology.

Summary of existing mmWave-based approaches in 5G technology.

ApproachTransmission RateCoverageCost
Hong et al. [ ]AverageAverageLow
Qiao et al. [ ]AverageGoodAverage
Wei et al. [ ]GoodAverageLow

4.4. 5G IoT Based Approaches

The 5G mobile network plays a big role in developing the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT will connect lots of things with the internet like appliances, sensors, devices, objects, and applications. These applications will collect lots of data from different devices and sensors. 5G will provide very high speed internet connectivity for data collection, transmission, control, and processing. 5G is a flexible network with unused spectrum availability and it offers very low cost deployment that is why it is the most efficient technology for IoT [ 63 ]. In many areas, 5G provides benefits to IoT, and below are some examples:

Smart homes: smart home appliances and products are in demand these days. The 5G network makes smart homes more real as it offers high speed connectivity and monitoring of smart appliances. Smart home appliances are easily accessed and configured from remote locations using the 5G network, as it offers very high speed low latency communication.

Smart cities: 5G wireless network also helps in developing smart cities applications such as automatic traffic management, weather update, local area broadcasting, energy saving, efficient power supply, smart lighting system, water resource management, crowd management, emergency control, etc.

Industrial IoT: 5G wireless technology will provide lots of features for future industries such as safety, process tracking, smart packing, shipping, energy efficiency, automation of equipment, predictive maintenance and logistics. 5G smart sensor technology also offers smarter, safer, cost effective, and energy-saving industrial operation for industrial IoT.

Smart Farming: 5G technology will play a crucial role for agriculture and smart farming. 5G sensors and GPS technology will help farmers to track live attacks on crops and manage them quickly. These smart sensors can also be used for irrigation control, pest control, insect control, and electricity control.

Autonomous Driving: 5G wireless network offers very low latency high speed communication which is very significant for autonomous driving. It means self-driving cars will come to real life soon with 5G wireless networks. Using 5G autonomous cars can easily communicate with smart traffic signs, objects and other vehicles running on the road. 5G’s low latency feature makes self-driving more real as every millisecond is important for autonomous vehicles, decision taking is performed in microseconds to avoid accidents [ 64 ].

Highlights of 5G IoT are as follows:

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Pictorial representation of IoT with 5G.

  • 5G with IoT is a new feature of next-generation mobile communication, which provides a high-speed internet connection between moderated devices. 5G IoT also offers smart homes, smart devices, sensors, smart transportation systems, smart industries, etc., for end-users to make them smarter.
  • IoT deals with moderate devices which connect through the internet. The approach of the IoT has made the consideration of the research associated with the outcome of providing wearable, smart-phones, sensors, smart transportation systems, smart devices, washing machines, tablets, etc., and these diverse systems are associated to a common interface with the intelligence to connect.
  • Significant IoT applications include private healthcare systems, traffic management, industrial management, and tactile internet, etc.

Plenty of approaches is devised to address the issues of IoT [ 14 , 65 , 66 ].

In [ 65 ], the paper focuses on 5G mobile systems due to the emerging trends and developing technologies, which results in the exponential traffic growth in IoT. The author surveyed the challenges and demands during deployment of the massive IoT applications with the main focus on mobile networking. The author reviewed the features of standard IoT infrastructure, along with the cellular-based, low-power wide-area technologies (LPWA) such as eMTC, extended coverage (EC)-GSM-IoT, as well as noncellular, low-power wide-area (LPWA) technologies such as SigFox, LoRa etc.

In [ 14 ], the authors presented how 5G technology copes with the various issues of IoT today. It provides a brief review of existing and forming 5G architectures. The survey indicates the role of 5G in the foundation of the IoT ecosystem. IoT and 5G can easily combine with improved wireless technologies to set up the same ecosystem that can fulfill the current requirement for IoT devices. 5G can alter nature and will help to expand the development of IoT devices. As the process of 5G unfolds, global associations will find essentials for setting up a cross-industry engagement in determining and enlarging the 5G system.

In [ 66 ], the author introduced an IoT authentication scheme in a 5G network, with more excellent reliability and dynamic. The scheme proposed a privacy-protected procedure for selecting slices; it provided an additional fog node for proper data transmission and service types of the subscribers, along with service-oriented authentication and key understanding to maintain the secrecy, precision of users, and confidentiality of service factors. Users anonymously identify the IoT servers and develop a vital channel for service accessibility and data cached on local fog nodes and remote IoT servers. The author performed a simulation to manifest the security and privacy preservation of the user over the network.

This section covered various works done on 5G IoT by multiple authors. Table 8 shows how different author’s worked on the improvement of numerous parameters, i.e., data rate, security requirement, and performance with 5G IoT.

Summary of IoT-based approaches in 5G technology.

ApproachData RateSecurity RequirementPerformance
Akpakwu et al. [ ]GoodAverageGood
Khurpade et al. [ ]Average-Average
Ni et al. [ ]GoodAverageAverage

4.5. Machine Learning Techniques for 5G

Various machine learning (ML) techniques were applied in 5G networks and mobile communication. It provides a solution to multiple complex problems, which requires a lot of hand-tuning. ML techniques can be broadly classified as supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning. Let’s discuss each learning technique separately and where it impacts the 5G network.

Supervised Learning, where user works with labeled data; some 5G network problems can be further categorized as classification and regression problems. Some regression problems such as scheduling nodes in 5G and energy availability can be predicted using Linear Regression (LR) algorithm. To accurately predict the bandwidth and frequency allocation Statistical Logistic Regression (SLR) is applied. Some supervised classifiers are applied to predict the network demand and allocate network resources based on the connectivity performance; it signifies the topology setup and bit rates. Support Vector Machine (SVM) and NN-based approximation algorithms are used for channel learning based on observable channel state information. Deep Neural Network (DNN) is also employed to extract solutions for predicting beamforming vectors at the BS’s by taking mapping functions and uplink pilot signals into considerations.

In unsupervised Learning, where the user works with unlabeled data, various clustering techniques are applied to enhance network performance and connectivity without interruptions. K-means clustering reduces the data travel by storing data centers content into clusters. It optimizes the handover estimation based on mobility pattern and selection of relay nodes in the V2V network. Hierarchical clustering reduces network failure by detecting the intrusion in the mobile wireless network; unsupervised soft clustering helps in reducing latency by clustering fog nodes. The nonparametric Bayesian unsupervised learning technique reduces traffic in the network by actively serving the user’s requests and demands. Other unsupervised learning techniques such as Adversarial Auto Encoders (AAE) and Affinity Propagation Clustering techniques detect irregular behavior in the wireless spectrum and manage resources for ultradense small cells, respectively.

In case of an uncertain environment in the 5G wireless network, reinforcement learning (RL) techniques are employed to solve some problems. Actor-critic reinforcement learning is used for user scheduling and resource allocation in the network. Markov decision process (MDP) and Partially Observable MDP (POMDP) is used for Quality of Experience (QoE)-based handover decision-making for Hetnets. Controls packet call admission in HetNets and channel access process for secondary users in a Cognitive Radio Network (CRN). Deep RL is applied to decide the communication channel and mobility and speeds up the secondary user’s learning rate using an antijamming strategy. Deep RL is employed in various 5G network application parameters such as resource allocation and security [ 67 ]. Table 9 shows the state-of-the-art ML-based solution for 5G network.

The state-of-the-art ML-based solution for 5G network.

Author ReferencesKey ContributionML AppliedNetwork Participants Component5G Network Application Parameter
Alave et al. [ ]Network traffic predictionLSTM and DNN*X
Bega et al. [ ]Network slice admission control algorithmMachine Learning and Deep LearingXXX
Suomalainen et al. [ ]5G SecurityMachine LearningX
Bashir et al. [ ]Resource AllocationMachine LearningX
Balevi et al. [ ]Low Latency communicationUnsupervised clusteringXXX
Tayyaba et al. [ ]Resource ManagementLSTM, CNN, and DNNX
Sim et al. [ ]5G mmWave Vehicular communicationFML (Fast machine Learning)X*X
Li et al. [ ]Intrusion Detection SystemMachine LearningXX
Kafle et al. [ ]5G Network SlicingMachine LearningXX
Chen et al. [ ]Physical-Layer Channel AuthenticationMachine LearningXXXXX
Sevgican et al. [ ]Intelligent Network Data Analytics Function in 5GMachine LearningXXX**
Abidi et al. [ ]Optimal 5G network slicingMachine Learning and Deep LearingXX*

Highlights of machine learning techniques for 5G are as follows:

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Pictorial representation of machine learning (ML) in 5G.

  • In ML, a model will be defined which fulfills the desired requirements through which desired results are obtained. In the later stage, it examines accuracy from obtained results.
  • ML plays a vital role in 5G network analysis for threat detection, network load prediction, final arrangement, and network formation. Searching for a better balance between power, length of antennas, area, and network thickness crossed with the spontaneous use of services in the universe of individual users and types of devices.

In [ 79 ], author’s firstly describes the demands for the traditional authentication procedures and benefits of intelligent authentication. The intelligent authentication method was established to improve security practice in 5G-and-beyond wireless communication systems. Thereafter, the machine learning paradigms for intelligent authentication were organized into parametric and non-parametric research methods, as well as supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning approaches. As a outcome, machine learning techniques provide a new paradigm into authentication under diverse network conditions and unstable dynamics. In addition, prompt intelligence to the security management to obtain cost-effective, better reliable, model-free, continuous, and situation-aware authentication.

In [ 68 ], the authors proposed a machine learning-based model to predict the traffic load at a particular location. They used a mobile network traffic dataset to train a model that can calculate the total number of user requests at a time. To launch access and mobility management function (AMF) instances according to the requirement as there were no predictions of user request the performance automatically degrade as AMF does not handle these requests at a time. Earlier threshold-based techniques were used to predict the traffic load, but that approach took too much time; therefore, the authors proposed RNN algorithm-based ML to predict the traffic load, which gives efficient results.

In [ 15 ], authors discussed the issue of network slice admission, resource allocation among subscribers, and how to maximize the profit of infrastructure providers. The author proposed a network slice admission control algorithm based on SMDP (decision-making process) that guarantees the subscribers’ best acceptance policies and satisfiability (tenants). They also suggested novel N3AC, a neural network-based algorithm that optimizes performance under various configurations, significantly outperforms practical and straightforward approaches.

This section includes various works done on 5G ML by different authors. Table 10 shows the state-of-the-art work on the improvement of various parameters such as energy efficiency, Quality of Services (QoS), and latency with 5G ML.

The state-of-the-art ML-based approaches in 5G technology.

ApproachEnergy EfficiencyQuality of Services (QoS)Latency
Fang et al. [ ]GoodGoodAverage
Alawe et al. [ ]GoodAverageLow
Bega et al. [ ]-GoodAverage

4.6. Optimization Techniques for 5G

Optimization techniques may be applied to capture NP-Complete or NP-Hard problems in 5G technology. This section briefly describes various research works suggested for 5G technology based on optimization techniques.

In [ 80 ], Massive MIMO technology is used in 5G mobile network to make it more flexible and scalable. The MIMO implementation in 5G needs a significant number of radio frequencies is required in the RF circuit that increases the cost and energy consumption of the 5G network. This paper provides a solution that increases the cost efficiency and energy efficiency with many radio frequency chains for a 5G wireless communication network. They give an optimized energy efficient technique for MIMO antenna and mmWave technologies based 5G mobile communication network. The proposed Energy Efficient Hybrid Precoding (EEHP) algorithm to increase the energy efficiency for the 5G wireless network. This algorithm minimizes the cost of an RF circuit with a large number of RF chains.

In [ 16 ], authors have discussed the growing demand for energy efficiency in the next-generation networks. In the last decade, they have figured out the things in wireless transmissions, which proved a change towards pursuing green communication for the next generation system. The importance of adopting the correct EE metric was also reviewed. Further, they worked through the different approaches that can be applied in the future for increasing the network’s energy and posed a summary of the work that was completed previously to enhance the energy productivity of the network using these capabilities. A system design for EE development using relay selection was also characterized, along with an observation of distinct algorithms applied for EE in relay-based ecosystems.

In [ 81 ], authors presented how AI-based approach is used to the setup of Self Organizing Network (SON) functionalities for radio access network (RAN) design and optimization. They used a machine learning approach to predict the results for 5G SON functionalities. Firstly, the input was taken from various sources; then, prediction and clustering-based machine learning models were applied to produce the results. Multiple AI-based devices were used to extract the knowledge analysis to execute SON functionalities smoothly. Based on results, they tested how self-optimization, self-testing, and self-designing are done for SON. The author also describes how the proposed mechanism classifies in different orders.

In [ 82 ], investigators examined the working of OFDM in various channel environments. They also figured out the changes in frame duration of the 5G TDD frame design. Subcarrier spacing is beneficial to obtain a small frame length with control overhead. They provided various techniques to reduce the growing guard period (GP) and cyclic prefix (CP) like complete utilization of multiple subcarrier spacing, management and data parts of frame at receiver end, various uses of timing advance (TA) or total control of flexible CP size.

This section includes various works that were done on 5G optimization by different authors. Table 11 shows how other authors worked on the improvement of multiple parameters such as energy efficiency, power optimization, and latency with 5G optimization.

Summary of Optimization Based Approaches in 5G Technology.

ApproachEnergy EfficiencyPower OptimizationLatency
Zi et al. [ ]Good-Average
Abrol and jha [ ]GoodGood-
Pérez-Romero et al. [ ]-AverageAverage
Lähetkangas et al. [ ]Average-Low

5. Description of Novel 5G Features over 4G

This section presents descriptions of various novel features of 5G, namely, the concept of small cell, beamforming, and MEC.

5.1. Small Cell

Small cells are low-powered cellular radio access nodes which work in the range of 10 meters to a few kilometers. Small cells play a very important role in implementation of the 5G wireless network. Small cells are low power base stations which cover small areas. Small cells are quite similar with all the previous cells used in various wireless networks. However, these cells have some advantages like they can work with low power and they are also capable of working with high data rates. Small cells help in rollout of 5G network with ultra high speed and low latency communication. Small cells in the 5G network use some new technologies like MIMO, beamforming, and mmWave for high speed data transmission. The design of small cells hardware is very simple so its implementation is quite easier and faster. There are three types of small cell tower available in the market. Femtocells, picocells, and microcells [ 83 ]. As shown in the Table 12 .

Types of Small cells.

Types of Small CellCoverage RadiusIndoor OutdoorTransmit PowerNumber of UsersBackhaul TypeCost
Femtocells30–165 ft
10–50 m
Indoor100 mW
20 dBm
8–16Wired, fiberLow
Picocells330–820 ft
100–250 m
250 mW
24 dBm
32–64Wired, fiberLow
Microcells1600–8000 ft
500–250 m
Outdoor2000–500 mW
32–37 dBm
200Wired, fiber, MicrowaveMedium

MmWave is a very high band spectrum between 30 to 300 GHz. As it is a significantly less used spectrum, it provides very high-speed wireless communication. MmWave offers ultra-wide bandwidth for next-generation mobile networks. MmWave has lots of advantages, but it has some disadvantages, too, such as mmWave signals are very high-frequency signals, so they have more collision with obstacles in the air which cause the signals loses energy quickly. Buildings and trees also block MmWave signals, so these signals cover a shorter distance. To resolve these issues, multiple small cell stations are installed to cover the gap between end-user and base station [ 18 ]. Small cell covers a very shorter range, so the installation of a small cell depends on the population of a particular area. Generally, in a populated place, the distance between each small cell varies from 10 to 90 meters. In the survey [ 20 ], various authors implemented small cells with massive MIMO simultaneously. They also reviewed multiple technologies used in 5G like beamforming, small cell, massive MIMO, NOMA, device to device (D2D) communication. Various problems like interference management, spectral efficiency, resource management, energy efficiency, and backhauling are discussed. The author also gave a detailed presentation of all the issues occurring while implementing small cells with various 5G technologies. As shown in the Figure 7 , mmWave has a higher range, so it can be easily blocked by the obstacles as shown in Figure 7 a. This is one of the key concerns of millimeter-wave signal transmission. To solve this issue, the small cell can be placed at a short distance to transmit the signals easily, as shown in Figure 7 b.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sensors-22-00026-g007.jpg

Pictorial representation of communication with and without small cells.

5.2. Beamforming

Beamforming is a key technology of wireless networks which transmits the signals in a directional manner. 5G beamforming making a strong wireless connection toward a receiving end. In conventional systems when small cells are not using beamforming, moving signals to particular areas is quite difficult. Beamforming counter this issue using beamforming small cells are able to transmit the signals in particular direction towards a device like mobile phone, laptops, autonomous vehicle and IoT devices. Beamforming is improving the efficiency and saves the energy of the 5G network. Beamforming is broadly divided into three categories: Digital beamforming, analog beamforming and hybrid beamforming. Digital beamforming: multiuser MIMO is equal to digital beamforming which is mainly used in LTE Advanced Pro and in 5G NR. In digital beamforming the same frequency or time resources can be used to transmit the data to multiple users at the same time which improves the cell capacity of wireless networks. Analog Beamforming: In mmWave frequency range 5G NR analog beamforming is a very important approach which improves the coverage. In digital beamforming there are chances of high pathloss in mmWave as only one beam per set of antenna is formed. While the analog beamforming saves high pathloss in mmWave. Hybrid beamforming: hybrid beamforming is a combination of both analog beamforming and digital beamforming. In the implementation of MmWave in 5G network hybrid beamforming will be used [ 84 ].

Wireless signals in the 4G network are spreading in large areas, and nature is not Omnidirectional. Thus, energy depletes rapidly, and users who are accessing these signals also face interference problems. The beamforming technique is used in the 5G network to resolve this issue. In beamforming signals are directional. They move like a laser beam from the base station to the user, so signals seem to be traveling in an invisible cable. Beamforming helps achieve a faster data rate; as the signals are directional, it leads to less energy consumption and less interference. In [ 21 ], investigators evolve some techniques which reduce interference and increase system efficiency of the 5G mobile network. In this survey article, the authors covered various challenges faced while designing an optimized beamforming algorithm. Mainly focused on different design parameters such as performance evaluation and power consumption. In addition, they also described various issues related to beamforming like CSI, computation complexity, and antenna correlation. They also covered various research to cover how beamforming helps implement MIMO in next-generation mobile networks [ 85 ]. Figure 8 shows the pictorial representation of communication with and without using beamforming.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sensors-22-00026-g008.jpg

Pictorial Representation of communication with and without using beamforming.

5.3. Mobile Edge Computing

Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) [ 24 ]: MEC is an extended version of cloud computing that brings cloud resources closer to the end-user. When we talk about computing, the very first thing that comes to our mind is cloud computing. Cloud computing is a very famous technology that offers many services to end-user. Still, cloud computing has many drawbacks. The services available in the cloud are too far from end-users that create latency, and cloud user needs to download the complete application before use, which also increases the burden to the device [ 86 ]. MEC creates an edge between the end-user and cloud server, bringing cloud computing closer to the end-user. Now, all the services, namely, video conferencing, virtual software, etc., are offered by this edge that improves cloud computing performance. Another essential feature of MEC is that the application is split into two parts, which, first one is available at cloud server, and the second is at the user’s device. Therefore, the user need not download the complete application on his device that increases the performance of the end user’s device. Furthermore, MEC provides cloud services at very low latency and less bandwidth. In [ 23 , 87 ], the author’s investigation proved that successful deployment of MEC in 5G network increases the overall performance of 5G architecture. Graphical differentiation between cloud computing and mobile edge computing is presented in Figure 9 .

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sensors-22-00026-g009.jpg

Pictorial representation of cloud computing vs. mobile edge computing.

6. 5G Security

Security is the key feature in the telecommunication network industry, which is necessary at various layers, to handle 5G network security in applications such as IoT, Digital forensics, IDS and many more [ 88 , 89 ]. The authors [ 90 ], discussed the background of 5G and its security concerns, challenges and future directions. The author also introduced the blockchain technology that can be incorporated with the IoT to overcome the challenges in IoT. The paper aims to create a security framework which can be incorporated with the LTE advanced network, and effective in terms of cost, deployment and QoS. In [ 91 ], author surveyed various form of attacks, the security challenges, security solutions with respect to the affected technology such as SDN, Network function virtualization (NFV), Mobile Clouds and MEC, and security standardizations of 5G, i.e., 3GPP, 5GPPP, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). In [ 92 ], author elaborated various technological aspects, security issues and their existing solutions and also mentioned the new emerging technological paradigms for 5G security such as blockchain, quantum cryptography, AI, SDN, CPS, MEC, D2D. The author aims to create new security frameworks for 5G for further use of this technology in development of smart cities, transportation and healthcare. In [ 93 ], author analyzed the threats and dark threat, security aspects concerned with SDN and NFV, also their Commercial & Industrial Security Corporation (CISCO) 5G vision and new security innovations with respect to the new evolving architectures of 5G [ 94 ].

AuthenticationThe identification of the user in any network is made with the help of authentication. The different mobile network generations from 1G to 5G have used multiple techniques for user authentication. 5G utilizes the 5G Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA) authentication method, which shares a cryptographic key between user equipment (UE) and its home network and establishes a mutual authentication process between the both [ 95 ].

Access Control To restrict the accessibility in the network, 5G supports access control mechanisms to provide a secure and safe environment to the users and is controlled by network providers. 5G uses simple public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates for authenticating access in the 5G network. PKI put forward a secure and dynamic environment for the 5G network. The simple PKI technique provides flexibility to the 5G network; it can scale up and scale down as per the user traffic in the network [ 96 , 97 ].

Communication Security 5G deals to provide high data bandwidth, low latency, and better signal coverage. Therefore secure communication is the key concern in the 5G network. UE, mobile operators, core network, and access networks are the main focal point for the attackers in 5G communication. Some of the common attacks in communication at various segments are Botnet, message insertion, micro-cell, distributed denial of service (DDoS), and transport layer security (TLS)/secure sockets layer (SSL) attacks [ 98 , 99 ].

Encryption The confidentiality of the user and the network is done using encryption techniques. As 5G offers multiple services, end-to-end (E2E) encryption is the most suitable technique applied over various segments in the 5G network. Encryption forbids unauthorized access to the network and maintains the data privacy of the user. To encrypt the radio traffic at Packet Data Convergence Protocol (PDCP) layer, three 128-bits keys are applied at the user plane, nonaccess stratum (NAS), and access stratum (AS) [ 100 ].

7. Summary of 5G Technology Based on Above-Stated Challenges

In this section, various issues addressed by investigators in 5G technologies are presented in Table 13 . In addition, different parameters are considered, such as throughput, latency, energy efficiency, data rate, spectral efficiency, fairness & computing capacity, transmission rate, coverage, cost, security requirement, performance, QoS, power optimization, etc., indexed from R1 to R14.

Summary of 5G Technology above stated challenges (R1:Throughput, R2:Latency, R3:Energy Efficiency, R4:Data Rate, R5:Spectral efficiency, R6:Fairness & Computing Capacity, R7:Transmission Rate, R8:Coverage, R9:Cost, R10:Security requirement, R11:Performance, R12:Quality of Services (QoS), R13:Power Optimization).

Panzner et al. [ ]GoodLowGood-Avg---------
Qiao et al. [ ]-------AvgGoodAvg----
He et al. [ ]AvgLowAvg-----------
Abrol and jha [ ]--Good----------Good
Al-Imari et al. [ ]----GoodGoodAvg-------
Papadopoulos et al. [ ]GoodLowAvg-Avg---------
Kiani and Nsari [ ]----AvgGoodGood-------
Beck [ ]-Low-----Avg---Good-Avg
Ni et al. [ ]---Good------AvgAvg--
Elijah [ ]AvgLowAvg-----------
Alawe et al. [ ]-LowGood---------Avg-
Zhou et al. [ ]Avg-Good-Avg---------
Islam et al. [ ]----GoodAvgAvg-------
Bega et al. [ ]-Avg----------Good-
Akpakwu et al. [ ]---Good------AvgGood--
Wei et al. [ ]-------GoodAvgLow----
Khurpade et al. [ ]---Avg-------Avg--
Timotheou and Krikidis [ ]----GoodGoodAvg-------
Wang [ ]AvgLowAvgAvg----------
Akhil Gupta & R. K. Jha [ ]--GoodAvgGood------GoodGood-
Pérez-Romero et al. [ ]--Avg----------Avg
Pi [ ]-------GoodGoodAvg----
Zi et al. [ ]-AvgGood-----------
Chin [ ]--GoodAvg-----Avg-Good--
Mamta Agiwal [ ]-Avg-Good------GoodAvg--
Ramesh et al. [ ]GoodAvgGood-Good---------
Niu [ ]-------GoodAvgAvg---
Fang et al. [ ]-AvgGood---------Good-
Hoydis [ ]--Good-Good----Avg-Good--
Wei et al. [ ]----GoodAvgGood-------
Hong et al. [ ]--------AvgAvgLow---
Rashid [ ]---Good---Good---Avg-Good
Prasad et al. [ ]Good-Good-Avg---------
Lähetkangas et al. [ ]-LowAv-----------

8. Conclusions

This survey article illustrates the emergence of 5G, its evolution from 1G to 5G mobile network, applications, different research groups, their work, and the key features of 5G. It is not just a mobile broadband network, different from all the previous mobile network generations; it offers services like IoT, V2X, and Industry 4.0. This paper covers a detailed survey from multiple authors on different technologies in 5G, such as massive MIMO, Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA), millimeter wave, small cell, MEC (Mobile Edge Computing), beamforming, optimization, and machine learning in 5G. After each section, a tabular comparison covers all the state-of-the-research held in these technologies. This survey also shows the importance of these newly added technologies and building a flexible, scalable, and reliable 5G network.

9. Future Findings

This article covers a detailed survey on the 5G mobile network and its features. These features make 5G more reliable, scalable, efficient at affordable rates. As discussed in the above sections, numerous technical challenges originate while implementing those features or providing services over a 5G mobile network. So, for future research directions, the research community can overcome these challenges while implementing these technologies (MIMO, NOMA, small cell, mmWave, beam-forming, MEC) over a 5G network. 5G communication will bring new improvements over the existing systems. Still, the current solutions cannot fulfill the autonomous system and future intelligence engineering requirements after a decade. There is no matter of discussion that 5G will provide better QoS and new features than 4G. But there is always room for improvement as the considerable growth of centralized data and autonomous industry 5G wireless networks will not be capable of fulfilling their demands in the future. So, we need to move on new wireless network technology that is named 6G. 6G wireless network will bring new heights in mobile generations, as it includes (i) massive human-to-machine communication, (ii) ubiquitous connectivity between the local device and cloud server, (iii) creation of data fusion technology for various mixed reality experiences and multiverps maps. (iv) Focus on sensing and actuation to control the network of the entire world. The 6G mobile network will offer new services with some other technologies; these services are 3D mapping, reality devices, smart homes, smart wearable, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and sense. It is expected that 6G will provide ultra-long-range communication with a very low latency of 1 ms. The per-user bit rate in a 6G wireless network will be approximately 1 Tbps, and it will also provide wireless communication, which is 1000 times faster than 5G networks.


Author contributions.

Conceptualization: R.D., I.Y., G.C., P.L. data gathering: R.D., G.C., P.L, I.Y. funding acquisition: I.Y. investigation: I.Y., G.C., G.P. methodology: R.D., I.Y., G.C., P.L., G.P., survey: I.Y., G.C., P.L, G.P., R.D. supervision: G.C., I.Y., G.P. validation: I.Y., G.P. visualization: R.D., I.Y., G.C., P.L. writing, original draft: R.D., I.Y., G.C., P.L., G.P. writing, review, and editing: I.Y., G.C., G.P. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

This paper was supported by Soonchunhyang University.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Informed consent statement, data availability statement, conflicts of interest.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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report on 5g technology

The adoption of 5G continues to surge, with a peak in 5G smartphone volumes expected in 2021E. In the future, 5G will likely provide substantial enterprise opportunity which corporates are just beginning to recognize. It is expected that 5G will exceed $180 billion in North America by 2030.

In this report, J.P. Morgan Research examines the future of 5G through the lens of consumer demand and global adoption, sharing market forecasts and exploring enterprise use cases.

Global 5G adoption: Is this the network of the future?

Globally, 119.8 million smartphones (amounting to 32% of all smartphones) were using 5G by the fourth quarter of 2020, with penetration highest in China and North America. This was up from 64.8 million (18% of all smartphones) in the third quarter of 2020.

This growth was helped by new launches such as the 5G iPhone, which saw Apple achieve a 47% share of the 5G smartphone market. 5G adoption correlated with growing smartphone sale volumes – following 1Q and 2Q troughs, volumes reached 355 million in 3Q20 and 374 million in 4Q20.

When considering the future growth of 5G adoption, consumer demand will be key as it can be monetized. For example, Korea, where current consumer demand is strong, has built out 5G enabling speeds that are three to five times faster than 4G. Consumers there are now using two to three times more data, and they’re willing to pay more for it too with an average of a 20% premium on 5G. Looking ahead, a meaningfully higher take rate is now expected, with 5G anticipated to reach 1 billion subscribers faster than the 1.5 to two years it took for 4G.

5G market forecasts

J.P. Morgan North America Equity Research predicts that 5G volume growth will peak in 2021E. “We expect a more pronounced 5G cycle with peak smartphone growth in 2021E,” said Samik Chatterjee, Telecom & Network Equipment/IT Hardware Senior Analyst at J.P. Morgan. “In 2020, we saw around 225 million 5G smartphone units sold globally. 2021 should be the biggest year in terms of growth and we expect to see a steeper ramp in volume. Growth is likely to peak relatively early, and we estimate the total number of 5G smartphone units sold during the year to reach 525 million. This will be followed by moderating increases and we would give a volume estimate of 725 million units for 2022.”

5G smartphone volume estimates

Bar chart depicting global sales of 5G smartphone units, which are expected to increase between 2020 and 2022.

The total number of 5G smartphone units sold globally is expected to reach 725 million in 2022, up from 525 million in 2021 and 225 million in 2020. 

Source: J.P. Morgan estimates.

5G market share: North East Asia leading the global adoption of 5G technology

At its Capital Markets Day, Ericsson noted that the North East Asia region has a very advanced 4G network and similar trends are expected with 5G.

South Korea  is expanding networks following initial deployments and is expected to move to standalone 5G by the end of next year.

China  remains aggressive in its 5G deployment. 600,000 base stations were deployed in 2020 and standalone 5G was launched by China Telecom, with other operators expected to follow soon.

Japan  is expected to move to standalone 5G by the end of next year, with acceleration in activity expected following the iPhone launch.

Notably, 5G adoption is also expected to accelerate the Internet of Things (IoT) in the region. By 2025, Japan and South Korea are expected to see 150 million IoT connections, which is +29% in terms of compound annual growth rate (CAGR). China is expected to see 2.5 billion connections (+13% CAGR).

The future of 5G adoption: Trends in North East Asia Key upcoming developments include:

Standalone 5G

Already launched by China Telecom, Japan and South Korea are expected to follow soon

Internet of things

5G adoption will accelerate connections by up to 29% CAGR (Japan and South Korea)

Expanding networks

600,000 base stations were deployed in China in 2020 with more to come

Product launches

Activity acceleration is expected in Japan following the 5G iPhone launch

The future of 5G lies in enterprise opportunity

5G is fast becoming the network of choice due to its performance and reliability. In the future, enterprise use cases will become a primary driver for 5G growth. It is estimated that 5G will drive secular growth longer term, even beyond the 2022 timeframe, led by enterprise use cases – this differs from earlier technological transitions.

Ericsson also noted the opportunity for the enterprise market to expand at a 25% CAGR from 2022-2030 through digitalization and high performance mobile connectivity for applications, including connected vehicles, real-time automation and autonomous robotics. One notable development from 4Q20 was the acquisition of CradlePoint. This could be considered a stepping stone, preempting further organic and inorganic investment to address substantial enterprise opportunity over the next few years.

The biggest opportunity for 5G is in enterprise. Companies have only just started to scratch the surface in terms of investing in enterprise use cases. Factory floor automation will be one of the big use cases. Another is fixed wireless, which could boost connectivity through private 5G networks deployed across organizations, regions or campuses.

Samik Chatterjee

Telecom & Network Equipment/IT Hardware Senior Analyst, J.P. Morgan

What’s the scale of the opportunity for 5G enterprise solutions?

Global enterprise opportunity enabled by 5G is expected to exceed $700 billion. North America is a primary driver for enterprise opportunity which could exceed $180 billion by 2030.

Some 5G applications have been noted in the following verticals:

Healthcare: 16% cost reductions for healthcare workers using remote monitoring tools for patients

Manufacturing: operating income improvements for operators led by AR technology, robotics and autonomy

Energy: connectivity applications for solar technology and wind farms.

Harnessing the power of 5G holds enormous potential and many more enterprise use cases are expected to emerge across various verticals. With North America leading the way, enterprise opportunity has the power to shape the future of 5G adoption.

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report on 5g technology

China’s consumers show up for shopping season

January 07, 2021

In a special consumer retail spotlight, J.P. Morgan Asia Equity Research explores the trends that emerged in 2020 and what they mean for momentum in 2021, as economic recovery from COVID-19 continues and China’s “New Retail” wave gains traction.

report on 5g technology

The future is electric

November 17, 2020

In the past few years, the auto industry’s transformation has accelerated around the world. J.P. Morgan Global Research explores the global electric vehicle market, the key developments driving its progress and expectations for the future.

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5G in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Most new home broadband subscribers choose 5g over fixed-line, t-mobile us leads in both 5g speed and coverage, key insights.

Detailed statistics

5G adoption in North America 2019-2025

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mmWave 5G speeds across five cities in the United States 2021

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Mobile Connections and Data

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Mobile Devices

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Number of mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the U.S. 2000-2022

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Wireless service average revenue per unit in the United States 1993-2021

Monthly ARPU from mobile wireless services in the United States from 1993 to 2021 (in U.S. dollars)

Mobile internet usage reach in the United States 2014-2029

Mobile internet usage penetration in the United States from 2014 to 2029

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Mobile connections share in the U.S. by generation 2019-2030

Share of mobile connections in the United States from 2019 to 2030, by generation

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Leading countries for 5G availability in 2023

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Average 5G download speeds in rural and urban areas in the United States from 4th quarter 2021 to 2nd quarter 2023 (in Mbps)

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Availability of 5G in rural and urban areas in the United States from 4th quarter 2021 to 2nd quarter 2023

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Revenue of selected major telecommunication service companies in the United States from 2008 to 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)

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Wireless revenue generated by major U.S. telecommunication providers from 2011 to 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile 5G spectrum purchases in the United States 2018-2022

Value of 5G spectrum purchases made by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile in the United States from 2018 to 2022 (in million U.S. dollars)

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile 5G license purchases in the United States 2018-2022

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5G and overall mobile download speed in the U.S. 2024, by provider

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What Is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology.

5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology. It is designed to increase speed, reduce latency, and improve flexibility of wireless services.

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What is 5G technology?

5G technology has a theoretical peak speed of 20 Gbps, while the peak speed of 4G is only 1 Gbps. 5G also promises lower latency, which can improve the performance of business applications as well as other digital experiences (such as online gaming, videoconferencing, and self-driving cars). 

While earlier generations of cellular technology (such as 4G LTE) focused on ensuring connectivity, 5G takes connectivity to the next level by delivering connected experiences from the cloud to clients. 5G networks are virtualized and software-driven, and they exploit cloud technologies.

The 5G network will also simplify mobility, with seamless open roaming capabilities between cellular and Wi-Fi access. Mobile users can stay connected as they move between outdoor wireless connections and wireless networks inside buildings without user intervention or the need for users to reauthenticate. 

The new Wi-Fi 6 wireless standard (also known as 802.11ax) shares traits with 5G, including improved performance. Wi-Fi 6 radios can be placed where users need them to provide better geographical coverage and lower cost. Underlying these Wi-Fi 6 radios is a software-based network with advanced automation.

5G technology should improve connectivity in underserved rural areas and in cities where demand can outstrip today's capacity with 4G technology. New 5G networks will also have a dense, distributed-access architecture and move data processing closer to the edge and the users to enable faster data processing.

How does 5G technology work?

5G technology will introduce advances throughout network architecture. 5G New Radio, the global standard for a more capable 5G wireless air interface, will cover spectrums not used in 4G. New antennas will incorporate technology known as massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), which enables multiple transmitters and receivers to transfer more data at the same time. But 5G technology is not limited to the new radio spectrum. It is designed to support a converged, heterogeneous network combining licensed and unlicensed wireless technologies. This will add bandwidth available for users.

5G architectures will be software-defined platforms, in which networking functionality is managed through software rather than hardware. Advancements in virtualization, cloud-based technologies, and IT and business process automation enable 5G architecture to be agile and flexible and to provide anytime, anywhere user access. 5G networks can create software-defined subnetwork constructs known as network slices. These slices enable network administrators to dictate network functionality based on users and devices.

5G also enhances digital experiences through machine-learning (ML)-enabled automation. Demand for response times within fractions of a second (such as those for self-driving cars) require 5G networks to enlist automation with ML and, eventually, deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Automated provisioning and proactive management of traffic and services will reduce infrastructure cost and enhance the connected experience.

When will 5G be available and how will it expand?

5G service is already available in some areas in various countries. These early-generation 5G services are called 5G non-standalone (5G NSA). This technology is a 5G radio that builds on existing 4G LTE network infrastructure. 5G NSA will be faster than 4G LTE. But the high-speed, low-latency 5G technology the industry has focused on is 5G standalone (5G SA). It should start becoming available by 2020 and be commonly available by 2022.

What is the real-world impact of 5G technology?

5G technology will not only usher in a new era of improved network performance and speed but also new connected experiences for users.

In healthcare, 5G technology and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity will enable patients to be monitored via connected devices that constantly deliver data on key health indicators, such as heart rate and blood pressure. In the auto industry, 5G combined with ML-driven algorithms will provide information on traffic, accidents, and more; vehicles will be able to share information with other vehicles and entities on roadways, such as traffic lights. These are just two industry applications of 5G technology that can enable better, safer experiences for users.

What is the Cisco contribution to 5G technology?

Cisco provides this automated, cloud-to-client, software-based network for 5G. Cisco ONE architecture is a cloud-first, software-defined architecture that spans enterprise and service provider deployments seamlessly--this includes open roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi, including the new Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax), which shares several attributes with 5G architecture.

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Are you ready for 5G?

The fifth generation of wireless technology promises lightning-fast speed, incredibly low latency, and the capacity to carry massive numbers of connections simultaneously. Not surprisingly, the imminent arrival of 5G is creating a buzz in both the industry and the wider world.

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Although standards will not be fully defined until the 2019 World Radiocommunications Conference, early progress indicates that two distinct “flavors” will emerge: low- and mid-band 5G focused on spectrum below 6 gigahertz and high-band 5G on spectrum above 6 gigahertz, particularly in the millimeter wave bands. Both these flavors will be used to augment and enhance existing LTE networks rather than replace them.

The paradox of the 5G use cases

The focus to date has been on four key use cases that 5G will enable:

Enhanced mobile broadband. Faster speed, lower latency, and greater capacity could enable on-the-go, ultra-high-definition video, virtual reality, and other advanced applications. However, wireless data prices are falling and growth in demand can be met in other ways (for example, densification of LTE networks and Wi-Fi off-loading). Another hurdle is that constant connectivity—a must-have for mobile broadband—will be severely limited for high-band 5G due to propagation losses at higher frequencies.

Internet of Things. With the explosive growth in the number of connected devices, existing networks are struggling to keep pace. The advent of 5G will unlock the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) by enabling more connections at once (up to one million per square kilometer) at very low power. This could create additional monthly revenues for carriers, but average IoT revenues will be a fraction of those for mobile broadband because of low usage. Moreover, 5G will have to compete against other technologies, such as Wi-Fi and Zigbee.

Mission-critical control. As connected devices become increasingly central in applications that demand absolute reliability—medical devices and vehicle safety systems, for instance—latency will serve as a limiting factor. Because 5G has the potential to deliver significantly lower latency (to about one millisecond), it opens the door to use cases in healthcare, utilities, and other time-critical contexts. But, as with IoT, operators can expect the associated revenue to be incremental at best.

Fixed wireless access. Fixed wireless access (FWA) has existed for years, primarily in areas with no viable wired broadband. 5G, particularly in the millimeter wave spectrum, is capable of delivering speeds of more than 100 Mbps to the home, making it a viable alternative to wired broadband in many markets, especially in markets without fiber. As such, 5G FWA could represent a truly new revenue stream for wireless operators, but typically only in areas where consumers don’t already have access to fiber to the home and DOCSIS 3.0/3.1 cable broadband.

Yet the economics, business model, and ability to monetize these use cases at scale in the near term to justify a nationwide rollout of 5G in any country today remain unclear. That said, 5G’s performance characteristics are getting proponents excited about the next wave of killer applications that could justify such deployment before too long.

The economics

In considering the economics of 5G, it’s best to look separately at the two flavors discussed earlier.

A low- to mid-band 5G network , especially in bands below two gigahertz, would look and cost much the same as current LTE networks. For example, deployment costs would be similar for cell sites of comparable density.

Delivering the promised performance improvements of 5G through high-band spectrum , on the other hand, would require a fundamentally different architecture with much denser networks—something like 15 to 20 sites per square kilometer in highly populated urban environments, as opposed to two to five sites today. The total cost of ownership of deploying small cells at this density would be four to six times higher than for LTE macro-cell deployment. Unless costs fall dramatically, wireless operators will need to rethink their approach to deploying 5G in these bands and carefully review their business case. Although some of them are already exploring the potential of the use cases described earlier, these use cases are unlikely to generate enough incremental revenue to justify nationwide or near-nationwide deployment in high-band spectrum.

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As a result, we expect high-band 5G to be deployed selectively in those micromarkets where the economics work best. Nationwide networks are unlikely to materialize in the short to medium term. Low-band deployment could be a different story because of the much more moderate investments required. Carriers in some markets could seek to gain a competitive advantage by marketing a low-band 5G network to existing and potential subscribers. Additional insights on the economics of 5G are detailed in a related article, “ The road to 5G: The inevitable growth of infrastructure cost .”

The timeline

Given the challenging economics, at least for now, the buildout of 5G won’t happen overnight. Market trials and small-scale launches will continue to grab headlines, but large-scale deployment is unlikely to take place until the early 2020s.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for rolling out 5G, given the number of factors that come into play at both the national and local level, including fiber availability, spectrum availability, and local regulation. In practical terms, most operators are likely to opt for low-band 5G in the near term while trialing—and in some cases deploying—high-band 5G in key micromarkets.

What should carriers do?

Wireless operators need to start preparing for 5G now. As they flesh out their approach, they should monitor the landscape for new entrants to the market—especially moves by cable and wireline operators to use their fiber assets and street-furniture access to deploy 5G networks.

In the meanwhile, we see seven no-regrets moves that operators should take, some of which will complement their ongoing initiatives to increase the density of their LTE networks:

1. Develop 5G offers. 5G’s performance characteristics provide reasons to be excited about the next wave of killer use cases. Operators should flesh out these use cases, develop corresponding customer offers and business cases, and develop the ecosystem (devices and app developers, for example) necessary to take the offers to prospective customers.

2. Plan at the micromarket level. To date, all rollouts of wireless technology in developed markets have ultimately extended nationwide, and building an overlay on top of the previous generation of the technology has proved to be a valid approach for both technological and commercial reasons. But as mentioned earlier, 5G—and especially high-band 5G—will be different because of its economics. Rollout decisions are likely to be made at the level of micromarkets, based on their individual economics. To equip themselves for such an approach, wireless operators need to develop new technical and commercial capabilities such as using advanced analytics to identify and prioritize micromarkets for 5G deployment.

3. Rethink network deployment and operations. Given the much greater density of cell sites required for high-band 5G, the traditional model for macro-cell deployment will be too expensive and impractical to adopt. With its highly customized approach to network deployment, sites can take more than six months to go live. To reduce deployment time and costs, operators should rethink their processes, digitizing and automating them as much as possible. And to cut the costs of operating and maintaining a network, operators may also have to reexamine their view of network architecture and reliability. For example, could they design a network with a higher tolerance for node failure by emulating the approach that Google, Facebook, and other tech giants use for servers in their data centers?

4. Consider sharing the cost. Operators facing high deployment costs should consider the potential benefits of network sharing . Even in countries where operators have been reluctant to entertain the idea, such as the United States, the challenging economics of 5G should force serious reconsideration. A successful sharing approach will require operators to begin by answering three questions: whom to share with, where to share, and what to share.

5. Secure access to key resources. Wireless operators must secure access to fiber backhaul, prime cell-tower locations, and street furniture, as these resources will be critical to 5G, especially high-band 5G.

6. Work closely with regulatory authorities. From spectrum auctions to street-furniture access and from network sharing to government funding, regulation will have a material effect on the cost and speed of 5G deployment. Operators that maintain a positive working relationship with regulatory authorities will be best placed to contribute their perspective on regulation as it develops.

7. Develop a comprehensive spectrum strategy. Spectrum will be the life-blood of 5G, as it has long been for wireless networks. But developing a spectrum strategy will be more complicated for 5G, as it includes both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Operators will need to move quickly to formulate a strategy that straddles the whole spectrum.

The advent of 5G will have a profound impact not just on wireless operators but on participants across the communications value chain. From tower companies to local governments, back-haul providers to original equipment manufacturers, and over-the-top programming providers to handset manufactures, 5G will radically alter industry dynamics. The time to plan a strategy for this transformative new technology is now.

Mark Collins is an associate partner in McKinsey’s San Francisco office ; Arnab Das is a partner in the Washington, DC office ; Alexandre Ménard is a partner in the Paris office ; and Dev Patel is a partner in the Chicago office .

The authors wish to thank Shamik Bandyopadhyay, Mohsin Imtiaz, Michael Kiermaier, and Nikhil Sane for their contributions to this article.

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Download the 2022 5G Technology Trends Survey Report

How is 5g technology evolving what are the biggest trends.

“How will 5G change the world?” 

Pose this question to a dozen telecommunications experts and you may receive a dozen different answers.

Four years ago, telecommunications leaders already had varying opinions on 5G’s possible applications and the extent of its potential impact. Connected vehicles, an expanded industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and the advent of remote healthcare were just some of the functions the nascent technology could enable. Since then, 5G has grown in complexity.

In a follow-up of our 2018 report that captured hard data on plans, challenges and opinions on 5G technology, Jabil partnered with SIS International Research to field a new online survey to telecommunications companies. Download the 2022 5G Technology Trends survey report to learn more. 

What’s included in the survey report?

  • Opinions on the development and adoption of 5G technologies
  • Industries that have the most potential to be impacted by 5G solutions
  • Details on the biggest challenges in 5G adoption and deployment
  • The market opportunities presented by Open Radio Access Network, or Open RAN  

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Who Owns Core 5G Patents? – Essentiality Check on 5G Declared Patents

Who Owns Core 5G Patents? – Essentiality Check on 5G Declared Patents

This report is an update to the report titled “Exploration of 5G Standards and Preliminary Findings on Essentiality” published May 26, 2020. This report covers more than 700 technical specifications and technical reports related to 5G technology covered in the 3GPP Portal. The scope of the prior report covered 12,002 patent families, having 63,985 individual patent documents, declared as of March 19, 2019. This scope has increased to 18,887 patent families, having 87,771 individual patent documents, declared as of November 26, 2019. In the prior report, 6,402 of the 12,002 patent families had a granted alive patent. This update sees 4,361 additional patent families now with a granted alive patent. In case if want to view the previous version of this report. Click here . 

As we create and consume ever greater amounts of data, telecommunication technology becomes increasingly important and integrated into our lives. The latest major wave of innovation, 5G , is poised to transform society with applications from remote surgery, to IoT, and autonomous vehicles .

But behind our data-saturated world and the rapid pace of innovation is another story. The hidden story of how innovation is incentivized, rewarded, and commercialized through standard-essential patents (SEPs) – and the emerging challenges in the system that supports them.

This preliminary report is the second of a series of collaborations between Amplified and GreyB that aim to bring greater transparency to the landscape of 5G standard-essential patents. The data is large, opaque, and highly technical. Our focus will be on making the data involved more accessible and understandable. The issues are nuanced and complicated. We hope that this report and the following reports enable the many stakeholders involved to have more effective discussions and make better decisions.

This is going to be a long read, jam packed with insights uncovering 5G SEP space layer by layer. You can download the entire analysis in PDF form using the form below.

Table of Contents

5G Standards

If you’re already familiar with 5G standards and standard essential patents (SEPs) and the confusion revolving around 5G standards, then you can skip this section and jump directly to insights using the table of contents above, or by clicking here . If not, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of the key terms and technical subject matter.

Standards and Standard Essential Patents (SEPs)

Standards are documents that set forth technology specifications and requirements, that when followed, provide certainty that the processes, devices, and systems adhering to them will perform reliably.

5G technology standards are very complicated documents. Essentially, they cover one or more of three different parts of a communications network:

  • User Equipment (UE): the requirements necessary for handheld or consumer devices, such as smartphones, to operate on the network;
  •  Radio Access Network (RAN): the requirements for a base station to transfer signals between multiple UE and the core network;
  •  Core network: covers network infrastructure supporting UE and base stations.

Patents, which help protect the rights of the innovators who contribute to building the standard, maybe declared as potentially essential and relevant to the standard. These are known as SEPs. Declaration does not require verification. Verifying that a patent is essential to a particular standard is a complex task requiring significant time from experts in the field.

Governing Bodies

International telecommunications union (itu).

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is the global organization responsible for the worldwide standardization of telecommunications. The ITU Radiocommunication Sector has responsibility for governing the worldwide use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbit resources to make certain this spectrum is used effectively.

The ITU-R has defined three main types of uses of 5G technology in its document “Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond”,

  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): much faster data speeds and capacity allowing for fixed wireless internet access (direct wireless transmission from a cell tower or small cell to home) and increased connection speeds for mobile
  • Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC): benefits to areas such as IoT, remote surgery, and autonomous/connected vehicles through real-time control, safer transport networks, and low latency communications
  • Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC): benefits to IoT, allowing connection to billions of devices.

European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)

ETSI is the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, a non-profit standard-setting organization (SSO) tasked by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) with setting 5G technology standards.

ETSI invests significant sums of money and resources in the preparation, adoption, and application of standards. In addition, ETSI takes fair and reasonable measures to ensure that the essential patents that hold technologies with standards and technical specifications are available for potential and interested parties in accordance with fair and reasonable terms.

The first 5G-related specifications were kicked off by the 3G Partnership Project (3GPP) in March 2016 to develop New Radio Technology to meet the ITU-R 5G requirements. These specifications were released by 3GPP. ETSI has been responsible for developing these and more than 500 additional specifications related to New Radio Technology.

Between then and December 31, 2019, more than 500 specifications related to 5G technology have been introduced by the standard body.

Developing this technology requires significant R&D investment which, in addition to a cost, is a significant risk. These and future companies who contribute to 5G depend on two things to recoup their investment: royalties from standard essential patents and successful commercialization of their technology. Both of these are directly tied to standards.

Standards organizations require members to disclose patents that may be considered essential and grant licenses to their patents and pending patent applications. Licensing activities should follow the obligation of F/RAND which stands for to be on terms that are fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory.

The Role of Standards in Innovation

Standards benefit businesses, policymakers, and society in general.

  • They promote innovation in the market through rewarding R&D
  • Help to commercialize the technology and bring products to market faster
  • Ensure and define interoperability and interchangeability which gives manufacturers and consumers more choice
  • Encourage improvement and competition in the market
  • Help protect consumer safety

They balance cooperation and competition among innovative companies such that the net benefit is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

Manufacturers who implement standardized technology get an even playing field – a blueprint from which they can all build at a predictable cost. This encourages more companies to participate in a market and innovate around the core technology.

Standards provide the ground rules for different devices, systems, and processes to work together. Interoperable and interchangeable products give consumers more choice and that encourages market pressure towards better, safer, and cheaper products.

Finally, standards provide policymakers with well-documented baselines and rules for implementation which helps them to understand the implications of new technology and take action to protect consumer, business, societal interests .

Problems with Standards

Standards are meant to incentivize and reward the technology creators while making that technology widely available to the manufacturers who implement and sell products.

When the implementers and SEP holders negotiate licensing terms, the process of determining royalty rates and essentiality is fraught with disputes and challenges. The reality today is that determining royalty rate or royalty share involves significant time, effort, and resources.

In theory, these problems can be greatly mitigated by understanding the landscape of SEP-declared patents. In practice, however, correctly determining essentiality requires significant time and effort. Even then, determining how to calculate royalties and interpret SEPs in an accurate and transparent way is difficult and reasonable people can disagree.

While we’ve attempted to give an overview of the issues here, but by no means capture the full breadth, depth, and nuance of each of these issues. These topics are the subject of many on-going discussions and deserve healthy debate. The issue that this series of reports will focus on is understanding the landscape of SEP patents and essentiality.

Why all the Confusion?

Theoretically, clear and defined licensing rates make the system more efficient because innovators and manufacturers alike don’t need to negotiate or litigate again and again over cost and access to the standardized technology. In practice, this isn’t happening.

To understand why we need to take a closer look at the process of declaring SEPs and the system of incentives built around them. First, SEPs are self-declared and SEP holders are required to declare all patents that might be essential or risk loss of enforceability later on.

Royalty share is calculated based on how many SEPs you own relative to the total pool. So there’s a natural incentive to increase your share by having more of your patents considered SEP or reducing the number of SEPs that others have.

In addition, SEP holders are required to declare all patents that might be essential or risk loss of enforceability later on.

As a result, there is a strong incentive – even pressure – to over-declare patents as SEPs now and then dispute them later.

Determining Essentiality

And this is the root of the problem. Those disputes revolve around determining the essentiality of the patents. This is, effectively, a hidden tax on innovation.

Determining essentiality is opaque. The unknowns create drive-up costs and slow down decision-making. Litigation costs aside, it’s expensive just to determine essentiality. Matching patents to standards is tedious manual labor that requires advanced technical knowledge.

Essentiality requires two kinds of evaluation: technical and legal. Legal analysis is a subjective assessment that requires claim interpretation, which is a matter of law, and practically never carried out until a dispute arises.

Technical analysis, on the other hand, is a pre-requisite for legal analysis and requires a lot of time from a technical expert.

These problems are compounded by the sheer number of patents involved. And 5G is growing much faster than 4G did over a comparable timeframe. More patents do not necessarily mean better patents but it does mean more confusion and less transparency.

This report seeks to address those problems by answering the question of technical relevance.

The State of Declared 5G Patents

According to ETSI, 18,887 patent families were declared as SEP as of November 26, 2019. On further analysis, we found 10,763 patent families had at least one alive granted patent as of June 30, 2020. These 10,763 patent families were the base of our essentiality check analysis.

Granted vs Pending SEPs

Top companies leading in declared 5G Patents

Companies with most 5G Patents

While we don’t yet have a complete picture of what products and markets will emerge, we do know who the main players are in developing this technology. To determine this, we took the 18,887 patents declared to ETSI and limited that to families that included at least one alive and granted patent as of November 26, 2019.

The largest six companies still have the majority of patent families: 65% of the declared standard essential patent families. The remaining 35% are held by approximately 70 entities.

Huawei is leading with the most declared 5G patents i.e. 3007 patent families followed by Samsung and LG with 2317 and 2147 patent families respectively. Nokia is following LG and secured the 4th position with 2047 patent families, while Ericsson and Qualcomm have 5th and 6th place.

Earlier, Ericsson had the 4th spot while Nokia was at last. Considering the recent update, Nokia seems to have declared more core 5G SEPs than Ericsson and Qualcomm.

declared SEPs vs 5G SEPs

While examining the data we found that many patents were declared not only to 5G standards but also to previous standards as well. It is perhaps not surprising to note that companies with more published applications also have a greater number of 5G-only declarations.

First 5 Years of SEP Declarations – 4G compared to 5G

Timeline - 4G vs 5G declaration

New Findings on Essentiality

Ratio of total core seps vs. non-core seps.

  • 18,887 Patent Families declared to ETSI as of November 26, 2019
  • 10,763 of these 18,887 families with a granted, alive patent as of June 30, 2020
  • 2,893 of these 10,763 families determined as core essential SEPs

Ownership breakdown of reviewed core SEPs

Distribution of core seps with live granted patent families, new findings on essentiality (core), essentiality ratio of top companies’ core seps, who is this report for.

Anyone who owns or has played a hand in creating the technology covered by these standards.

Implementers who seek to commercialize this technology and need to license on SEPs.

Policymakers who seek to protect today’s innovations while encouraging tomorrow’s.

Legal professionals, judges, and courts, who need evidence of essentiality and a clear methodology to help them resolve licensing disputes.

Increasing Data Transparency

Specifically, the SEP system is plagued by a classic tragedy of the commons which can be solved by clear and ready access to information. Ideally, innovators would get well-deserved royalties for their contributions without diverting significant time, effort, and resources away from R&D towards essentiality research and disputes.

To the extent possible, we hope to encourage more objective measures that can facilitate better subjective decision-making for all parties – policymakers, innovators, manufacturers, judges, and jurors. Determining essentiality is, ultimately, subjective and vulnerable to human error. By centralizing the technical evaluation 80% of the work can be done upfront, leaving stakeholders to focus their time and effort on the remaining 20%.

So. Amplified teamed up with GreyB to create a free and open resource for understanding the patents related to 5G. We will consider our work to be a living document and invite comments and criticism from all interested parties.

Problems and Pitfalls

Reviewing historical work done in this field we’ve identified the following pitfalls which we seek to avoid:

  • Extrapolating conclusions are done from a small sample size
  • Using proxies from 4G and projecting those onto 5G
  • Taking declared numbers at face-value
  • Implicitly framing all patents as equal by focusing on patent quantity only without accounting for quality

The complex nature of patent data analysis simply makes it impossible to address these issues completely so unfortunately, it may be impossible to avoid all of these in their entirety. However, it is our goal to create a reliable report and therefore we believe it is critical to acknowledge and account for them transparently and to the best of our ability. Our methodology is detailed in the appendix and we invite corrections, additions, criticism, and contributions.


Data selection criteria.

The data coverage was determined by selecting patents from the ETSI website 5G declaration list November 2019 version. This covers any patent or patent application declared to the ETSI 5G standard. There is a lag between the release date of our report and the data covered due to the time-consuming nature of the manual review process.

Data Processing and Essentiality Analysis

  • All patents declared to relevant 5G specifications and projects were selected resulting in 87,771 individual patent documents (granted patents, published patent applications, and non-public patent applications)
  • Approximately 2,500 of these are non-public patent documents, unavailable for inspection, and were removed
  • The remaining patent documents were grouped into 18,887 patent families declared as of November 26, 2019
  • 10,763 of the 18,887 patent families had at least one granted, alive patent in their family as of June 30, 2020. These were the families analyzed in this report.
  • To understand the patents, the claims and related embodiments for each of the 10,763 patent families granted patents as well as the correspondence history and documentation at the relevant patent office were reviewed.
  • Essentiality was determined for each patent family by checking any specifications declared to be relevant by the patent holder to the SEP and recorded as “Core SEP” or not.
  • We extracted more than 700 technical specifications and technical reports related to 5G technology from the 3GPP Portal, which were available as of August 31, 2020. To access the current uploaded specifications, go to 3GPP Portal, click Specifications Tab, select the checkbox 5G, and hit search, it will provide a list of all the specifications related to 5G as per 3GPP.
  • Specific sections of these specifications and reports were compared to the patent claims to understand the overlap of the sections. If partial, or no, the overlap was found, we then broadened our comparison to the full group of all other specifications and repeated the overlap comparison process.
  • Specifications that were not tagged as 5G according to the 3gpp portal data have not been considered.

About the authors:  Muzammil Hassan – Manager at GreyB,  Aman Kumar – Team Lead at GreyB,  Matt Luby – Head of Solutions at Amplified IAM Top 300

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My three disruptive technology US Patents are for sale US 8,082,825; US 8336432 and US 10,684,601 which is 5G IoT and is expected to greatly improve worker safety on a global scale.

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which company is working on small chip that will be installed in 5 G phones

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Interesting read! It’s great to see a detailed analysis of 5G SEPs and their ownership. As a reader, I find it fascinating to understand the patent landscape for this technology, especially with its increasing importance in the industry. Looking forward to more insights on this topic!

[…] Who Owns Core 5G Patents [Article] […]

[…] Samsung is already one of the best players of smartphones and even it’s one of the top 6 six companies with most declared 5g patents.  […]

[…] Huawei se ha ubicado como líder en el despliegue de redes 5G, al contar con casi 100 contratos con operadores de telecomunicaciones alrededor del mundo y tener el mayor número de patentes (13,474) para 5G (GreyB). […]

[…] patent families—groups of the same or similar patents filed in different nations, according to GreyB, an intellectual property research […]

[…] according to data from the intellectual property research organization GreyB, Huawei has 3,007 declared 5G patent families and over 130,000 5G active patents worldwide, making the Chinese […]

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report on 5g technology

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report on 5g technology

5G doesn’t affect your health – here are 5 points to put your mind at ease

report on 5g technology

Profesor de Radiología y Medicina Física en la Facultad de Medicina de Albacete. Coordinador de la Unidad de Cultura Científica y de la Innovación (UCLMdivulga), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Disclosure statement

Alberto Nájera López received funding from the Colegio de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación (Association of Telecommunications Engineers) in order to compile the report cited in this article.

Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha provides funding as a member of The Conversation ES.

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Right now, you are reading these lines on the screen of a mobile phone, tablet, or computer. For decades now, our access to huge amounts of information and instant communication has depended on antennas and transmitters that bathe our surroundings in radiation – specifically, in non-ionising electromagnetic radiation.

However, many people are concerned that this poses a health risk – you have doubtless heard that it is better to turn off your mobile phone or wifi while you sleep, that living near a cell tower can cause cancer, or that some people are especially sensitive to the radiation they emit.

Such feelings of fear or trepidation are a normal response to things we know are there but cannot see or feel in any way. For this reason, Spain’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Radio Frequencies and Health (CCARS, by its Spanish acronym) regularly publishes comprehensive reviews of all available scientific evidence on these types of radiation. By doing so, we aim to guarantee that this technology is safe for all of us.

CCARS has published seven reports since 2008. Here, we are going to look at the findings from our most recent report , published last year.

25 years reviewing the evidence

Since 1999, CCARS, a committee made up of independent scientists, has been responsible for reviewing the available evidence on cell tower radiation. Every 2 to 3 years, they have published reports to address questions of how we can exist safely and securely alongside our mobile and wireless devices.

Each generation of new phone technology has led to fresh doubts, meaning this debate is being continually reopened and reassessed, and the most recent development, 5G, has been no exception. Since its roll-out coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, it was accompanied by all manner of conspiracies and falsehoods, notably that it was causing or spreading the pandemic , and that vaccines contained computer chips that would allow us to be controlled from a distance via 5G technology.

Read more: Four experts investigate how the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory began

The committee reviewed all the evidence published in scientific journals between 2020 and 2022. This is normal and positive in science, where changes in knowledge can modify previously established understandings. This is why we must systematically and periodically review all new information, and remain vigilant of any changes.

Avoiding confirmation bias

When it comes to studying the possible effects of this type of radiation on human health, we have to address a number of different areas and issues.

First, we have to be absolutely sure that radiation levels are below the limits set out by international bodies, such as the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), or the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Various studies have confirmed that, even with the relatively recent 5G network roll-out, exposure levels are within safe limits, but we still have to analyse laboratory research that explores its possible effects on the human body.

We have also looked for evidence of any possible link between new wireless technologies and epidemiological series, at the population level. If we were to detect an increase in a particular illness that coincided with the launch of this new technology, that would be cause for concern.

Another important element that we have to look at is the perception of risk: How does the population perceive 5G antennas, or the more general spread of these new technologies?

Reviewing scientific information has to be objective, and we cannot simply “cherry pick” the studies that say what we want them to say. This confirmation bias must be avoided at all costs, and scientists follow comprehensive steps to minimise it as much as possible.

For this reason, our latest study has partially followed a methodology known as systematic review in order to search for information. Specifically, we followed the PRISMA guidelines, an internationally recognised standard that any researcher can apply to a literature review.

5 points to put your mind at ease

From our review of over 200 scientific articles, we have extracted five key points of reassurance:

None of the articles suggested a possible link between cancer and exposure to these types of radiation at typical levels.

There was no evidence that the hypersensitivity some people claim to suffer from – even with apparently objective symptoms – is related to these types of radiation. In fact, this can be explained by the nocebo effect, where people suffer symptoms solely because they expect to get sick.

There is no clear evidence of any impact on male fertility.

There are no conclusive studies showing a link between these types of radiation and fetus development, or later child development.

We found no evidence that suggests a link between exposure to phone or wifi radiation and negative effects on sleep, or that they cause headaches. These are very subjective symptoms that can result from various intersecting factors – including the very fact of worrying about the effects of radiation.

Read more: Six surprising things about placebos everyone should know

Our findings match those of other international reports , which have also found no relationship between these types of radiation and human health.

Additionally, despite the now widespread deployment of 5G technology, overall radiation levels have not significantly increased, at least at present.

Cause for calm

Studies carried out in tightly controlled, extremely specific laboratory conditions can produce contradictory results, or may even show beneficial effects. The results of these kinds of studies can sometimes appear quite alarming.

There is therefore debate around whether such studies are useful: they represent conditions so far removed from our day to day lives that they mean very little to the general population.

Risk perception is influenced by a number of subjective and psychological factors, including gender and levels of academic study. Understanding this information can help us to design communication strategies that are rooted in scientific evidence.

This most recent CCARS report firmly backs up previous ones, and allows us to share a message of calm: under normal conditions, there is no evidence that electromagnetic non-ionising radiation has an effect of any kind on human health.

This article was originally published in Spanish

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Germany in deal to cut Huawei's role in 5G wireless network, sources say

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