5G: looking for the next generation wireless infrastructure: Page 2 of 3

February 12, 2015 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Today, there is no 5G, no standards. However, there is an idea of where the next generation wireless network would like to be in terms of performance. So called 5G networks will offer at least ten times the capacity of 4G bringing peak data rates to the device of between 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps
One area where 5G is beginning to take shape is in test and measurement. National Instruments are involved in a number of projects looking at 5G. 5G covers a multitude of emerging technologies along with extreme bandwidth and data rate requirements. These include advances in HetNet architectures, air interfaces that deploy 3D MIMO or massive MIMO, new modulation schemes and possibly the use of higher frequencies such as mmWave. Some possible modulation schemes for 5G include GFDM, Generalised Frequency Division Multiplexing, FBMC, Filter Bank Multi-Carrier, and UFMC, Universal Filtered Multi Carrier amongst others.

The point being that there is a lot of potential technology that could eventually make up the outlines of a 5G standard. However, to get there, researchers need to be able to test their prototypes. National Instruments is heavily involved in providing test systems so researchers can explore emerging wireless technology.

For example, the company is Nokia to collaborate on advanced research related to 5G, such as exploring peak data rates and cell-edge rates in excess of 10 Gbps and 100 Mbps, respectively. Nokia plans to demonstrate the viability of high-frequency millimeter wave as an option for 5G-radio-access. An experimental 5G proof-of-concept system will be implemented using LabVIEW and PXI baseband modules from National Instruments — to provide a state-of-art experimental system for rapid prototyping of the 5G-air-interface.

Separately, the PXI Express platform based on LabVIEW has been configured to perform all the signal processing, synchronization, control functionality, and I/O necessary to implement the wireless protocols required to meet 5G requirements. When configured appropriately, the modular nature of these platforms provides the flexibility needed to achieve the 10 Gbps, per user target data rate for 5G cellular access technology, and orders of magnitude higher for mmWave backhaul needs. A large-scale European project researching wireless communications, miWaves, uses a similar setup. The miWaveS project is focused on the V-band (57‒66 GHz) and the E band (71‒76 GHz, 81‒86 GHz). The project started in January 2014 and will terminate in December 2016.

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