WELCOME TO OUR FIRST 5G HANDBOOK
5G is more than another wireless technology. It’s changed the radio, the access network, the spectrum, and the network core. It might even change our lives.
That’s why EE World created 5G Technology World. We cover 5G technologies on engineering terms. The site launched in January 2020, just as COVID-19 emerged. Since then, we’ve grown into a resource you can trust for solid technical information relating to most aspects of 5G.
Why most? Because we hear much about how 5G covers computing, software, IT issues, and business applications. That’s not us. People who work higher up the protocol stack assume that the technology below it works perfectly all the time. We don’t.
The articles in this ebook cover a wide range of 5G topics. We look at the practical issues of radio and network design and test.
From the wireless perspective, “How to improve 5G coverage and capacity” looks at how engineers can overcome signal limitations imposed by mmWave signals on the user side. Available bandwidth limits capacity. That’s where dynamic spectrum sharing helps, explained in “DSS lets 5G and LTE share spectrum.”
When it comes to base stations, “The challenges of building a 5G base station” covers the physical layer of 5G radios. That layer includes the radio’s DSP, often called the higher physical layer.
Two articles in this handbook cover timing, which gained importance in 5G. “Meet timing requirements in 5G networks” addresses RF timing, which must be stable enough to meet network time error requirements. “How timing sources synchronize open RAN networks” explains that because timedivision duplex (TDD) depends on an understanding of timing, the network uses IEEE 1588 Precision Timing Protocol to synchronize transmitted and received signals. While timebased synchronization is becoming more common in the network, frequencybased synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) is also critical to system synchronization.
In Open RAN, some functions need not reside at the tower. They can reside elsewhere. That’s the functional-split concept. “Functional Splits, the foundation of an Open 5G RAN” explains the tradeoffs in locating functions in different locations. “Open RAN functional splits, explained.” And article not found in the handbook but available on 5G Technology World and EE World, continues the discussion. “Deploying and maintaining an Open RAN network” takes you through the components of Open RAN.
Base-station electronics use power, generate heat, and add weight to towers. “Size, weight, power, and heat affect 5G base station designs” takes you into the radio, stressing why these issues pose new design challenges with 5G.
IoT devices are coming to 5G and they need antennas. “5 tips for designing with embedded antennas” shows you how to connect and position antennas in your device. 5G’s wireless technology differs from that of 4G and “IoT: How 5G differs from LTE” explains those differences.
Remember that those who work at the upper protocol layers assume everything below works perfectly. To assure that, engineers need to test components, subsystems, systems, and networks. Devices that use mmWave signals require over-the-air testing, as “Why 5G needs over-the-air testing” explains. The 5G New Radio must comply with industry standards, covered in “5G radios increase emphasis on compliance testing.” Finally, “Simulate, test, and verify to solve 5G RF design Problems” brings the mmWave design cycle together.
You can read these articles, plus others, at 5gtechnologyworld.com and eeworldonline.com. We always welcome contributed technical articles. Contact me at mrowe@ wtwhmedia.com. Let’s talk.