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The communications technology journal since 1924 2014 • 6
5G radio access
June 18, 2014
5G radio access
Each generation of mobile communication, from the first-generation introduced in the
1980s to the 4G networks launched in recent years, has had a significant impact on
the way people and businesses operate. The next generation – 5G – is a technology
solution for 2020 and beyond that will give users – anyone or anything – access to
information and the ability to share data anywhere, anytime.
As was the case for 3G and 4G, provi-
sioning higher data rates will continue
to be a key driver in network develop-
ment and evolution. For some specific
environments, such as indoor offices
and campus-like locations, next-gener-
ationwireless-accessnetworkswillneed
to support data rates around 10Gbps.
Forurbanandsuburbanenvironments,
ratesover100Mbpsshouldbegenerally
available, and several Mbps should be
the baseline essentially everywhere
else – including distant rural and deep
indoorenvironments.
Demands for greater capacity and
higher data rates are just two of the
many factors influencing the evolution
of wireless access technologies. The
impact of other aspects (Figure 1) like
energy consumption, device cost, spec-
trum and latency will be fundamental
tothesuccessoffuturenetworks.
Builtonavisionofmassivemachine-
type connectivity, with tens of billions
of low-cost connected devices and sen-
sors deployed, the Networked Society
requires the mass-availability of truly
low-costdevices.Thesedevicesnotonly
need to be affordable, they also need to
be able to operate on battery for several
yearswithoutneedingtobere-charged
– implying strict requirements for low
energyconsumption.
Full support for mission-criti-
cal machine-type applications will
require ultra-reliable connectiv-
ity with guaranteed availability and
reliability-of-service.
Although the level of access latency
offered by LTE is sufficient for most
mobile-broadband applications, it may
however, not be enough for latency-­
critical applications such as traf-
fic safety, infrastructure protection,
or some of the emerging industrial
So, in comparison with the wireless
networks of today, next generation sys-
temswillneedtosupportamuchwider
range of use-case characteristics and
adhere to a much more complex range
ofaccessrequirements.
Next-generationmobilecommunica-
tionsystemswillbecomecommercially
available sometime around 2020. To
makethispossible,asignificantamount
ofresearchisongoingallovertheglobe
–METIS1
isagoodexample.
The main challenges and many key
technology components of 5G radio-
accesshavealreadybeenidentified,but
research activities will continue for a
few more years before standardization
andcommercializationbegins.
Based on extrapolations of different
predictions2,3
, it is possible to conclude
that beyond 2020, wireless communi-
cation systems will support more than
1,000 times today’s traffic volume. And
sobythetimecommercializationstarts,
traffic demands will have increased
significantly. If wireless networks are
going to carry this traffic load in an
affordable and sustainable way, cost
and energy consumption per bit need
toberadicallylowerthantheyaretoday.
ERIK DAHLMAN, GUNNAR MILDH, STEFAN PARKVALL, JANNE PEISA, JOACHIM SACHS AND YNGVE SELÉN
BOX A  Terms and abbreviations
D2D	 device-to-device
METIS	 Mobile and wireless 	
	 communications Enablers 	
	 for		Twenty-twenty (2020) 	
	 Information Society
MIMO 	multiple-input,
	multiple-output
mmW	 millimeter wave
MTC	 machine-type 		
	 communication
NFV	 Network Functions 		
	Virtualization
OFDM	 orthogonal frequency 	
	 division multiplexing
RAT	 radio-access technology
RF	 radio frequency
SDN	 software-defined 	 	
	networking
TDD	 time division duplex
WRC	 World Radiocommunication 	
	Conference
Mobile communication has
evolved significantly from
early voice systems to today’s
highly sophisticated integrated
communication platforms that
provide numerous services, and
support countless applications
used by billions of people around
the world.
The rapid growth of mobile communi-
cation and equally massive advances
in technology are moving technology
evolution and the world toward a fully
connected networked society – where
access to information and data shar-
ing are possible anywhere, anytime,
by anyone or anything. And yet despite
thegreatstridesthathavealreadybeen
made,thejourneyhasjustbegun.
Future wireless access will extend
beyond people, to support connectiv-
ity for anything that may benefit from
beingconnected.Avastlydiverserange
ofthingscanbeconnected,everything
from household appliances, to medical
equipment, individual belongings, and
everything in between. To manage all
theseconnectedthings,awiderangeof
newfunctionswillbeneeded.
Integrating generations
2
ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
Integrating generations
internet applications. To ensure sup-
port for this kind of mission-critical
machine-type connectivity, next-gen-
eration wireless access should support
latenciesaround1ms.
In short, at any given time next-­
generation networks will be able to
supportsomeorallofthefollowingfea-
tures: ultra-high data rates, extremely
low latency, massive numbers of con-
nected devices, very high volumes of
datatransfer,lowcostdevices,ultra-low
energyconsumption,andexceptionally
highreliability.
Implementing5G
Of all of the aspects influencing how
5Gnetworkswillmanagetheexpected
traffic increases, additional spectrum
for mobile wireless communication is
oneofthemostcritical.The2015World
Radiocommunication Conference
(WRC-15)4
will focus on the allocation
of additional spectrum below 6.5GHz
forusebymobilecommunication.
However, to fulfill long-term traf-
fic demands, and perhaps even more
important, to enable the very wide
transmission bandwidths needed to
provide multi-Gbps data rates effi-
ciently, the range of operation for next-
generation wireless access needs to be
extendedintohigherfrequenciesabove
10GHz–anagendaitemforWRC-19.
The entire spectrum from 10GHz up
to 100GHz – which is well into the mil-
limeter wave (mmW) range – is being
consideredforuseby5Gmobilecommu-
nicationsystems.Assuch,anyresearch
andconceptdevelopmentcarriedoutin
relation to 5G wireless access will need
to cater for the entire spectrum: from
below 1GHz up to and including mmW
frequencybands.
Using one radio-interface structure
toaddresssuchawiderangeoffrequen-
cies is probably not the best approach.
As illustrated in Figure 2, propaga-
tion characteristics, implementa-
tion aspects, and compatibility issues
(required for certain frequency bands)
change with frequency, and as such
the overall 5G wireless-access solution
willmostlikelyconsistofmultiplewell-­
integratedradio-interfacesolutions.
Up to a certain frequency range, the
radio interface can be built using the
same design principles adopted by cur-
rent cellular technologies, including
support for full-area coverage and rely-
ing on, for example, high-performance
RF technology. An OFDM-based trans-
mission technology will still be a good
baseline in these cases, although the
detailed numerology will probably
need to be adjusted to match frequen-
ciesabove10GHz.
However,forhigherfrequencybands
– a few tens of GHz and above – propa-
gation characteristics and implemen-
tation aspects speak in favor of a more
simplifiedradio-interfacestructuretar-
geting short-range communication for
ultra-dense deployments. This simpli-
fication relaxes the requirements on
equipment such as RF parts, however,
applying OFDM-based transmission
technology may not be the best choice
forthisfrequencyrange.
Bythetimenext-generationwireless
access reaches the market, LTE will be
heavily deployed in licensed spectrum
below 6.5GHz. To introduce wide-area
5G capabilities smoothly, retaining
compatibility with LTE for these fre-
quency bands is highly desirable, as it
supports coexistence with existing leg-
acyLTEdevices.
Technicalsolutions
Advancedantennasolutions
If future network generations are to
meet the envisioned requirements in
terms of traffic capacity and achiev-
abledatarates,severaltechnologycom-
ponents need to be in place. Advanced
antenna solutions with multiple
antenna elements, including beam-
forming and spatial multiplexing, are
just some examples of the technologies
that can be used to achieve high data
ratesandgreatercapacity.
Beamforming, which focuses radio
transmission from multiple antenna
elementsusingnarrowbeams,reduces
interference and improves overall sys-
tem performance. Spatial multiplex-
ing exploits propagation properties to
providemultipledatastreamstooneor
more terminals simultaneously. These
techniques are already integral parts
of LTE but their full potential remains
to be unleashed, and they are set
Reliability
Battery
lifetime
Reduced
device cost
Seamless
mobility
Data
rates
High traffic
capacity
Sustainability Network flexibility
and scalability
Spectrum and
backward flexibility
Massive number
of devices
Reduced
latency
Security and
privacy
Mission-criticalmachin
e-type communication
Extended
m
obile broadband
M
as
sive
m
achine-typecommunication
FIGURE 1  5G use cases and main corresponding challenges
3
ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
or less static split between uplink and
downlink has been used to exploit
unpairedspectrumformobilecommu-
nication. However, flexible duplex, in
whichspectrumresourcesaredynami-
cally assigned to downlink and uplink,
enablestransmissionuptothefullband-
widthtobeusedmomentarilyineither
direction and is a better fit for dynamic
trafficconditions.Flexibleduplexispar-
ticularly suitable for small-cell deploy-
ments in which terminal and network
transmission power are similar, and
strict isolation of the uplink and down-
linkacrosscellbordersislessimportant.
Full-duplexcommunicationwithsimul-
taneoustransmissionandreceptionon
the same carrier can also be applied if
appropriate interference-cancellation
techniquesareavailable.
Lowlatency
Latency over the radio link can be low-
ered by reducing transmission-time
intervals and spreading data over fre-
quency rather than time. To comple-
mentthisapproach,theradiointerface
should be designed for fast data detec-
tion at the receiver. To avoid a sched-
uling request-grant phase prior to data
transmission, the medium-access con-
trol should allow for immediate access,
which can be achieved by providing
instant-access resource allocations
dimensioned so that collision risks can
beminimized.
For some use cases, such as emer-
gency services, low-latency communi-
cationisrequiredbetweendevicesthat
are in close proximity to each other. In
thiscaseadirectdevice-to-device(D2D)
communication link may further
reducethelatency.
Emerging use cases, like mission-
critical machine-type communication
(MTC), can require a guaranteed low
latency at an extremely high level of
reliability. One way to meet such strin-
gent requirements is to maintain mul-
tipleconnectivitylinks.
Convergenceofaccessandbackhaul
Providinghigh-capacitybackhaultoall
network nodes is challenging, particu-
larly in dense deployments. One attrac-
tive alternative to deploying optical
fibersiswirelessbackhaul,particularly
at higher frequency bands where more
spectrum is available. In combination
to play an even bigger role in future
systems.
At higher frequency bands, where
networks are yet to be deployed, propa-
gationconditionsaremorechallenging
than what is routinely observed today.
Higher diffraction loss and outdoor-
to-indoor losses lead to link budgets
that are challenging to meet. The out-
put power of equipment, particularly
mobile terminals, may for regulatory
reasons be more limited at higher fre-
quency bands. As such, these bands are
best suited for dense network deploy-
ments in highly populated areas such
as city centers, airports, train stations,
shopping malls and indoor offices.
Extensive use of beamforming (in par-
ticular at the base station) as a tool to
improvelinkbudgetsisanessentialpart
ofwireless-accessnetworksoperatingat
veryhighfrequencies.
The errors from a large number of
RFchainstendtocanceleachotherout.
As such, advanced antenna solutions
that include a substantial number of
antenna elements (commonly referred
to as massive MIMO) can be used to
reduce the impact of RF imperfections
and control the way interference is dis-
tributedinanetwork.
Ultra-leandesign
Current cellular systems transmit ref-
erence signals and broadcast system
information on a continuous – always-
on – basis. As networks become denser
and include more and more nodes,
suchhighlevelsoftransmissionarenot
desirable, as this not only increases the
amountofinterference,italsoincreases
energyconsumption.
Cuttingalways-ontransmissionstoa
bareminimum,sothatcommunication
only occurs when there is user data
to deliver, allows the transmitter to
dynamically – on a millisecond basis
– switch off and be silent. Such ultra-
lean transmission results in enhanced
network energy efficiency and higher
achievable user data rate rates due to
reduced interference levels. Ultra-lean
is a key design principle and a criti-
cal enabler for highly dense local-area
deployments,withoutwhichuserexpe-
rience would be interference-limited
even at low-to-medium traffic loads. In
a heterogeneous deployment, system
information can be broadcast from
the overlaid nodes, which enables the
underlying nodes to benefit from ultra-
leantransmission.
Spectrumflexibility
Traditionally, cellular systems have
been deployed exclusively in licensed
spectrum. The licensing approach cur-
rentlyplays–andwillcontinuetodoso
inthefuture–animportantroleincon-
trolling interference and guaranteeing
coverage.However,especiallyathigher
frequencybands,futuresystemsshould
support a higher degree of spectrum
flexibility. Unlicensed spectrum, for
example, can be used to boost capacity,
preferablyincombinationwithlicensed
spectrum for critical control signaling
and mobility handling. Flexibility can
also be improved through for example
authorized-shared access, in which the
cellular system can access additional
spectrum otherwise apportioned for
usebyother(non-telecom)services.
Usingunpairedspectrumallocations
islikelytobemorecommonwhenlarge
amounts of contiguous spectrum are
needed–especiallyathigherfrequency
bands. Traditionally, TDD with a more
3GHz 10GHz 30GHz 100GHz
5G (cellular) access
(high performance, wider-area coverage)
LTE compatibility
5G (mmW) access
(lower-complexity design, short-range)
FIGURE 2  5G wireless access in relation to spectrum
Integrating generations
4
ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
Integrating generations
with extensive beamforming and low-
latency transmission the additional
spectrummakesthisapproachviable.
Traditionally, there has been a fun-
damental division between access and
backhaul links of spectrum resources.
In future systems, the divide should
partly diminish, and overall design
should no longer need to make a major
distinction between the two. Wireless
connectivity between radio-network
nodes and the rest of the network sim-
plifiesdeployment–especiallyindense
deployments that have large numbers
ofnodes.
In a converged scenario, the same
wireless-access technology can be used
for both the access and the backhaul
link,makingmoreefficientuseofspec-
trum resources as they can be shared
dynamically. Using the same wireless
access technology also means that the
same operation and maintenance sys-
temscanbeusedforbothlinks.
Billionsofconnecteddevices
In the transition to the Networked
Society, a massive number of devices
will be connected to networks. These
devices are characterized by their sim-
plicity, the fact that they transmit very
small amounts of data from time to
time, and will often be embedded into
the fabric of the environment. They
will tend to be built using lightweight
radio-module designs and use commu-
nication modes that are streamlined to
match their relaxed communication
requirements. Such devices are able
to operate for years on a single battery
charge and low cost connectivity is a
keyenabler.
The aim is zero-overhead communi-
cation,whichcanbeachievedbysimpli-
fyingconnectivitystatesandproviding
channelaccesswithminimalsignaling.
Allowing devices to sleep – switch off
their radio circuitry – at every oppor-
tunityminimizesenergyconsumption
andleadstolongerbatterylifetimes.
These small devices can be located
anywhere from inside a refrigerator
in an urban city center to remote loca-
tions with challenging RF conditions
andseverepathloss.Toprovideconnec-
tivityatthelowratestypicallyrequired,
optionaltransmissionmodesshouldbe
used with control channels that pro-
videtherequiredrobustnessefficiently.
Communication for machine-type
devices will typically take place at fre-
quency bands below 3GHz and often
even below 1GHz, where a large num-
ber of deployed cellular-communica-
tion legacy systems will operate for
some time to come. Therefore, spec-
trum-compatible radio design is highly
important to ensure the best coex-
istence possible with legacy wireless-
accesstechnologies.
Overallarchitecture
The high-level 5G architecture, includ-
ingradio-accessandcommon-corefunc-
tionality(tosupportfixed,5G,aswellas
wellaslegacyradioaccess)isillustrated
in Figure 3. The architecture is sup-
ported by common 5G network-man-
agementandtransportfunctionality.
The key architecture challenge here
isintegratingthedifferent5GRATsand
associatedtechnologiestoprovide:
userswitheffortlessandseamless
mobilityastheytransitionfromoneRAT
toanother;and
operatorswithasingleandintegrated
accessnetworkcharacterizedbyhigh
resourceefficiency(pooledradioand
networkresources)andexcellentuser
performance(accessaggregationwhen
applicable).
The integrated access-network
approach is important for efficient
operation and management, reducing
opex and providing simple migration
pathstoincreasenetworkperformance.
Efficient integration of 5G RATs is
rooted in multi-connectivity solutions,
where terminals are connected to sev-
eral5GRATsorfrequencybandssimul-
taneously. Multiple connectivity not
only supports simultaneous data trans-
missionandreception,italsoservesasa
quickfailovermethodwhenconnection
toonelayerislost.
Thekeyarchitecturechallengesfora
common5Gcorenetworkare:
theabilitytoaddressnew5Gusecases
thatarenotcurrentlyaddressedby
cellularnetworks–suchascritical
machine-typecommunicationsand
ultra-lowlatencyapplications;and
providingsupportforoptimizationof
existingusecases–suchasmedia
distribution,indoornetworks,and
machine-typecommunication.
Supporting these different use cases
will probably lead to an increased need
forflexibilityinhownetworkfunctions
and service-layer enablers are deployed
andoperatedinthenetwork.
For example, in some scenarios it
might be necessary to deploy core net-
workandservice-layerfunctionscloser
to the radio access to provide excellent
end-to-end latency performance and
support local communication among
usersatthesamesite.
In another scenario, parts of the net-
work are be shared with other opera-
tors,anenterpriseoreventhesiteowner
– these shared parts need to be inte-
grated with the rest of the operator
FIGURE 3  High-level 5G architecture
Common
management
and transport
Common 5G core functionality
Flexible deployment
of network functions
Service enablers
and optimizations
One access network
Common
functional toolbox
Utilizing NFV and SDN
5G radio access Legacy RATs Fixed access
3GHz
LTE compatible
10GHz 30GHz 100GHz
5
ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
network in a flexible and seamless
way. Network sharing generates strict
securityrequirementsthatrequiresolu-
tionstosupportseparationofnetworks
anduserstodifferentsecuritydomains.
The 5G core network will most proba-
blyutilizetheongoingevolutioninSDN
and NFV to provide a high level of flex-
ibility and scalability when supporting
different 5G deployments with a com-
montoolboxofnetworkfunctions.
The evolved 5G network should pro-
vide service enablers and optimization
functions that can bring additional
benefits for network integrated ser-
vices. Service enablers could, for exam-
ple, include mechanisms to reduce
battery consumption for MTC devices,
either by supporting reduced overhead
and longer sleep cycles or by providing
a higher degree of reliability for crit-
ical MTC communication. Other ser-
viceenablersoroptimizationfunctions
couldincludesupportformoreefficient
mediadistribution.
Summary
Nextgeneration–5G–wirelesssystems
will be commercially available around
2020, enabling the communication
needsoftheNetworkedSociety,provid-
ing access to information and sharing
of data anywhere, anytime by anyone
or anything. Different use cases for
5G systems will range from enhanced
mobile broadband to a number of new
use cases, including massive MTC and
mission-criticalMTC.Therequirements
of the different use cases span a wide
range of traditional mobile-broadband
performance metrics (such as achiev-
able data rates and traffic capacity) as
wellasnewrequirementsrelatedtoreli-
ability, support for massive numbers of
devicesandlatency.
Toaddressthiswiderangeofrequire-
ments different technology com-
ponents are needed, which include
techniques that are backward com-
patibile with LTE, as well as some more
radicaltechniques.Someofthekeycom-
ponentsincludeadvancedantennasolu-
tions, ultra-lean design, and spectrum
flexibility including the use of higher
frequencies.
Depending on the requirements on
the network deployment and on the
design of the radio interface, the radio
access can either be similar to cur-
rent cellular access (5G cellular access),
or focus more on low complexity and
short-rangedeployments(5Gmm-wave
access). To fully meet the requirements
forthe5Gsystem,bothaccesstypesare
likelytobeneeded.
The overall network architecture
should support both enhanced MBB
well as the new use cases efficiently. It
should also integrate 5G cellular and
mm-wave accesses as well as the legacy
RATs and fixed access to a single sys-
tem, and provide effortless and seam-
less mobility when transitioning from
oneRATtoanother.
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research world, our
employees have been
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ISSN: 0014-0171
Volume: 91, 2014
Integrating generations
6
ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
Integrating generations
Stefan Parkvall
is a principal researcher
at Ericsson Research,
working with research on
future radio access. He
has been a key person in the
development of HSPA, LTE and LTE-
Advanced radio access and has been
deeply involved in 3GPP
standardization for many years. He is a
senior member of the IEEE, served as
an IEEE distinguished lecturer 2011-
2012, and is co-author of the books 3G
Evolution – HSPA and LTE for Mobile
Broadband and 4G – LTE/LTE-
Advanced for Mobile Broadband. He
has numerous patents in the area of
mobile communication. In 2005, he
received the Ericsson Inventor of the
Year award and in 2009, he received
the Stora Teknikpriset, an award
handed out by the Swedish
Government, for his work on HSPA. He
received a Ph.D. in electrical
engineering from the Royal Institute of
Technology in 1996. His previous
positions include assistant professor in
communication theory at the Royal
Institute of Technology (KTH),
Stockholm, Sweden, and a visiting
researcher at University of California,
San Diego, USA.
1.	METIS, available at: https://www.metis2020.com/
2.	Ericsson, June 2014, Mobility Report, available at: http://www.ericsson.com/
mobility-report
3.	Cisco, February 2013, Cisco Visual Networking index: Global Mobile data Traffic
Forecast Update, 2013-2018, available at: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/
solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white_paper_
c11-520862.pdf
4.	World Radiocommunication Conference, 2015, available at: http://www.itu.int/
en/ITU-R/conferences/wrc/2015/Pages/default.aspx
References
Gunnar Mildh
received his M.Sc. in
electrical engineering
from the Royal Institute of
Technology (KTH),
Stockholm, Sweden, in 2000. In the
same year, he joined Ericsson
Research, and has since been working
on standardization and concept
development for GSM/EDGE, HSPA,
and LTE. His focus areas are radio
network architecture and protocols. He
is currently an expert in radio network
architecture at the Wireless Access
Network Department, Ericsson
Research.
Janne Peisa
has been working at
Ericsson in the research
and development of 3G,
4G and 5G systems since
1998. Previously, he coordinated
Ericsson’s radio-access network
standardization activities in 3GPP, and
currently leads the Ericsson Research
5G systems program. In 2001, he
received the Ericsson Inventor of the
Year award .He has authored several
publications and patents and holds
both an M.SC. and a Ph.D. from the
University of Helsinki, Finland.
Yngve Selén
joined Ericsson
Research in 2007 after
completing his Ph.D. in
signal processing at
Uppsala University in Sweden the same
year. He currently holds a master
researcher position at Ericsson and has
been involved in future radio access
and 5G research for several years, both
as active researcher and as project
manager.
Erik Dahlman
joined Ericsson
Research in 1993 and is
senior expert in the area of
radio access technologies.
He has been deeply involved in the
development and standardization of 3G
radio access technologies (WCDMA/
HSPA) as well as LTE and its evolution.
He is part of the Ericsson Research
management team working with long-
term radio access strategies. He is also
co-author of the book 3G Evolution –
HSPA and LTE for Mobile Broadband
and, together with Stefan Parkvall,
received Stora Teknikpriset in 2009 for
contributions to the standardization of
HSPA. He holds a Ph.D. from the Royal
Institute of Technology (KTH) in
Stockholm, Sweden.
Joachim Sachs
is a principal researcher
at Ericsson Research. He
joined Ericsson in 1997
and has worked on a
variety of topics in the area of wireless
communication systems. He studied
electrical engineering at Aachen
University (RWTH) in Germany,
ENSEEIHT in France, the Norwegian
University of Science and Technology
(NTNU), and the University of
Strathclyde in Scotland. He received
diploma and doctorate degrees from
Aachen University and Technical
University of Berlin respectively. In
2009 he spent a sabbatical as visiting
scholar at Stanford University, USA.
Since 1995 he has been active in the
IEEE and the German VDE Information
Technology Society (ITG), where he is
currently co-chair of the technical
committee on communication
networks and systems. In 2006, he
received the Ericsson Inventor of the
Year award, and in 2010 the research
award of the Vodafone foundation for
scientific research.
7
ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
Ericsson
SE-164 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: + 46 10 719 0000
ISSN 0014-0171
284 23-3226 | Uen
© Ericsson AB 2014

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5G radio access

  • 1. The communications technology journal since 1924 2014 • 6 5G radio access June 18, 2014
  • 2. 5G radio access Each generation of mobile communication, from the first-generation introduced in the 1980s to the 4G networks launched in recent years, has had a significant impact on the way people and businesses operate. The next generation – 5G – is a technology solution for 2020 and beyond that will give users – anyone or anything – access to information and the ability to share data anywhere, anytime. As was the case for 3G and 4G, provi- sioning higher data rates will continue to be a key driver in network develop- ment and evolution. For some specific environments, such as indoor offices and campus-like locations, next-gener- ationwireless-accessnetworkswillneed to support data rates around 10Gbps. Forurbanandsuburbanenvironments, ratesover100Mbpsshouldbegenerally available, and several Mbps should be the baseline essentially everywhere else – including distant rural and deep indoorenvironments. Demands for greater capacity and higher data rates are just two of the many factors influencing the evolution of wireless access technologies. The impact of other aspects (Figure 1) like energy consumption, device cost, spec- trum and latency will be fundamental tothesuccessoffuturenetworks. Builtonavisionofmassivemachine- type connectivity, with tens of billions of low-cost connected devices and sen- sors deployed, the Networked Society requires the mass-availability of truly low-costdevices.Thesedevicesnotonly need to be affordable, they also need to be able to operate on battery for several yearswithoutneedingtobere-charged – implying strict requirements for low energyconsumption. Full support for mission-criti- cal machine-type applications will require ultra-reliable connectiv- ity with guaranteed availability and reliability-of-service. Although the level of access latency offered by LTE is sufficient for most mobile-broadband applications, it may however, not be enough for latency-­ critical applications such as traf- fic safety, infrastructure protection, or some of the emerging industrial So, in comparison with the wireless networks of today, next generation sys- temswillneedtosupportamuchwider range of use-case characteristics and adhere to a much more complex range ofaccessrequirements. Next-generationmobilecommunica- tionsystemswillbecomecommercially available sometime around 2020. To makethispossible,asignificantamount ofresearchisongoingallovertheglobe –METIS1 isagoodexample. The main challenges and many key technology components of 5G radio- accesshavealreadybeenidentified,but research activities will continue for a few more years before standardization andcommercializationbegins. Based on extrapolations of different predictions2,3 , it is possible to conclude that beyond 2020, wireless communi- cation systems will support more than 1,000 times today’s traffic volume. And sobythetimecommercializationstarts, traffic demands will have increased significantly. If wireless networks are going to carry this traffic load in an affordable and sustainable way, cost and energy consumption per bit need toberadicallylowerthantheyaretoday. ERIK DAHLMAN, GUNNAR MILDH, STEFAN PARKVALL, JANNE PEISA, JOACHIM SACHS AND YNGVE SELÉN BOX A Terms and abbreviations D2D device-to-device METIS Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society MIMO multiple-input, multiple-output mmW millimeter wave MTC machine-type communication NFV Network Functions Virtualization OFDM orthogonal frequency division multiplexing RAT radio-access technology RF radio frequency SDN software-defined networking TDD time division duplex WRC World Radiocommunication Conference Mobile communication has evolved significantly from early voice systems to today’s highly sophisticated integrated communication platforms that provide numerous services, and support countless applications used by billions of people around the world. The rapid growth of mobile communi- cation and equally massive advances in technology are moving technology evolution and the world toward a fully connected networked society – where access to information and data shar- ing are possible anywhere, anytime, by anyone or anything. And yet despite thegreatstridesthathavealreadybeen made,thejourneyhasjustbegun. Future wireless access will extend beyond people, to support connectiv- ity for anything that may benefit from beingconnected.Avastlydiverserange ofthingscanbeconnected,everything from household appliances, to medical equipment, individual belongings, and everything in between. To manage all theseconnectedthings,awiderangeof newfunctionswillbeneeded. Integrating generations 2 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014 Integrating generations
  • 3. internet applications. To ensure sup- port for this kind of mission-critical machine-type connectivity, next-gen- eration wireless access should support latenciesaround1ms. In short, at any given time next-­ generation networks will be able to supportsomeorallofthefollowingfea- tures: ultra-high data rates, extremely low latency, massive numbers of con- nected devices, very high volumes of datatransfer,lowcostdevices,ultra-low energyconsumption,andexceptionally highreliability. Implementing5G Of all of the aspects influencing how 5Gnetworkswillmanagetheexpected traffic increases, additional spectrum for mobile wireless communication is oneofthemostcritical.The2015World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15)4 will focus on the allocation of additional spectrum below 6.5GHz forusebymobilecommunication. However, to fulfill long-term traf- fic demands, and perhaps even more important, to enable the very wide transmission bandwidths needed to provide multi-Gbps data rates effi- ciently, the range of operation for next- generation wireless access needs to be extendedintohigherfrequenciesabove 10GHz–anagendaitemforWRC-19. The entire spectrum from 10GHz up to 100GHz – which is well into the mil- limeter wave (mmW) range – is being consideredforuseby5Gmobilecommu- nicationsystems.Assuch,anyresearch andconceptdevelopmentcarriedoutin relation to 5G wireless access will need to cater for the entire spectrum: from below 1GHz up to and including mmW frequencybands. Using one radio-interface structure toaddresssuchawiderangeoffrequen- cies is probably not the best approach. As illustrated in Figure 2, propaga- tion characteristics, implementa- tion aspects, and compatibility issues (required for certain frequency bands) change with frequency, and as such the overall 5G wireless-access solution willmostlikelyconsistofmultiplewell-­ integratedradio-interfacesolutions. Up to a certain frequency range, the radio interface can be built using the same design principles adopted by cur- rent cellular technologies, including support for full-area coverage and rely- ing on, for example, high-performance RF technology. An OFDM-based trans- mission technology will still be a good baseline in these cases, although the detailed numerology will probably need to be adjusted to match frequen- ciesabove10GHz. However,forhigherfrequencybands – a few tens of GHz and above – propa- gation characteristics and implemen- tation aspects speak in favor of a more simplifiedradio-interfacestructuretar- geting short-range communication for ultra-dense deployments. This simpli- fication relaxes the requirements on equipment such as RF parts, however, applying OFDM-based transmission technology may not be the best choice forthisfrequencyrange. Bythetimenext-generationwireless access reaches the market, LTE will be heavily deployed in licensed spectrum below 6.5GHz. To introduce wide-area 5G capabilities smoothly, retaining compatibility with LTE for these fre- quency bands is highly desirable, as it supports coexistence with existing leg- acyLTEdevices. Technicalsolutions Advancedantennasolutions If future network generations are to meet the envisioned requirements in terms of traffic capacity and achiev- abledatarates,severaltechnologycom- ponents need to be in place. Advanced antenna solutions with multiple antenna elements, including beam- forming and spatial multiplexing, are just some examples of the technologies that can be used to achieve high data ratesandgreatercapacity. Beamforming, which focuses radio transmission from multiple antenna elementsusingnarrowbeams,reduces interference and improves overall sys- tem performance. Spatial multiplex- ing exploits propagation properties to providemultipledatastreamstooneor more terminals simultaneously. These techniques are already integral parts of LTE but their full potential remains to be unleashed, and they are set Reliability Battery lifetime Reduced device cost Seamless mobility Data rates High traffic capacity Sustainability Network flexibility and scalability Spectrum and backward flexibility Massive number of devices Reduced latency Security and privacy Mission-criticalmachin e-type communication Extended m obile broadband M as sive m achine-typecommunication FIGURE 1 5G use cases and main corresponding challenges 3 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
  • 4. or less static split between uplink and downlink has been used to exploit unpairedspectrumformobilecommu- nication. However, flexible duplex, in whichspectrumresourcesaredynami- cally assigned to downlink and uplink, enablestransmissionuptothefullband- widthtobeusedmomentarilyineither direction and is a better fit for dynamic trafficconditions.Flexibleduplexispar- ticularly suitable for small-cell deploy- ments in which terminal and network transmission power are similar, and strict isolation of the uplink and down- linkacrosscellbordersislessimportant. Full-duplexcommunicationwithsimul- taneoustransmissionandreceptionon the same carrier can also be applied if appropriate interference-cancellation techniquesareavailable. Lowlatency Latency over the radio link can be low- ered by reducing transmission-time intervals and spreading data over fre- quency rather than time. To comple- mentthisapproach,theradiointerface should be designed for fast data detec- tion at the receiver. To avoid a sched- uling request-grant phase prior to data transmission, the medium-access con- trol should allow for immediate access, which can be achieved by providing instant-access resource allocations dimensioned so that collision risks can beminimized. For some use cases, such as emer- gency services, low-latency communi- cationisrequiredbetweendevicesthat are in close proximity to each other. In thiscaseadirectdevice-to-device(D2D) communication link may further reducethelatency. Emerging use cases, like mission- critical machine-type communication (MTC), can require a guaranteed low latency at an extremely high level of reliability. One way to meet such strin- gent requirements is to maintain mul- tipleconnectivitylinks. Convergenceofaccessandbackhaul Providinghigh-capacitybackhaultoall network nodes is challenging, particu- larly in dense deployments. One attrac- tive alternative to deploying optical fibersiswirelessbackhaul,particularly at higher frequency bands where more spectrum is available. In combination to play an even bigger role in future systems. At higher frequency bands, where networks are yet to be deployed, propa- gationconditionsaremorechallenging than what is routinely observed today. Higher diffraction loss and outdoor- to-indoor losses lead to link budgets that are challenging to meet. The out- put power of equipment, particularly mobile terminals, may for regulatory reasons be more limited at higher fre- quency bands. As such, these bands are best suited for dense network deploy- ments in highly populated areas such as city centers, airports, train stations, shopping malls and indoor offices. Extensive use of beamforming (in par- ticular at the base station) as a tool to improvelinkbudgetsisanessentialpart ofwireless-accessnetworksoperatingat veryhighfrequencies. The errors from a large number of RFchainstendtocanceleachotherout. As such, advanced antenna solutions that include a substantial number of antenna elements (commonly referred to as massive MIMO) can be used to reduce the impact of RF imperfections and control the way interference is dis- tributedinanetwork. Ultra-leandesign Current cellular systems transmit ref- erence signals and broadcast system information on a continuous – always- on – basis. As networks become denser and include more and more nodes, suchhighlevelsoftransmissionarenot desirable, as this not only increases the amountofinterference,italsoincreases energyconsumption. Cuttingalways-ontransmissionstoa bareminimum,sothatcommunication only occurs when there is user data to deliver, allows the transmitter to dynamically – on a millisecond basis – switch off and be silent. Such ultra- lean transmission results in enhanced network energy efficiency and higher achievable user data rate rates due to reduced interference levels. Ultra-lean is a key design principle and a criti- cal enabler for highly dense local-area deployments,withoutwhichuserexpe- rience would be interference-limited even at low-to-medium traffic loads. In a heterogeneous deployment, system information can be broadcast from the overlaid nodes, which enables the underlying nodes to benefit from ultra- leantransmission. Spectrumflexibility Traditionally, cellular systems have been deployed exclusively in licensed spectrum. The licensing approach cur- rentlyplays–andwillcontinuetodoso inthefuture–animportantroleincon- trolling interference and guaranteeing coverage.However,especiallyathigher frequencybands,futuresystemsshould support a higher degree of spectrum flexibility. Unlicensed spectrum, for example, can be used to boost capacity, preferablyincombinationwithlicensed spectrum for critical control signaling and mobility handling. Flexibility can also be improved through for example authorized-shared access, in which the cellular system can access additional spectrum otherwise apportioned for usebyother(non-telecom)services. Usingunpairedspectrumallocations islikelytobemorecommonwhenlarge amounts of contiguous spectrum are needed–especiallyathigherfrequency bands. Traditionally, TDD with a more 3GHz 10GHz 30GHz 100GHz 5G (cellular) access (high performance, wider-area coverage) LTE compatibility 5G (mmW) access (lower-complexity design, short-range) FIGURE 2 5G wireless access in relation to spectrum Integrating generations 4 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014 Integrating generations
  • 5. with extensive beamforming and low- latency transmission the additional spectrummakesthisapproachviable. Traditionally, there has been a fun- damental division between access and backhaul links of spectrum resources. In future systems, the divide should partly diminish, and overall design should no longer need to make a major distinction between the two. Wireless connectivity between radio-network nodes and the rest of the network sim- plifiesdeployment–especiallyindense deployments that have large numbers ofnodes. In a converged scenario, the same wireless-access technology can be used for both the access and the backhaul link,makingmoreefficientuseofspec- trum resources as they can be shared dynamically. Using the same wireless access technology also means that the same operation and maintenance sys- temscanbeusedforbothlinks. Billionsofconnecteddevices In the transition to the Networked Society, a massive number of devices will be connected to networks. These devices are characterized by their sim- plicity, the fact that they transmit very small amounts of data from time to time, and will often be embedded into the fabric of the environment. They will tend to be built using lightweight radio-module designs and use commu- nication modes that are streamlined to match their relaxed communication requirements. Such devices are able to operate for years on a single battery charge and low cost connectivity is a keyenabler. The aim is zero-overhead communi- cation,whichcanbeachievedbysimpli- fyingconnectivitystatesandproviding channelaccesswithminimalsignaling. Allowing devices to sleep – switch off their radio circuitry – at every oppor- tunityminimizesenergyconsumption andleadstolongerbatterylifetimes. These small devices can be located anywhere from inside a refrigerator in an urban city center to remote loca- tions with challenging RF conditions andseverepathloss.Toprovideconnec- tivityatthelowratestypicallyrequired, optionaltransmissionmodesshouldbe used with control channels that pro- videtherequiredrobustnessefficiently. Communication for machine-type devices will typically take place at fre- quency bands below 3GHz and often even below 1GHz, where a large num- ber of deployed cellular-communica- tion legacy systems will operate for some time to come. Therefore, spec- trum-compatible radio design is highly important to ensure the best coex- istence possible with legacy wireless- accesstechnologies. Overallarchitecture The high-level 5G architecture, includ- ingradio-accessandcommon-corefunc- tionality(tosupportfixed,5G,aswellas wellaslegacyradioaccess)isillustrated in Figure 3. The architecture is sup- ported by common 5G network-man- agementandtransportfunctionality. The key architecture challenge here isintegratingthedifferent5GRATsand associatedtechnologiestoprovide: userswitheffortlessandseamless mobilityastheytransitionfromoneRAT toanother;and operatorswithasingleandintegrated accessnetworkcharacterizedbyhigh resourceefficiency(pooledradioand networkresources)andexcellentuser performance(accessaggregationwhen applicable). The integrated access-network approach is important for efficient operation and management, reducing opex and providing simple migration pathstoincreasenetworkperformance. Efficient integration of 5G RATs is rooted in multi-connectivity solutions, where terminals are connected to sev- eral5GRATsorfrequencybandssimul- taneously. Multiple connectivity not only supports simultaneous data trans- missionandreception,italsoservesasa quickfailovermethodwhenconnection toonelayerislost. Thekeyarchitecturechallengesfora common5Gcorenetworkare: theabilitytoaddressnew5Gusecases thatarenotcurrentlyaddressedby cellularnetworks–suchascritical machine-typecommunicationsand ultra-lowlatencyapplications;and providingsupportforoptimizationof existingusecases–suchasmedia distribution,indoornetworks,and machine-typecommunication. Supporting these different use cases will probably lead to an increased need forflexibilityinhownetworkfunctions and service-layer enablers are deployed andoperatedinthenetwork. For example, in some scenarios it might be necessary to deploy core net- workandservice-layerfunctionscloser to the radio access to provide excellent end-to-end latency performance and support local communication among usersatthesamesite. In another scenario, parts of the net- work are be shared with other opera- tors,anenterpriseoreventhesiteowner – these shared parts need to be inte- grated with the rest of the operator FIGURE 3 High-level 5G architecture Common management and transport Common 5G core functionality Flexible deployment of network functions Service enablers and optimizations One access network Common functional toolbox Utilizing NFV and SDN 5G radio access Legacy RATs Fixed access 3GHz LTE compatible 10GHz 30GHz 100GHz 5 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
  • 6. network in a flexible and seamless way. Network sharing generates strict securityrequirementsthatrequiresolu- tionstosupportseparationofnetworks anduserstodifferentsecuritydomains. The 5G core network will most proba- blyutilizetheongoingevolutioninSDN and NFV to provide a high level of flex- ibility and scalability when supporting different 5G deployments with a com- montoolboxofnetworkfunctions. The evolved 5G network should pro- vide service enablers and optimization functions that can bring additional benefits for network integrated ser- vices. Service enablers could, for exam- ple, include mechanisms to reduce battery consumption for MTC devices, either by supporting reduced overhead and longer sleep cycles or by providing a higher degree of reliability for crit- ical MTC communication. Other ser- viceenablersoroptimizationfunctions couldincludesupportformoreefficient mediadistribution. Summary Nextgeneration–5G–wirelesssystems will be commercially available around 2020, enabling the communication needsoftheNetworkedSociety,provid- ing access to information and sharing of data anywhere, anytime by anyone or anything. Different use cases for 5G systems will range from enhanced mobile broadband to a number of new use cases, including massive MTC and mission-criticalMTC.Therequirements of the different use cases span a wide range of traditional mobile-broadband performance metrics (such as achiev- able data rates and traffic capacity) as wellasnewrequirementsrelatedtoreli- ability, support for massive numbers of devicesandlatency. Toaddressthiswiderangeofrequire- ments different technology com- ponents are needed, which include techniques that are backward com- patibile with LTE, as well as some more radicaltechniques.Someofthekeycom- ponentsincludeadvancedantennasolu- tions, ultra-lean design, and spectrum flexibility including the use of higher frequencies. Depending on the requirements on the network deployment and on the design of the radio interface, the radio access can either be similar to cur- rent cellular access (5G cellular access), or focus more on low complexity and short-rangedeployments(5Gmm-wave access). To fully meet the requirements forthe5Gsystem,bothaccesstypesare likelytobeneeded. The overall network architecture should support both enhanced MBB well as the new use cases efficiently. It should also integrate 5G cellular and mm-wave accesses as well as the legacy RATs and fixed access to a single sys- tem, and provide effortless and seam- less mobility when transitioning from oneRATtoanother. To bring you the best of Ericsson’s research world, our employees have been writing articles for Ericsson Review – our communications technology journal – since 1924. Today, Ericsson Review articles have a two-to- five year perspective and our objective is to provide you with up-to-date insights on how things are shaping up for the Networked Society. Address : Ericsson SE-164 83 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 8 719 00 00 Publishing: Ericsson Review articles and additional material are pub ished on: www.ericsson com/review. Use the RSS feed to stay informed of the latest updates. Ericsson Technology Insights All Ericsson Review articles are available on the Ericsson Technology Insights app available for Android and iOS devices. The link for your device is on the Ericsson Review website:www ericsson.com/ review. f you are viewing this digitally, you can: download from Goo1gle Play or download from the App Store Publisher: U f Ewaldsson Editorial board: Håkan Andersson, Hans Antvik, Ulrika Bergström, Joakim Cerwall, Deirdre P. Doyle, Dan Fahrman, Anita Frisell, Jonas Högberg, Patrik Jestin,Magnus Karlsson, Cenk Kirbas, Sara Kullman, Börje Lundwall, Hans Mickelsson, Ulf Olsson, Patrik Regårdh, Patrik Roséen and Gunnar Thrysin Editor: Deirdre P. Doyle deirdre doyle@jgcommunication.se Subeditors: Paul Eade and Nathan Hegedus Art director and layout: Carola Pilarz Illustrations: Claes-Göran Andersson ISSN: 0014-0171 Volume: 91, 2014 Integrating generations 6 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014 Integrating generations
  • 7. Stefan Parkvall is a principal researcher at Ericsson Research, working with research on future radio access. He has been a key person in the development of HSPA, LTE and LTE- Advanced radio access and has been deeply involved in 3GPP standardization for many years. He is a senior member of the IEEE, served as an IEEE distinguished lecturer 2011- 2012, and is co-author of the books 3G Evolution – HSPA and LTE for Mobile Broadband and 4G – LTE/LTE- Advanced for Mobile Broadband. He has numerous patents in the area of mobile communication. In 2005, he received the Ericsson Inventor of the Year award and in 2009, he received the Stora Teknikpriset, an award handed out by the Swedish Government, for his work on HSPA. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in 1996. His previous positions include assistant professor in communication theory at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, and a visiting researcher at University of California, San Diego, USA. 1. METIS, available at: https://www.metis2020.com/ 2. Ericsson, June 2014, Mobility Report, available at: http://www.ericsson.com/ mobility-report 3. Cisco, February 2013, Cisco Visual Networking index: Global Mobile data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013-2018, available at: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/ solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white_paper_ c11-520862.pdf 4. World Radiocommunication Conference, 2015, available at: http://www.itu.int/ en/ITU-R/conferences/wrc/2015/Pages/default.aspx References Gunnar Mildh received his M.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, in 2000. In the same year, he joined Ericsson Research, and has since been working on standardization and concept development for GSM/EDGE, HSPA, and LTE. His focus areas are radio network architecture and protocols. He is currently an expert in radio network architecture at the Wireless Access Network Department, Ericsson Research. Janne Peisa has been working at Ericsson in the research and development of 3G, 4G and 5G systems since 1998. Previously, he coordinated Ericsson’s radio-access network standardization activities in 3GPP, and currently leads the Ericsson Research 5G systems program. In 2001, he received the Ericsson Inventor of the Year award .He has authored several publications and patents and holds both an M.SC. and a Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Yngve Selén joined Ericsson Research in 2007 after completing his Ph.D. in signal processing at Uppsala University in Sweden the same year. He currently holds a master researcher position at Ericsson and has been involved in future radio access and 5G research for several years, both as active researcher and as project manager. Erik Dahlman joined Ericsson Research in 1993 and is senior expert in the area of radio access technologies. He has been deeply involved in the development and standardization of 3G radio access technologies (WCDMA/ HSPA) as well as LTE and its evolution. He is part of the Ericsson Research management team working with long- term radio access strategies. He is also co-author of the book 3G Evolution – HSPA and LTE for Mobile Broadband and, together with Stefan Parkvall, received Stora Teknikpriset in 2009 for contributions to the standardization of HSPA. He holds a Ph.D. from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. Joachim Sachs is a principal researcher at Ericsson Research. He joined Ericsson in 1997 and has worked on a variety of topics in the area of wireless communication systems. He studied electrical engineering at Aachen University (RWTH) in Germany, ENSEEIHT in France, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. He received diploma and doctorate degrees from Aachen University and Technical University of Berlin respectively. In 2009 he spent a sabbatical as visiting scholar at Stanford University, USA. Since 1995 he has been active in the IEEE and the German VDE Information Technology Society (ITG), where he is currently co-chair of the technical committee on communication networks and systems. In 2006, he received the Ericsson Inventor of the Year award, and in 2010 the research award of the Vodafone foundation for scientific research. 7 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 18, 2014
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