Ready to go with 5G?
What is this G all about?
The “G” stands for Generation. We know when we connect to the internet from our phone next to the signal bar on our home screen, it shows a range of E, G, 2G, 3G, etc. This indicates the strength of the connection we have. Each Generation is defined as a set of telephone network standards, which is a particular mobile phone system. With technology changes, the speed of the network increases, and that is why we have several generations. All these are based on LTE technology.
|Bandwidth (Peak Rate)||2kbps||~ 64 kbps||2Mbps||~ 1Gbps||~ 20Gbps|
The aim of wireless communication is to provide high quality as wired communication (Optical Fibers). The 1G was introduced to the general public in 1979, and now it has gone until 5G. All these generations represent a huge step in this area. Each of the Generations has standards that must be met to use the G terminology officially. Each generation is built upon the research and development based on the last generation. However, 1G wasn’t released until 2G was released as it was based on the research level of wireless technology, which jumped from analog to digital.
What is 5G and is it beneficial?
5G is the latest generation, which was released in April, this year. 5G wireless technology is designed to deliver not only higher multi-Gbps peak data speed more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience for a large crowd because of the lower latency it uses. The new 5G mobile network is backed up by a Gigabit LTE coverage foundation, which provides ubiquitous Gigabit-class connectivity too.
When we compare 5G with the one we have now (4G) we can see the,
- 5G is a unified platform that is more capable than 4G.
- 5G uses spectrum better than 4G.
- 5G is faster than 4G.
- 5G has more capacity than 4G.
- 5G has lower latency than 4G.
When we consider the 5G uniformed platform that is capable not only to elevate the mobile broadband experience, but it also supports mission-critical communications and massive IoT. It can also support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, and unlicensed) and all bandwidths, such as low (below 1GHz), mid (1GHz – 6GHz), and high, which are known as millimeter waves(mmWave). This has new ways to interconnect with the device to device and multi-hop mesh. This is also designed to support a 100x increase in data traffic capacity and network efficiency.
Is there an economic impact?
Through economic studies, it has been shown that there will be massive development in the economy Globally.
However, those benefits are expected to be realized globally by 2035. It is expected that it will affect 13.2 Trillion dollars of global goods and services, and it will create many job opportunities around the world. These developments expand beyond traditional mobile networking players to industries such as the automotive industry.
IoT and 5G.
5G has enhanced the possibilities for both LTE and 5G NR in Release 16 and beyond. They include non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) enabled by resource spread multiple access(RSMA), that further increases the device density and the network efficiency. Other than that, grant-free uplink will allow IoT devices to send sporadic small data bursts to the network without scheduling, thereby reducing overhead for more efficient handling of IoT communication. Another area of interest is the concept of mesh networking with WAN management, which helps with extending the range and optimizing device costs.
5G Security Threats.
The real-life risk has been demonstrated during the last year by the researchers, Black Hat Security Conference and US universities of Iowa and Purdue and they have found about 11 vulnerabilities that allowed them to access user locations, launch attacks on devices and hijacking of public paging channel used to broadcast emergency alert.
At the same time, there is a big risk when changing the network from one to another. Normally when we don’t have a 4G signal we change it to 3G, and in this system, its protocols 3G or 4G when 5G signal is not available. So, this has a vulnerability there.
5G is based on virtualized networks that themselves need to be governed by robust protocols.
Security Standards for 5G.
The 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Projects) has developed 5G standards that include measures of mutual authentication, integrity protection, encryption, privacy, and network availability for the users of 5G. However, it is proven that it is more secure than 3G or 4G. Most of the standard bodies other than 3GPP like the ETSI and the IETF are also working on 5G standards to secure the standalone version of the technology. In many aspects, 5G has a shared responsibility among many parties, and when it comes to security, it is the same. It’s important that all the groups, such as enterprises, network operators, physical infrastructure providers, and vertical industries such as automotive and regulators, are aligned and collaborating to ensure that end-to-end security will evolve to control the emerging threats. Some of the standards provided are,
- A unified authentication framework that enables seamless mobility across different access technologies and support of concurrent connections.
- User privacy protection for vulnerable information often used to identify and track subscribers.
- Secure Service-Based Architecture (SBA) and slice isolation optimizing security that prevents threats from spreading to other network slices.
- Adding native support for secure steering of roaming (SoR), allowing operators to steer customers to preferred partner networks – improving the customer experience, reducing roaming charges, and preventing roaming fraud.
- Improved rogue base station detection and mitigation techniques.
- And even more proprietary operator and vendor analytics solutions that offer additional layers of security.
Finally, all the uses of 5G need to be aware of 5G security problems and risks so they can prepare for its arrival. 5G will indeed offer huge benefits far greater than 4G technology, yet the threat of its security is increasing. Therefore one thing is certain, and the whole technology will require much more focus on security in the years to come.