What is 5G Really? Frequencies, Wavelengths, and Connectivity | Intel Business

What is 5G Really? Frequencies, Wavelengths, and Connectivity | Intel Business

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(cheerful music) - [Presenter 1] Welcome to "What That Means" with Camille, where we take the confusion out of tech jargon and encourage more meaningful conversation about cyber security. Here is your host, Camille Morhardt. (cheerful music) - Hi and welcome to today's episode of "What That Means" part of "Cyber Security Inside" podcast. I've got Lee Phillips with me to talk about 5G and 6G technology. Lee Phillips is a director and senior wireless strategist at Intel and he advises Intel's global supply chain on wireless technologies.

He pretty much knows everything about radio frequency. I've worked with him in the past and I'm really delighted to have him on, welcome Lee! - Hi, thank you, thank you for having me! - 5G and 6G are kind of a big topic and I'm wondering if you can just start us off by defining what is 5G. - So 5G is fifth generation wireless. So we started out with 1G or AMPS back in the early 90s. 1G was analog. Analog is when you had these giant batteries in these giant phones plus analog uses so much current, you had to have a giant battery in the giant form factor of your device, in device in order to support that protocol.

Then we got the first digitized communications in the space was 2G. And, so in 2G, that was a 200 kilohertz bandwidth, right? So now you have this, you have the digitized protocol using less battery, less energy, but, and you can do face shift keying between different channels such that you can actually communicate in a digitized way. But that was very limited, it's only voice calls and some SMS or some text calls, very, very limited. Then we move to 3G. 3G has a on average of five megahertz bandwidth. Now you have 20X the bandwidth.

Now you can start doing things, just calls, SMS and now start to do some data analytics or data translation, not just voice but data now, right? So that was limited as well and because we had just a data, a through pipe that was five megahertz wide in bandwidth. Then we move into 4G. 4G was a different beast all together. Now it has- - It gave us like video calls and what not, right? - Exactly. - And streaming and okay. - Exactly, now 4G or LTE has 1.4, three megahertz,

five megahertz, 10 megahertz, 15 megahertz and now up to 20 megahertz bandwidth. So now you can have a giant pipe of data, right? That can actually translate to things like you said, video calls and so forth, but it was also still limited in terms of usages, right? You can't take a 4G phone or a 4G network into an automated factory because of latency issues. You couldn't take a 4G network and build out a massive machine type communications network of millions of devices because of the protocol itself. It was inefficient in terms of how to translate that data into multiple end usages without a very, very expensive infrastructure.

And now comes 5G. 5G is then broken down into, again, it takes that 4G anchor, 1.4 to 20 megahertz bandwidth. So for massive machine type communications, it actually takes a different protocol and sends it such like you can have up to a million devices connected to a network. And it also takes the latency from one to four seconds of latency in some usages down to around 10 milliseconds. So it's that now you have more real time human machine interface connections.

So again, 5G is taking the best of 4G, then adding the ultra reliable networks and adding the ultra connected sensor networks, yes. - And so the massive, what is massive machine type communication? - So for LTE, you can connect up to 2000 devices per base station. So a base station is a center of a cell, hence cell communications, cellular communications. So now, for 5G, you now have up to one million devices connected to a single base station or single communications node. So again, the protocol is shaped in a way that you can connect multiple devices across... If you wanna, for instance, if you wanna go into a college campus or if you wanna go to a connected office space, you can now have multiple devices connected to the same 5G protocol, for cellular in this case, 5G and then offset some of the Wi-Fi traffic onto a cellular network.

- So this is done primarily because we have so many more devices connecting, be they additional cell phones but also like internet of things type of devices that we didn't have as many of before. So we just have to basically make room for more nodes connecting. - Now, this is correct. So now we have, we walk around with our devices on person, right? We drive around with our devices in our garage and outside in the ecosystem. Shorter range technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are up to maybe 50 meters, on a great day, 50 meters, no line of site. 5G can go up to 50 kilometers.

So now we can have both on-premise and off-premise connectivity. You can be on a video call talking to your mother, you have your kids in the car, you start the conversation, everyone's talking, you drive away from the home, take your kids to the doctor or to the mall and your call continues with the same video quality as at home, as in your car, at the doctor's office, even though you've- - What about when you go in the parking garage after the appointment? Does it drop? - By the way, that depends. So in 2G, so now we'll start back at the theory. So 2G, it was at 800 megahertz and 900 megahertz. So the lower the frequency, the better the penetration through things like garages and so forth. So 2G had four bands, right? 800, 900, 1800, 1900, right? So low band and high band.

You go to 3G, you got 10 bands. You go to 4G, now you have, I think up to 44 bands is the last I've counted that we have, again the same 2G bands, the same 3G bands and a multitude of low, mid and high to use the spectrum more effectively in order to reach whatever usage that you may need. But at the same time, when you use the lower channels or the lower frequency bands, it uses more energy. Think about if you're going, if you have a teenage son and you hear him playing his music in the garage or in the parking area, you don't hear people talking the higher frequency, what you hear is the bass, the lower frequency.

In order to generate that lower frequency, it takes more energy to generate that, those longer wave length sounds. So AM radio is in a very low frequency range, such that when you travel in your car, you rarely lose connection to an AM radio, even in, sometimes in tunnels 'cause it's a lower frequency range, right? Now, but an AM is a big chunk of frequency. So a lot of government usages used to use AM radio because it had that ultra connectivity, pun intended.

Now, more specifically towards cellular. Cellular starts around 450 megahertz, right? It's only used in a variety of ways, a smaller variety of ways than traditional cellular that starts at 698 megahertz. So the 698 megahertz is, again, is that low band, I was talking about 2G, right? Eight, nine megahertz, 800, 900 megahertz. So then it expands to 1900, 1800, 1900 megahertz for 2G. I said, 3G came on and said, had the same 2G bands but added more mid band and high band. So when 3G came on, it added bands up to 2.4 gigahertz, right?

That 2.4 gigahertz is the band, the same bands, the same frequency band for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. So now we have cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in the same frequency band.

Therefore we need to have radio strategies in order to reject. If I'm talking on my cell phone, I'm gonna reject the Wi-Fi signals, I'm gonna reject the Bluetooth signals. And by the way, GPS also exists there. So I'm gonna reject the GPS signals, or if I'm using my GPS as a receiver, I'm gonna reject, if I'm making a phone call, I'm gonna reject my cell frequencies, so that my GPS can actually actually be accurate and work, work seamlessly with my usage model, right? So now we're starting to have multiple radio frequencies and multiple radio usages in the same frequency bands. So now this is why a lot of these things, more usages, more radio technologies come on board.

This is why our devices become more complex because we wanna actually use our device in a way that doesn't interfere with our environment, by the way, we wanna use our environmental, the other usages for our other radios, doesn't interfere with our cellular. - So, two questions. Why are so many technologies in the same band? Why don't they use different bands? Is that band easier to do something with or the information goes better through that band? - Great question.

So the government, so in the US, the FCC governs what radio frequency bands are used for what usage. Maritime satellite, geospatial, whatever, right? You could have a Fitbit on your bicycle, all falls into these usages. So the FCC governs how, what radio bands are allocated to what usage or what radio technology. So now, cause, we have multiple usages as defined by our, the government entity, our regulatory body FCC, we have to then develop technologies that can use, that can actually be used as a singular device and be used in a multi-device environment, it's called coexistence - Right, so that you don't interfere, like your Fitbit's not interfering with maritime communication or something like that. - Correct, by the way, maritime communication is a very, very, very high power thing like most of the kilowatts in your Fitbit is like a milliwatt type of thing. But if you can do this, if you get close to a radio without, if you have an older cell phone, right? It was old Nokia phones and you key this old Nokia phone next to a radio, an older radio, there will be interference.

So over time, all the radio technologies became more mature such that, based on usages, 'cause they divide, usually they define a radio, right? Here's the next generation cell phone and it works good in a lab, but you have to take it out into field trials to make sure that it's gonna work good and usages around other interferers, they call them interferers in this space. - So are we, is it possible to run out of bandwidth? - So we have to talk about what is bandwidth and how it's consumed, right? So what is bandwidth? So this bandwidth is the amount of data that can be translated through a communications pipe, either wired or wireless, in this case, we're talking to wireless. The more data I pump through a single channel, right? The more other things can't use that channel. And therefore, because we have very complex environments, we can't have one pipe for all traffic in the same frequency band. So right now on your cell phone, you have cellular and Wi-Fi Bluetooth in the same phone and you have GPS in the same phone, all using 2.4 gigahertz. So what the Wi-Fi guys did is, "Guys, this thing is getting congested.

I'm not getting enough Wi-Fi through. So I'm gonna create a five gigahertz Wi-Fi band." Right now we have 2.4 and five gigahertz. The GPS guys are like, "Guys, you know, I'm on GPS, I have nine channels in GPS, I can't use channels one through five 'cause that is the low band, I'm the high band of cellular.

I wanna use the channels six through 15 or whatever for GPS because this that's congested and I can have my receipt, I can receive my GPS from whatever satellite and have very good fidelity in signal integrity." Like right now, I'm on a Wi-Fi call, right? And we're having a data conversation, at the same time, my computer is downstreaming emails and we have great video quality and great sound quality. Even though, we are about, I would say 1200 miles away from each other, but all these things are pretty amazing. So all these things are interplay that we take for granted these days, but there's a significant amount of technology evolution in order for us to have this seamless, seemingly seamless communications environment. - Oh, well I was wondering if the millimeter wave was the same thing as the airport alternative to the x-ray, the millimeter wave technology.

- There are multiple usages for these wireless technologies. So now, actually the airports use microwave to scan through different media in order to get Doppler feedback on their sensor screen such that you can see whatever dense material versus not dense material can show up as a potential threat. Right, but it's microwave technologies. And so again, all these wave technologies, it's a different frequency band and millimeter wave but it's the same concept. So, and airports today, these guys have all kinds of technologies, but I would say that the airports are kind of leading edge in terms of how they can actually translate, well, again, translate media, right? Use a bunch of radio technologies in a coordinated fashion such that they can actually extract information intelligence from the environment as much as possible and then also allow people to have freedom of using their own devices.

- Right, occurring at the simultaneously. So, it's interesting. Yeah, all of the different pieces of information you can derive from wireless technologies. I had Lehman Ackman on, a fellow at Intel and she was talking about intelligence systems and she did talk about some of her research in Wi-Fi and how looking at the interference of the signal can actually detect, you know, like whether somebody, if there's a person breathing.

So very, very interesting kinds of stuff.(chuckles) - Yes, I will tell you, there's some research in the industry for automobiles, right? So, they actually place a sensor network in the above your steering wheel, in the console of your dashboard. So the sensors actually send out beams that actually take the moisture content from your forehead and then they can actually extrapolate if you've been, have one sip of of wine or many sips of wine. Therefore your car may not start or may send a beam back to whomever is monitoring these things about your condition.

So there are many, many, many applications in this space. The 5G is opening up new doors. Well 6G is a coming protocol. That's gonna allow even more usages.

6G is still in the early ratification phase. It's supposed to be ratified or planned to be ratified around 2026. - When do we see broad adoption of 5G? When are essentially most things using it? - Right, so every five, six years, these technologies evolve from one protocol to the next. So now we have, again, as I said, back in 2013, LTE came alive in a very real way, but LTE was defined by 3GPP, the radio standard in 2006. It took that many years for it to come off.

So, 5G defined in 2019 as a 3GPP protocol and now it's 2022 today. It's gonna be a couple of years before it starts to really ramp in a real way. But because 5G, 2G and 3G are being sunset, right? So now the LTE anchor is there and 5G uses the LTE anchor. So now we can sell, we can market 5G devices using the LTE anchor.

So you'll see a lot of marketing on 5G devices but they're really using an LTE infrastructure. True 5G is standalone, right? So that 5G standalone will likely, there's the market analysis is all over the place because it's regional. Korea is in some cases leading, China has the most 5G base stations built out in the world, in some cases leading. AT&T Verizon and so forth North America has the latest devices, right? But the infrastructure's lagging China.

So it depends, it's regional, but around 2023, 2024, we're expecting to see a giant boom. But before that- - But it's a whole new build out of infrastructure to have true 5G, as you're saying. - Standalone 5G. - New cell towers. - Correct. - Or new, at least new additions onto those cell towers.

- This is correct. - Yeah. - This is correct. This is correct. - Well, you said 6G's gonna have something new in it. What is that? Or new usages? What is the main new usage 6G's gonna give us? - A lot of terrestrial and extraterrestrial communications, right, are in mindset. A lot of mobility applications are in mindset.

- You talking satellite or alien, my friend, when you say extraterrestrial? - Exactly, satellite, right, satellite, right. So it's terrestrial and extraterrestrial, then- - I had a moment of extreme excitement there until I realized you might mean satellite. (Lee laughs) - Well, they do have civilian entertainment shuttles now but again, I think my paycheck can't support us, but then we have mobile usages and a variety of other usages and then we talked about a few things, right? How can we use waves to extract information in non-descript ways, right? All these things are, how do we actually create usage, create as much data pipe as as possible with as much sensor in our environment as possible to create as much intelligence as possible real time, right? So that becomes both reactive and predictive. So a lot of these things like the Meta that Facebook is changing to.

A lot of the things that you see, drones and artificial intelligence being used, so autonomous things being implemented and so forth. All these things still have a latency aspect even with 5G. All these things still have limitations in using different, passing through different media.

All these things have limitations, although they are transitioned light years ahead, pun intended, above where we came from. Yeah, so the world is our oyster and it's gonna be very exciting. - Okay so one more thing, one more question. We're putting out all, you know, filling the airwaves with transmissions in all different frequencies, getting more and more and more subdivided within that. Is there any concern or is there any look at like biological implications to transmitting so much information all over the place and continuing to fill that in? - Yes, so there are actually bodies, regulatory bodies in the government that study things like SAR, surface absorption rate, right? So how much, when your phone transmits this 2.4 gigahertz

or five gigahertz frequency or your Wi-Fi and your body accepts this, it passes into your body, right? Or through your body, what happens to your body? So there are giant regulatory bodies around the world looking at this. I do think bodies that define new radios, radio usages, radio technologies, they must take into account how it impacts the human body, not just human body, animals as well. So a lot of farms around the Midwest and the big farm areas have cell towers on them, because that's cheap land and they are generally flat, they can reach a large population or a large area of population in that space, right? At the same time, cows and things that we consume, vegetables that we consume, are in the same space. So there's a lot of study here.

- Do you wear your cell phone on your person? - Not all the time, no. Well usually I'm riding for somewhere or this kind of thing, so I don't wanna get it broken, but I do have a healthy separation between this ubiquitous technology environment and my person, I think everyone should do that. We can't submerge, we are humans, not an autonomous bot, right? So we need to have a healthy connection between our environment and ourselves.

- Lee, it's been so good to catch up with you today and listen to, you're such a wizard when it comes to understanding and articulating really complicated technology. Thank you so much for being on the show. - Camille, thank you for having me and I really do support what you're doing for not just for Intel, our mutual company, but for our world.

We need to talk about these tough topics. So thank you for your mission in this space, thank you. - [Presenter 1] Never miss an episode of "What That Means" with Camille.

By following us here on YouTube, you can also find episodes wherever you get your podcasts. (cheerful music) - [Presenter 2] The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel corporation. (cheerful music fades)

2022-10-02 21:08

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