College Essay Examples

Fifth-Generation Telecommunications Technologies


Communication has been the most important aspect of human existence since the beginning of time.  Improved communications technologies are vital for human evolution.  Fifth generation (5G) telecommunication technologies will be much faster and more flexible than its predecessors.  The 5G networks in conjunction with Internet of Things (IOT) technology is the foundation for mobile technology now and in the future.  5G network will provide IOT devices an environment where a vast amount of device can be connected to faster speeds and reliability ushering in new IOT device technology due to the network improvements that will provide more efficient services.  This paper will identify how 5G technology will change the way devices and networks operate.  It will discuss in detail what 5G is, what 5G can do, the associated risks and the technology that is needed to operate and maintain a 5G network.  

Keywords: fifth generation technology, internet of things, network

Table of Contents

Abstract 2

Fifth Generation Telecommunications Technologies 5

Introduction 5

History of Telecommunications 5

What is 5G 7

Technology Involved with 5G 7

Requirements 8

Major Components 8

Enabling Technologies 9

Architecture 10

Performance 10

Advantages 11

Disadvantages 11

5G Usage 12

Current Usage 12

Potential Usage 12

Deployment 13

Security Issues 14

Vulnerabilities 14

Network Security 14

Developing Standards 15

Security Monitoring 15

Regulatory Issues 16

Commercial 16

Government 16

Conclusion 16

References 18


Fifth Generation Telecommunications Technologies


Since the emergence of the first mobile phone four decades ago, telecommunication companies have heavily invested in research to reinvent telecommunication networks to increase their bandwidth, advance services, and expand overage. The rapid development of technologies has led to the remarkable fruition of several technological devices such as tablets, laptops, and phones. Over the last two decades, cellular communication networks have developed from the 2G GSM to the 4G LTE-A system. The 5th generation of cellular mobile communication referred to as 5G, started to be deployed in 2018 to link more than 8.4 billion devices (Travanca & André, 2018). The 5G technology is designed to offer improved network speed and capacity to meet the growing demands for data globally. This technology is expected to influence the development of other emerging technologies such as autonomous driving and artificial intelligence software applications. Android cell phone manufacturers are expected to produce 5G network-compatible smart devices. However, each country will take a distinct approach in capturing the 5G market, with deployment timelines being influenced by lengthy international verdicts on spectrum and standards.

History of Telecommunications

The history of telecommunication can be traced back to the pre-historic era where people used horns, drums, smoke signals, beacons, and fires in different parts of the world to pass information. The first worldwide telecommunication web emerged in the 1800s following the invention of the telephone and the telegraph. This invention led to the transfer of information around the globe at the speed of electricity over a network of wires. Telegraph and telephone created multiple opportunities for the rapidly growing society. For instance, a telegraph message was printed in Morse code in 1844 and transmitted from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. over the U.S. first extensive telegraph line. The first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable was developed in 1858. The invention of wireless telegraphy in 1893 by Nikolai Tesla formed the basis for the wireless transmission of radio waves. Radio phones emerged in the U.K. and the U.S. in the 1920s though they faced multiple setbacks such as fading and interference. The first modern-era mobile phone was invented in 1973nand the first mobile network was first invented in 1981 and launched in Japan. 

Since then, subsequent technologies have been developed approximately every 10 years to offer significant improvements in the existing mobile devices and network and represent the next technology of mobile technology. One of the resultant five generations, First-generation (1G) technologies, led to the emergence of the first mobile phone, which was expensive, offered voice services only and were limited in capacity and coverage. The Second-generation (2G) technologies utilized digital networks that supported texting and voice. The 3G technologies enabled mobile devices to access the internet, data, and voice. Mobile phones could now be used as computers for entertainment and business while the demand for data increased. The subsequent 4G technologies offered an increased bandwidth that could support video streaming and music, online gaming, and mobile applications. The 4G technologies also offered improved speed and supported unlimited data plans essential in creating hotspots for linking with other network devices. The 5G technology is currently being deployed in different countries and is expected to design the best wireless world technologies and overcome the shortcomings of the previous generations. 5G mobile networks will be used alongside the existing 4G networks before developing into a stand-alone network.

What is 5G

The 5G technology refers to the Fifth-generation mobile technology. 5G technology is a packet-switched wireless system with large capacity and extensive coverage. The 5G technology offers mobile phone users higher efficiency and more features. Some of the advanced features that come with 5G technology include fine Quality of Service (QoS), high data rates, huge bidirectional bandwidth, and high resolution for extreme mobile users (Jain et al., 2018). 5G networks are predicted to be 400 times faster than the preexisting fourth-generation networks. The network will also support extensive machine communications, a mobile data volume of 10 Tb, 99.9 percent ultra-reliability, 10Gbps peak data rate transmission speeds, high energy efficiency, and ultra-low latency of 1milisecond.

Technology Involved with 5G 

The Fifth-generation technology will be a single unified standard of different wireless technologies such as World Wireless Web (WWWW), LAN/WAN/PAN, IEEE802.11, Unified I.P. and seamless combination of broadband. This technology uses Beam Division Multiple Access (BDMA), Filter Bank Multi-carrier Multiple Access (FBMC), and CDMA and millimeter wireless that promotes speeds above 1Gbps at low mobility and greater than 100Mbps at full mobility (Jain et al., 2018). 

How 5G Works

The fifth-generation network will initially be incorporated in the existing 4G networks to offer seamless connection. User devices will be able to link with the 4G networks to offer control signalling and to the 5G network to enhance data speed by increasing the existing 4G capacity (Shahid, Dennis, & Anshul, 2021). The 5G technology uses massive MIMO antennas to ensure communication between base stations and subscribers. The MIMO antennas ensure that more subscribers connected to a given base station. The addition of small cells and the use of beamforming technology helps minimize interference and enhance network coverage.


It is anticipated that 5G network will facilitate connectivity up to 500km/hr in high-speed trains and up to 1000km/hr in airplanes. Again, the technology will offer low latency of about 1 millisecond and a connection density of up to 1 million connections per km2. Advanced speed of up to 1 Gbps and increased traffic capacity of up to 10Mbps per square meter in hot spot areas are expected to improve customer experience (Marsch et al., 2018). Other requirements include a perception of 100 percent coverage and 99.99% availability.

Major Components

The 5G network comprises of two main components, the “Core Network (C.N.)” and the “Radio Access Network (RAN)”. The RAN comprises of several facilities, including masts, towers, small cells, and dedicated home and in-building systems that link wireless devices and mobile users to the primary C.N. The 5G network will use millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies in a small cell to offer a continuous connection (Rommer, 2020). These small cells are spread in clusters to supplement the macro network that offers wide-area coverage. The Macro cells utilize MIMO (multiple inputs, multiple outputs) antennas that enable features to transmit and receive information (Marsch et al., 2018). Although MIMO antennas are of the same physical size as the existing 4G and 3G B.S. antennas, they have a large number of elements that enable multiple users to connect to the network. On the other hand, the C.N. refers to the mobile data and exchange network that runs all of the mobile voice, data, and internet connections (Rommer, 2020). The 5G C.N. is being redesigned to enhance its integration with cloud-based services and the internet. Latency in this network is reduced through the distribution of servers across the network. Most of the 5G network advanced features, such as network slicing and network function virtualization (NVF), is to be controlled in the core. NVF refers to the ability to instantiate network functions in real-time at any desired location within the operator’s cloud platform (Barakabitze et al., 2020). NVF is a key factor in enhancing speed, agility, and efficiency. Network slicing is an effective technique for segmenting a specific industry, application, or business’ network and independently offering services. 

Enabling Technologies

There are five new technologies to help 5G technology meet its requirements. The first technology is “Massive MIMO”, which is one of the bases of 5G mobile networks. The MIMO technology uses a couple of antennas to support a lot of devices within a small area. Deployment of hundred antennas in a small area is likely to cause a serious interference challenge. However, this challenge is solved using the second type of technology used in 5G networks, Beamforming. Beamforming refers to the technique of adapting EMR transmission to a particular surrounding (Shahid, Dennis, & Anshul, 2021). The Massive MIMO station identifies and tracks fragmented signals to generate a clear un-interfered signal. The third technology is that of “millimeter Waves”, where higher frequency signals of 1 to 10 millimeter wavelength are used. 5G technology will use frequencies of up to 300 Gigahertz to create room for the rapidly increasing number of devices (Jain et al., 2018). However, the inability of high-frequency signals to penetrate through concrete, rain, and foliage necessitates the need for Small Cell Network technology. Small cells enable a signal to circumvent an obstacle. The small cell network technology implies that when multiple sub-stations are available, the phone can switch to another convenient sub-station. The last technology is that of “Full Duplex”, where two-way communication is possible. Researchers have created high-speed switches which enable base stations to reroute signals past each other during communication as opposed to the previous principle of reciprocity.



The 5G network architecture feature new technologies in both network core and the radio network.  The 5G networks were assigned new centimetre-wave and millimeter-wave bands at the latter network since the available spectrum was very limited. The massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) antennas were developed to enable the millimeter-waves to traverse through obstacles (Travanca & André, 2018). Beamfolding is used to create directional beams to serve individual subscribers effectively. Base-station antennas issue a spatially and temporally tailored signal to the 5G network subscribers. At the core network, 5G network hold several software that flexibly allocates their resources to subscribers. The flexibility of the software is enabled by the use of software-defined networking (SDN) and NFV (Marsch et al., 2018). Key principles of SDN include:

  1. Physical network resources are virtualized
  2. Unified software centralizes network management
  3. Data management is separate from data transmission

Therefore, the 5G network architecture allows for fast and easy configuration by managing at the level of networks, centralized application of policies, and optimization of traffic (L2/L3) transmission.


The 5th generation technology offers a wide range of advantages to its users, which have helped transform learning, research, healthcare, manufacturing industries, and the day to day lifestyle of a common man.


  1. The increased capacity offered by 5G networks will allow for the connection of approximately 5 and half billion users by 2020.
  2. 5G technology is easily compatible and manageable with the other previous generations
  3. The 5G technology offers a large bi-directional bandwidth and high resolution.
  4. 5G network offers faster speeds and minimum data loss, which ensures that phone calls are clear and reliable
  5. The 5G technology will offer an advanced download speed of up to 10 G.B. per second, an improvement from the current 100 megabits offered by the 4G service.
  6. The use of smaller network towers will allow for wider network coverage in rural areas and improved accessibility of mobile users. As such, the 5G network is projected to realize 99.99% coverage with high stability.
  7. The 5G technology is expected to allow for versatile, energy smart, and scalable form of the Internet of Everything.


  1. The 5G network has been reported to fluctuate, with some regions registering data speeds as low as 30 Mbps (O’Connell, Moore., & Newe, 2020).
  2. The 5G frequency waves travel only a short distance and can be easily obstructed by buildings, walls, towers, and trees to cause connectivity challenges
  3. 5G technology mainly targets urban areas; hence people living in rural areas will not have access to any form of cellular connectivity any time soon.
  4. The 5G technology is associated with faster draining of cellular device batteries while some devices become increasingly hot while in use. There is a need to improve the battery technology to increase battery life (O’Connell, Moore, & Newe, 2020).
  5. Devices that cannot connect to the 5G network may need to be replaced with time.
  6. Privacy and security are still major concerns within the fifth-generation network.
  7. The initial cost of rolling out 5G technology and the cost required to cater for the ongoing maintenance to ensure high-speed is high

5G Usage 

Current Usage

The 5G technology is used to create an Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), which gives consumers an improved experience. With the enhanced data speed of up to 20Gbps and latency of 1ms, consumers enjoy A.R. and V.R. services, high-speed internet access, and H.D. video streaming (Jain et al., 2018). 5G is the vehicle-to-everything communication as it offers Ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC). URLLC services have been implemented in remote control of industrial processes, telemedicine, and self-driving vehicles. 5G technology has been used in implementing Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) in fields such as E-health, smart retail, smart agriculture, smart energy networks, and environmental monitoring. Battery life of up to 10 years without recharging and density of up to 1 million devices per square kilometer have led to the emergence of smart city systems and exceptionally high concentration of IoT sensors in staff monitoring and production.

Potential Usage

The 5G network will be the first cellular platform to offer reliable machine-to-machine communication and industrial IoT systems (Chettri & Bera, 2019). Consequently, 5G technology will find multiple usages in the manufacturing industries. For instance, it can be used to unify the existing supply chain where 5G is integrated into smart devices allowing the manufacturing industry to leverage the advanced communication capabilities among devices and unify the production process. The 5G technology will become the preferred intermediary medium of data transfer between manufacturing industry components. Secondly, 5G technologies can be implemented in Artificial intelligence (A.I.) to offer fast decision making. 5G accelerates the choice process duration, permitting huge amounts of data to be ingested, handled, and processed close to real-time.

Additionally, 5G permits the gushing of information progressively to the cloud and the use of live video examination. Private 5G networks will most likely be preferred by most businesses in the near future. Private 5G networks are also referred to as mobile private network (MPN) or local 5G networks (Vannithamby & Soong, 2020). Private 5G networks are expected to offer several advantages within the business organization, such as advanced speeds and reduced latency. Therefore, these networks are capable of becoming the future communication podium of various factories.



The GSMA projected that commercial fifth-generation networks would be broadly deployed after 2020. Recent reports revealed that the Chinese government has advanced in its plans to deploy 5G network by reserving spectrum for 5G use, building the capacity to provide 5G equipment, and engaging in international 5G projects (Vannithamby & Soong, 2020). Other countries like South Korea are advancing on the preparations where they auctioned both high-band and mid-band spectrums for 5G use in 2018 (Penttinen, 2019). In the U.S., private telecommunication providers have taken the lead in driving deployment. For instance, on December 21, 2018, AT&T launched mobile 5G services in twelve cities (Penttinen, 2019). The U.S. industry drivers have heavily invested in 5G trial deployments.

Security Issues 

As thousands of devices get connected to the 5G network, the potential risk of data insecurity increases. The increase of the Internet of Things within an organization will leave the devices connected to a private 5G network vulnerable to attacks.


The 5G technology is prone to the following vulnerabilities:

  1. Anomalies based on human errors and behaviors since not all employees have the necessary competence (O’Connell, Moore., & Newe, 2020).
  2. Critical system access to third-party contractors
  3. Man-in-the-middle attacks due to loopholes in the I.T. structure of the newly adapted processes (Liu & Han, 2019)
  4. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on communication devices
  5. Outages resulting from unanticipated service disruptions or decline in quality falling below a given threshold.
  6. Eavesdropping referring to actions geared towards listening, seizing control, or interrupting a third party communication without consent (Liu & Han, 2019)

Network Security 

5G is highly susceptible to cyber-attacks because of its flexibility. Most of the activities and processes in the network, including core networks, are virtualized and managed by software that is prone to attacks. Hacking the 5G network is as simple as hacking the web where the well-known NFV and SDN are used (Liu & Han, 2019). Administration of 5G network is even more challenging as operators have always found a flaw with the NFV and SDN implemented for network slicing in 5G. Besides, 5G non-standalone is prone to denial of service because it inherits the vulnerabilities of LTE networks. Lastly, the millions of IoT devices often offer a bonanza for botnets (Chettri & Bera, 2019). With the increased IoT, devices are increasingly vulnerable, and malware distribution is easily scalable.

Developing Standards

The primary 5G standards bodies include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) (Liyanage et al., 2018). However, the main standardization organization for mobile networks is 3GPP, and the security for 5G is defined in the security group SA3. The IETF defines security protocols such as TLS, EAP, and IPsec, which are incorporated in the 5G security architecture. The 5G network core is founded on familiar internet protocols such as TLS and HTTP, which are open and well known to attackers (Liyanage et al., 2018). The 5G network relies on virtualization and cloud technologies, and ETSI ISG NFV defines security for NFV (Barakabitze et al., 2020). NIST standardizes crypto solutions such as AES, and the recently approved NESAS framework for security assurance is a joint effort by GSMA, SA3, and 3GPP. All these components form the 5G network security standards.

Security Monitoring 

The key security change in the 5G technology is the new trust model. Subscriber’s data security in the novel network shall be provided by the security proxy servers, which are basically an evolution of the 4G, 3G, and 2G signaling firewalls (Liyanage et al., 2018). These firewalls will be responsible for ensuring that subscribers and the network interact in a verifiable ad authenticated way (Liu & Han, 2019). At the base station, the radio module and the data processing module are separated at the architecture level to ensure that attackers who successfully gain access to the radio module do not breach the operator network.

Regulatory Issues


Deployment of 5G technology is poised to trigger rapid commercial production of specialized equipment and innovative devices. The devices should meet the government requirements and FCC regulations. As such, anyone involved in the manufacture, design, trade, or promotion of 5G radio frequency (R.F.) devices must ensure that they meet the set guidelines and requirements (Penttinen, 2019). R.F. radiations emitting devices are subject to verification under the FCC’s regulations.


Congress has revised the regulations to stimulate deployment and rationalize the review of facilities placement. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) engages in rulemaking to handle regulatory challenges and minimize challenges on the construction of these facilities (Salo & Liyanage, 2018). The federal government has prioritized 5G spectrum access.


The emergence of 5G technology is expected to transform the telecommunication world with the realization of high speeds, increased bandwidth, highly reduced latency, and high efficiencies. The primary objective of 5G technology is to open the network up to a wider set of services, increase the number of subscribers, and improve the consumer experience in using the internet. However, a number of data and privacy concerns remain unaddressed, tasking researchers with the responsibility to seek amicable solutions to the existing vulnerabilities. Development and deployment of 5G technologies are in progress and are expected to extend through 2035. As the 5G technologies continue to develop, industries are expected to put in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure a smooth transition to the new network and uphold security to all its 5G private network users. Governments and regulatory bodies are expected to facilitate faster deployment of 5G networks in different countries while ensuring the available devices meet international standards (Salo & Liyanage, 2018).



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Chettri, L., & Bera, R. (2019). A comprehensive survey on Internet of Things (IoT) toward 5G wireless systems. IEEE Internet of Things Journal7(1), 16-32.

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Liu, L., & Han, M. (2019). Privacy and security issues in the 5G-Enabled Internet of things. 5G-Enabled Internet of Things, 241-268.

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O’Connell, E., Moore, D., & Newe, T. (2020). Challenges associated with implementing 5G in manufacturing. Telecom1(1), 48-67.

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Rommer, S. (2020). 5G Core Networks : Powering Digitalisation . Academic Press.

Salo, J., & Liyanage, M. (2018). Regulatory impact on 5G security and privacy. A Comprehensive Guide to 5G Security, 399-419.

Shahid Ajmeri, Dennis Hagarty, & Anshul Tanwar. (2021). Synchronizing 5G Mobile Networks. Cisco Press.

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Vannithamby, R., & Soong, A. (2020). 5G Verticals: Customizing Applications, Technologies and Deployment Techniques (1st edition). Wiley.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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