5G is the next technological revolution

5G - the next generation of cellular communications

5G stands for the fifth generation of cellular communications - demanding applications that only work wired today will also be wireless in the future. 5G is expected to come onto the market from 2020.

What is 5G and what can it do?

5G is the successor to LTE, the fourth generation of mobile communications (4G) and offers significantly higher data rates and much shorter response times. Only the reliability and availability of 5G make safety-critical applications such as networked autonomous driving possible. In the Internet of Things, billions of end devices and sensors with a wide variety of requirements will be connected to the Internet at the same time. In this way, for example, a gas sensor can reliably transmit data by radio in a critical industrial environment. The new network should cover a wide range of applications.

5G as a drive for Industry 4.0

Aspects such as very high reliability, extremely short response times when exchanging messages between sender and recipient, and high data throughput rates enable completely new industrial fields of application. For example, robots that communicate wirelessly rather than wired can perform significantly more flexible and precise movements. The fifth generation of mobile communication networks is therefore of particular importance, as these are designed with the aim of supporting professional services. 5G goes hand in hand with Industry 4.0 and enables real-time monitoring and control of networked machines and vehicles. Areas of application for 5G can be found in industrial environments, in production and in mobility. Due to the high connection quality and interference immunity, 5G should also be used in the areas of disaster control and health care.

“The economy is in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. [...] Future 5G technologies form the framework for the industrial Internet of the future with innovative application options and value creation areas, ”emphasizes Prof. Dr. Gregor Engels, head of the Software Innovation Campus Paderborn, who is researching the research focus “5G: Industrial Internet” as part of the accompanying research project IP45G innovation platform.

What does 5G bring for consumers?

For private users, the new technology primarily includes high bandwidths and thus advantages, for example in the transmission of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content. In the future, 5G should enable significantly better data connections also in high-speed trains and on the motorway. The new network enables visionary real-time applications such as autonomous vehicles that communicate independently with one another in order to optimally control traffic, reduce CO2 emissions and avoid accidents.

Research initiative "Industrial Communication of the Future"

In the “Industrial Communication of the Future” initiative, the BMBF is funding research and development for innovative 5G solutions on a large scale. The focus is on the following three main research areas:

  • "ZDKI: Reliable wireless communication in industry"
  • "5G: Industrial Internet" with the core topic of virtualization of network components
  • “5G: Tactile Internet” for highly secure real-time communication in the application fields of autonomous driving and Industry 4.0

The common goal of the projects funded by the BMBF is to advance the development of 5G using practice-oriented application examples. At the annual conference, which will take place in Berlin from September 11th to 13th, 2018, the projects of the three main research areas will present their work.