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5G: The Catalyst For The Next Technology Revolution by Patrick Lau

5G has been a major topic for the past few years and is filled with new opportunities to interconnect with devices and services at greater speeds. For many of these industries who are seeking the next-generation mobile technology, progress for this innovation has accelerated and will become a reality very soon.  The thirst for data on mobile devices has exploded and estimates suggest that the number of connected devices is expected to exceed 50 billion by 20201. Because of this huge global demand for data, manufacturers are currently finalizing the hardware/software for 5G based on the global 3GPP specifications to ensure the networks can implement and support the new technology.  

Within the US, operators such as Verizon and AT&T have been deploying 5G in test cities around the country from rural and urban areas to certify that the network can fully live up to the 5G standards and eliminate any issues with deployment, operation and maintenance2&3.  If things go as expected, a nationwide rollout should happen by 2020. What makes 5G so revolutionary is the bandwidth and latency it can deliver to our latest devices and how this will impact the future of our global economy and society which will enable millions of users to thrive in an everchanging, smarter and connected world.

As the Industrial Revolution of the 1760-1840’s transformed the global economy and standard of living through the introduction of new manufacturing processes from hand to machine, 5G looks to revolutionize the digital era by ushering in the platform on which A.I., IoT and other M2M devices can communicate at the bandwidths and latencies needed to unlock their full potential.  Currently, 4G LTE supports theoretical downlink transmission speeds of up to 150Mbps.  Based on data gathered from ‘real world’ 4G speed tests, the fastest was recorded in Singapore at up to 46.6Mbps4.  The US ranked much lower at 16.31Mbps according to the report.  In fact, Verizon states their 4G LTE network ranges from 5 and 12Mbps with peak download speeds up to 50Mbps5.

5G promises to catapult 4G by 10x or up to 1,000+ Mbps coupled with extremely low latency.  Early demonstrations by Nokia have shown that 5G can drop latencies down from 90-100ms to 1-3ms when moving from 4G to 5G technology6.  The immediate use cases that can benefit from 5G are data-hungry applications that rely on real-time connections such as autonomous cars or machine learning.  However, the impact of 5G’s technology will be felt much broader in scope by transforming our lives by delivering services much faster and more efficiently then we could ever imagine.  Who will benefit the most from 5G?  Smart Cities look to benefit the most from 5G.  Initiatives have already started to build these smart cities that implement sensors throughout to monitor and manage transportation, public safety, public works, etc.  Large metropolitan communities will benefit the most because of their large economies of scale.

Comba Telecom has been hard at work developing the technology that will deliver 5G to the masses from base station antennas, indoor DAS networks and smart cities.  Apart from massive MIMO antenna, the Pre-5G DAS is also our latest 5G innovation. It provides high-performance indoor coverage for IoT and M2M communications. The pre-5G DAS supports advanced LTE as well as Massive MIMO technology thereby enabling convenient and smooth network upgrades in the future. Also, it provides coverage to both distribution points and hot spots and hence supports the IoT and locating features.

Smart Pole is one of our highlighted solutions to address the smart cities requirements along with 5G evolution.  Comba’s Smart Pole helps accelerate the 5G rollout by integrating Wifi, mobile network connection, IoT sensors, ScanViS solution for CCTV surveillance, USB charging terminal, energy saving, and Smart cloud central management and control system into a single central location all the while concealing the infrastructure from the public.  It is designed to make lighting infrastructure a much more aesthetic and smarter product for citizens, helping cities and municipalities that want to offer a multi-purpose street solution.

Comba is showcasing its 5G technology at this year’s Mobile World Congress Americas in Los Angeles, California, USA from September 12-14, 2018 in booth Hall West Stand W.1128.


“Cisco: Enterprises Are Leading The Internet of Things Innovation”, Huffpost, Vala Afshar, 2017, Aug 28, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cisco-enterprises-are-leading-the-internet-of-things_us_59a41fcee4b0a62d0987b0c6

“Verizon to test 5G in 11 cities”, CNN tech, Selena Larson, 2017, Feb 22, https://money.cnn.com/2017/02/22/technology/verizon-5g-testing/index.html

“AT&T Adds Three More U.S. Cities to 5G Plans as It Races Verizon”, Bloomberg, Scott Moritz, 2018, Jul 20, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-20/at-t-adds-three-more-u-s-cities-to-5g-plans-as-it-races-verizon

“The State of LTE”, Open Signal, 2018 Feb, https://opensignal.com/reports/2018/02/state-of-lte

“4G LTE speeds vs. your home network”, Verizon Wireless, 2013, May 9, https://www.verizonwireless.com/articles/4g-lte-speeds-vs-your-home-network/

“Nokia 5G Demonstration Video – 5G: driving the automation of everything”, Nokia uniteChannel, 2016, Sep, 22, https://youtu.be/ndkzlyjAn7g