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The 5G Millimeter-Wave Frequency Spectrum and Its Applications

Key Takeaways

  • 5G technology exhibits good coverage and high capacity benefits in the mid-frequency band.

  • 5G millimeter-wave frequency can unlock expanded network capacity with multi-Gbps speed. 

  • Short-distance propagation and high data rates make 5G millimeter-wave technology ideal for communication between autonomous vehicles.


Wireless communication technology offers many advantages—including speed, reliability, and efficiency. 5G technology is a fifth-generation wireless system that provides fast internet and break-free connectivity. 5G utilizes millimeter waves for signal transmission and offers advantages such as high data rates, reduced dropped connections, reliability, and efficiency. 5G millimeter-wave frequency waves are at a higher frequency than the conventionally used radio frequency spectrum for broadcasting. In this article, we will explore 5G millimeter-wave frequency technology and its advantages and applications. 

The Evolution of 5G Wireless Communication Technology

5G technology is next-generation cellular network technology. Cellular network technology evolved to 5G from 1G. Generally, cellular networks utilized the radio frequency band in the electromagnetic spectrum. The radio frequency spectrum ranges from 3kHz to 300GHz. 1G cellular networks operated within a frequency of 850MHz to 1900MHz. As wireless communication progressed to 2G and 3G networks, additional frequency bands were utilized, up to around 2100MHz. The operation of 4G LTE connections can be observed in several different frequency bands and spectrums around 600MHz, 700 MHz, 1.7GHz, 2.1GHz, 2.3GHZ, and 2.5 GHz.

The evolution of 5G networks prompted the use of radio frequency bands that are considerably higher than their predecessors. 5G technology is established over millimeter-wave frequencies, which can be classified into low, mid, and high-frequency bands. 

Low and Mid-Frequency Bands of 5G Networks

Low-Frequency Bands

5G networks use low, mid, and high bands of the radio frequency spectrum. A low-frequency band in the sub-1GHz range supports indoor, rural, suburban, and urban communication. The lower frequency bands cover higher distances at slower data transfer rates. They offer widespread coverage. 

Mid-Frequency Bands

Mid-frequency band 5G technology includes more spectrum in the 3.3GHz-4.2 GHz range. 5G technology exhibits good coverage and high capacity benefits in this mid-frequency band. Additionally, 4.8 GHz, 6GHz, and 10 GHz frequencies are added to this spectrum range, which can be referred to as WRC-23. 

5G Millimeter-Wave Frequency Bands

4G latency has been the biggest limitation to increasing cellular network speed and capacity and has led to the development of 5G millimeter-wave frequency usage. The latency of 4G LTE is around 20-30 milliseconds. The utilization of millimeter-wave frequency in 5G technology helps reduce latency and can reach below 10 milliseconds.

Millimeter-wave broadcasting can be mapped to frequencies between 30GHz to 300GHz. They are called millimeter waves, as their wavelength varies from 1 to 10mm. The millimeter wavelength is less than the tens of centimeter wavelengths of conventional radio frequency communications. The 5G spectrum utilizing millimeter-wave frequency bands starting at 24 GHz up to 100 GHz gives ultra high speed, increased traffic, high capacity, with more connected devices in the cellular network.

The 5G short-wavelength frequency band is pretty much unused and gives a window for increasing the bandwidth, which overcomes the shortcomings of congestion in other mobile communication frequency bands. The 5G millimeter-wave covers a shorter distance with much higher data transfer rates. It also improves the user experience, especially when 5G millimeter-wave frequencies are employed in the Internet of Things (IoT) applications and industrial automation.  

Applications of 5G Millimeter-Wave Technology

5G millimeter-wave frequency can unlock expanded network capacity with multi-Gbps speed. The high-speed data transfer and wide bandwidth offered by 5G millimeter-wave technology offer the user a reliable experience and network efficiency benefits. It effectively addresses exponentially growing mobile data consumption.

5G millimeter-wave technology is employed in telecommunication systems, security scanners, and short-range radar systems. The high bandwidth of 5G millimeter technology makes it the best candidate for short-distance wireless transmissions of high-definition videos and multimedia content. It finds applications in short-range personal area networks (PAN) and high bandwidth local area networks (LAN) such as 802.15 wireless PAN and IEEE 802.11 ad multiple gigabit wireless systems (MGWS), respectively. 5G millimeter-wave frequency technology is the most suitable cellular technology to support cloud gaming. The short-distance propagation and high data rates make 5G millimeter-wave technology ideal for communication between autonomous vehicles as well.

The utilization of 5G millimeter-wave frequency in cellular technology has been transformative for wireless communication systems. Cadence can help you in employing 5G millimeter-wave technology-based IoT systems and industrial automation.

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