First Steps in 5G - Part 2: Millimeter-Wave Spectrum

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Part 2: Millimeter-Wave Spectrum

The goals for 5G are aggressive. The enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) use case targets peak data rates as high as 20 Gbps in the downlink (DL) and 10 Gbps in the uplink (UL) to support new applications such as high-speed streaming of 4K or 8K UHD movies. While there are different ways to improve data rates, spectrum is at the core of enabling higher mobile broadband data rates. 5G New Radio (NR) specifies new frequency bands below 6 GHz and extends into millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies where more contiguous bandwidth is available for sending lots of data.

While consumers will appreciate the increased bandwidth, it introduces challenges pertaining to link quality requirements at mmWave frequencies. Impairments are not an issue at sub-6 GHz but become more problematic at mmWave frequencies. Extra consideration is needed to determine test approaches that provide the precision required to accurately evaluate 5G components and devices.

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