What do you love about 5G

5G - the high-speed cellular network of the future

The next development stage in mobile communications is 5G. This new technology enables a much higher data capacity and extremely short response times. This opens up completely new application possibilities for a fully networked society.

The super-fast 5G mobile communications standard is the basis of the networked gigabit society. It will especially inspire applications with high demands on data exchange. In a smart city, traffic jam and accident warnings as well as free parking spaces can be reported to drivers in real time thanks to 5G. Vehicles can communicate with each other or with the infrastructure - fast and secure data transmission is a driver for highly automated driving. Even software updates with new functions for the car are possible in a matter of seconds via the cellular interface.

Another important 5G field of application is Industry 4.0. With its networked value and supply chains, extensive sensor monitoring of production systems and robots that interact with one another, it is dependent on efficient communication.

The use of media will also be more individual, flexible and diverse in the future thanks to super-fast mobile communications. Several thousand people can access the mobile Internet at the same time during a concert or soccer match. You can follow the event interactively and from different perspectives in 4K / 8K Super HD on your smartphone without delay. Compared to LTE, 5G has a data capacity that is 100 times higher and data transmission is more than a thousand times faster. Thanks to barely noticeable latency times, the mobile radio standard enables a lightning-fast reaction in the network and requires less power. The basis for this impressive performance are four innovations.

What does 5G mean?

What does 5G mean?

5G is the abbreviation for "Fifth Generation", the name for the next standard in mobile communication. This standard will replace the current LTE standard (4G). Earlier standards were UMTS (3G) and GSM (2G). 5G will offer larger bandwidths of up to 10 gigabits per second and extremely short response times. This enables a significantly higher transmission speed and meets the increasing demands on communication in an increasingly networked society. 5G will require significantly less power for data transmission: Compared to the previous standard, 5G only needs a thousandth of the energy per transmitted bit.

Overview: Smart connected with 5G

100 times higher transmission speed

Sending and receiving data in real time with 5G: important for Industry 4.0 - but also for a convincing user experience in everyday life

1000 times higher data capacity

With 5G, many users can quickly send and receive at the same time: Users benefit particularly at large events

75 billion connected devices by 2025

5G is paving the way for the smart home: the refrigerator is networked, WiFi router and TV can be programmed remotely

Reliable network

5G ensures stable connections: even at a speed of 600 on the train and in the edge areas of cell phone cells

Smart connections

5G in the smart city: signals move in a targeted manner to the devices for which they are intended

High security requirements

With 5G, even more data is transmitted to even more devices: Devices and data must be protected from unauthorized access

Low energy consumption

5G saves electricity: Transmitting systems search for the receiving device and only transmit when necessary; if a connection is no longer required, it is terminated

Short latency times

With 5G communication in real time: reaction times of one millisecond are important for connected cars, Industry 4.0 or telemedicine
What are the advantages of 5G?

What are the advantages of 5G?

Compared to LTE, the new 5G cellular standard will offer a transmission speed that is around 100 times faster with data rates of up to 10 gigabits per second. Even videos in 4K format can be loaded at lightning speed. It takes less than five seconds to download the contents of a DVD. Delays, such as you know from video telephony, will be a thing of the past. This enables applications such as telemedicine, in which a doctor carries out surgical interventions via the Internet. At the same time, the new 5G network allows larger bandwidths, so that many users can be served faster and receive higher quality at the same time. Thus, 5G will work much more stable and reliable.

Simply explained: How 5G works

Millimeter waves

So far, smartphones and other electronic devices have used a narrow frequency range between 3 KHz and 3 GHz. But a rapidly growing number of mobile, networked devices and things share this area - with the result that data transmission is getting slower and the connection is more susceptible to failure. The solution is to use frequencies in the range below 6 GHz, but especially in the millimeter wave range with frequencies between around 30 and 300 GHz, in which mobile devices do not yet transmit any data. Sufficient bandwidth is available here for the Internet of Things. However, millimeter waves have one disadvantage: They do not penetrate stone house walls and can be absorbed by trees or heavy rain.

Small Cell Network

In order to avoid dead spots during data transmission in the millimeter range, many small transmitter stations are brought into close proximity to the participants. They form a small cell network that serves as an extension of the previous cellular network. This expansion of the existing network enables users to be reached in the vicinity, whereby only low transmission powers are required. Due to the shorter distances between the stations, the mobile device or IoT device can always find a good connection to the next station. Infineon supplies the high-frequency components required for this. Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMIC) enable data transmission at frequencies of up to 90 GHz; the market is currently focusing on frequencies up to 40 GHz.

Massive MIMO

In a transmission system with MIMO technology (Multiple Input Multiple Output), the data stream is transmitted via several transmitting and receiving antennas. This improves the received signal, increases the possible distance and increases overall data throughput. While LTE usually combines a maximum of eight antenna elements, 5G requires significantly more power: With millimeter waves, several hundred antennas are often used at a transmitting or receiving station. This optimized multi-antenna technology, called massive MIMO, increases the capacity of the cellular network many times over. However, Massive MIMO requires another technology in order to use the advantages of millimeter waves: only with so-called beamforming can the signals be focused and reliably transmitted.


Conventional antennas emit the signals evenly in all directions. If the signals overlap with those of other transmitters, interference can occur and the signal transmission is seriously disturbed. The multi-antenna technology of the Massive MIMO, in combination with beamforming, solves this problem: By sending the same signal with several antennas at different times, the transmitter takes a closer look at the approximate location of the client and aligns its transmission power accordingly - this is how a signal beam is formed, in English beamforming. A beamforming transmitter can send individual signals in different directions to individual receivers. This increases the range, ensures a more stable connection and higher transmission rates, and reduces unwanted radio interference.

Data security through semiconductor solutions

With increasing networking, the need for data security increases. Smart homes, connected cars and Industry 4.0 require protection against unauthorized access and the security of data and processes. With innovative semiconductor-based security solutions, Infineon is also protecting the future 5G cellular structure from the increasing number of security threats.

When is 5G coming?

When is 5G coming?

The construction of a new cellular network is associated with enormous technical and financial challenges. The first applications are currently in existence, but they are still more of a pilot character. For example, South Korea demonstrated the first 5G millimeter wave applications at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In Berlin, the first four radio cells in Europe went into operation in 2017, which broadcast live and in a real environment via 5G. In the USA, Verizon has announced that it will start pilot projects with 28 GHz millimeter waves in 2018. AT&T plans to start trials with 5G transmissions in the 39 GHz range in several cities in the USA in 2019. However, it will take a few years before it is available across the board. In Europe, for example, a well-developed 5G network should be in place in large cities by 2025, according to the goal of the EU Council of Ministers.

Application examples: 5G in everyday life

After work in the smart city

The meeting with the colleagues from sales lasted until late in the evening. Isabell Gredinger drives her car through the big city at night on the way home. “Fortunately, there are no more traffic jams at this time as there is usually at rush hour,” she goes through her head. The drive from the north of the city to your apartment in a southern district can easily take more than an hour in the early evening.

The disadvantage of the late evening: Hardly any free parking spaces in the streets. But Isabell isn't worried about that. Your residential area is part of a pilot project. The street lights are equipped with radar sensors and radio chips. They recognize whether there are parking spaces nearby and pass this information on to a central server via the cellular network.

A corresponding app is installed in Isabell's car. It shows her via the navigation system which lanterns are free parking spaces. Isabell really doesn't have to look far: she can park just 150 meters from her apartment. "A real relief," thinks Isabell while parking. “That saves time and fuel. And you don't annoy your neighbors when you drive through their street for the third time. "

More information about the intelligent street lamp "eluminocity"

New car overnight

Leon Becker is also driving his car into a parking space. He only leased the vehicle a few months ago and is still enthusiastic about the new possibilities. In a traffic jam, it drives completely autonomously. “A computer on wheels”, he thought at the time after the dealer had explained all functions to him.

When he switches off the engine, he receives a message in the display: The vehicle manufacturer is offering him a new software update with a range of new functions that make driving even safer and more comfortable. To do this, his car no longer even has to go to the workshop. Similar to his mobile phone, he can call up the update via a cellular radio interface in the car - the so-called telematics unit. Security chips ensure that only the authorized service provider can access the car.

Thanks to the fast 5G network, the loading process and the installation of the new software versions should not take longer than 20 minutes. Since Jürgen doesn't need the car again until the next morning, he confirms the update. He gets out and locks the car while the update is already loading. The updated operating instructions are automatically downloaded directly to his smartphone in a few seconds. This gives him the opportunity to find out about the new functions immediately. Tomorrow morning he can use the extended functionality of his car.

Always on the ball

The pass comes precisely to the free-standing center forward. He takes the ball and shoots directly. Goal! Over 70,000 spectators cheered. Gregor Westkamp and his son Julian are sitting in the football stadium. As usual, Julian holds his smartphone in his hand. He follows what is happening on the field, but also keeps looking at the display. A major national television station will broadcast the game live on the Internet.

Julian experiences the game in front of him on the pitch and at the same time on his mobile phone, which also shows the game from different camera angles. And that with practically no time delay. The fast 5G network makes it possible. Julian even has a small wireless loudspeaker in his ear and hears the station's commentator at the same time.

Gregor prefers to enjoy the atmosphere in the stadium. He looks around. Many viewers use their smartphones and watch the soccer game twice. This has now become a real trend at major events. “It's remarkable,” he thinks. "Several thousand people can access the mobile Internet here at the same time without bottlenecks occurring."


Last updated: February 2018