5G Wireless Communication Network Architecture and Its Key Enabling Technologies
The wireless mobile communication systems have developed from the second generation (2G) through to the current fourth generation (4G) wireless system, transforming from simply telephony system to a network transporting rich multimedia contents including video conferencing, 3-D gaming and in-flight broadband connectivity (IFBC) where airline crew use augmented reality headsets to address passengers personally. However, there are still many challenges that are beyond the capabilities of the 4G as the demand for higher data rate, lower latency, and mobility requirement by new wireless applications sores leading to mixed content-centric communication service. The fifth generation (5G) wireless system has thus been suggested, and research is ongoing for its deployment beyond 2020. In this article, we investigate the various challenges of 4G and propose an indoor, outdoor segregated cellular architecture with cloud-based Radio Access Network (C-RAN) for 5G, we review some of its key emerging wireless technologies needed in meeting the new demands of users including massive multiple input multiple output (mMIMO) system, Device-to-Device (D2D), Visible Light Communication (VLC), Ultra-dense network, Spatial Modulation and Millimeter wave technology. It is also shown how the benefits of the emerging technologies can be optimized using the Software Defined Networks/Network Functions Virtualization (SDN/NFV) as a tool in C-RAN. We conclude that the new 5G wireless architecture will derive its strength from leveraging on the benefits of the emerging hardware technologies been managed by reconfigurable SDN/NFV via the C-RAN. This work will be of immense help to those who will engage in further research expedition and network operators in the search for a smooth evolution of the current state of the art networks toward 5G networks.
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