Wireless Mantra of the Week: 5G Latency

Mantra: 5G supports the radio network latency of as little as 1 ms.
Brief Explanation: According to the ITU’s IMT-2020 requirements, the radio network is not expected to add more than 1 ms of latency to the end-to-end latency. For reference, the 4G performance requirements aim for 10 ms radio network latency. This significant latency reduction enables 5G to address the industries and applications that are beyond the reach of traditional LTE deployments. Please note that this 1 ms is not an end-to-end latency between the device and the Application Server. Furthermore, such stringent delay is not intended for ALL applications; it is intended for applications such as Ultra Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) applications. The key factors that enable the 1 ms latency include shorter Transmission Time Intervals (TTIs) resulting from wider subcarrier spacings, flexible Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request ( HARQ), low error rates possible due to powerful Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) coding and support for a suitable Channel Quality Indicator (CQI) table, and high signal to interference ratio (SINR) facilitated by high-gain beamforming. Finally, note that a low end-to-end latency would require low radio network latency, concepts such as Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and Network Slicing, and a suitable transport network.

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