The advent of 4G LTE cellular networks was a big leap forward for the world of mobile data by providing users with data transfer bandwidths capable of enabling full internet on-the-go. Today’s 4G networks can support bandwidths up to 20 MHz wide; LTE advanced can theoretically go as high as gigabit rates.
Some of the new technologies that enable this increase in bandwidth include: 256 QAM modulation; 4×4 MIMO (multiinput-multi-output) with 10 spacial streams using 2 high frequency carriers with 4 layers each and 1 low frequency carrier with 2 layers; and, the use of multi-carrier aggregation or bonding of multiple 20 MHz channels. But as the demand for mobile data and an increasingly connected world develop, the 4G network will struggle to keep up.
5G networks will provide wider channel bandwidths and greater data capacity than current 4G networks. Channel bandwidths greater than 200 MHz and data rates of tens of gigabits per second are planned. As with current 4G systems,as 5G networks evolve over time, they will employ new technologies and techniques to increase data throughput even more. Some new techniques and technologies that are essential for 5G networks include massive MIMO, cooperative MIMO and adaptive beamforming.
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