IT Center Blog

5G – The new mobile communications technology

February 5th, 2021 | by

The new mobile communications standard 5G is playing an increasingly important role worldwide – including here at RWTH Aachen University. And that’s why, as of today, we’re dedicating a small series to the topic every Friday, providing background information, technical info and an outlook for the future.

Source: Pixabay

We start with the basic question: What is 5G?

5G is a mobile communications standard that has been gaining in popularity since 2019. It builds on the existing LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard and is currently being operated in parallel with it.
The majority of users expect the new mobile communications standard to provide faster data transmission when using their cell phones. Surfing the Internet will be noticeably accelerated by 5G.

In the university environment, however, the focus is on research and development. Here, the main advantages of the new network – bandwidth and low latency – are of greater importance than in the consumer market of mobile operators. Machines communicate wirelessly with each other via radio sensors. For research into autonomous driving, vehicles wirelessly transmit their movement data to a server.

5G, the fifth-generation mobile communications technology, enables high mobile transmission rates. In contrast to the use of 4G (LTE), Wi-Fi or Bluetooth®, transmission can take place in a protected band, which is particularly relevant for industrial companies.
Another feature of 5G is a low response time (latency) of about one millisecond, which means that the new technology operates almost in real time. With the possibility of setting up radio microcells, 5G technology offers ideal conditions for application in industrial machines and plants.

All these are just a few examples for the industrial use of the 5G network.

RWTH Aachen University, represented by the IT Center, is already in possession of a 5G usage license in the 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency band, which is already being used to implement various projects on the Melaten campus.
The IT Center is already making its high-performance data network available there for networking the radio technology – because radio technology also needs a data network for communication. According to current plans, we are aiming to put our own 5G transmission technology into regular operation before the end of 2021.

Important 5G facts in a nutshell:

– 10x higher bandwidths than 4G (LTE)

– Low latencies <1ms, real-time transmission

– Up to 1,000,000 devices in one network; with 4G (LTE) it’s about 200

– Networking of 5G transmitters via fiber optic lines


We will provide you with more information, insights and developments in the coming weeks. So stay tuned…



Responsible for the content of this article is Frank Meeßen.

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