The development of 5G mobile networks will help to create fully interconnected smart cities

5G wireless tested in an international project

Car and home-based mobile network base stations have been proposed as one of the solutions to address the increasing data flow required in future 5G networks.

Working in the framework of the EU-supported 5G Metis initiative, researchers from Chalmers University in Sweden have proposed several possibilities to make the cellular network denser, in order to meet the needs of future 5G communications. As the demands placed on the existing networks are expected to increase with the growing number of smart phone users, the researchers foresee the infrastructure could be supplemented with simple, low-power and small base stations.

“We see that traffic capacity in the long term needs to increase a thousand times to meet this rapid development,” said Tommy Svensson, an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology. “Theoretically, we could provide the capacity by increasing the number of big base stations, but this option is not economically viable.”

Instead, small base-stations can be mounted on lampposts, facades or even inside apartments. These base-stations could be further supplemented with mobile versions inside vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses or trains.

“The combination of large and small base stations, and possibly direct communication between devices, can be integrated in different ways,” said Svensson. “We need to find a well-functioning system design with high reliability, very fast response times, user-friendly solutions and with low cost and low power consumption.”

With these additions to the mobile network, data transfer from big base stations will become more efficient as the distance to users will decrease, improving the speed of data flow as a result and even increasing battery life of mobile devices. The exposure of users to radiation from mobile communications will decrease as small base stations located closer to the users will allow using radio signals more efficiently and transmitting them with less power.

Such a solution can even help creating the interconnected smart city, allowing vehicles communicating with each other and helping preventing traffic jams by spreading information about crowded areas in real time to as many users as possible.

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