Communication

5G network could slow down by 15% on a hot, sunny day

Researchers have revealed that the next-generation yet-to-be-launched 5G networks has a major performance issue on a hot sunny day.

Researchers have revealed that “5G” cellular transmissions could slow down by as much as 15 per cent on a hot sunny day and this could mean that even in this advanced technology users could face dropped calls in places like Florida and the Middle East.

5G cellular systems come with a promise of delivering ultra-fast processing speeds by tapping into super-high frequency radio waves, which would offer 10 to 100 times more computing space than today’s 4G cellular systems. But the latest finding indicates everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows even in this tech.

Researchers have published the first comprehensive analysis of solar radio emissions on land-based wireless communications systems at 60 Gigahertz (GHz) bands. They found that future 5G cellular systems using 60 GHz bands might work better at night because solar radio emissions seem to degrade such transmissions. But there is a solution.

If 5G systems could make use of extremely high-frequency radio waves — characterized by millimeter-length bands (30- to 300 GHz) — users would benefit from much faster data-access speeds and “nomadic” service that functions much like Wi-Fi, untethered from transmission towers.

As a cost-saving measure, telecommunications developers have been looking at transmissions in the unlicensed 5 GHz and 60 GHz bands. Transmissions in this range would provide cellular operators with an appealing business option in areas not profitable enough to justify more expensive licensed bands.

Currently, most 4G LTE networks make it possible to download a full-length high-definition movie in about five to ten minutes. Future 5G technology would offer much higher speeds. But there could be drawbacks to using higher-frequency radio waves, which have shorter transmission ranges shorter transmission ranges that can be blocked by buildings and weakened by atmospheric conditions.

Researchers looked at how solar radio emissions would affect 60 GHz communication, in various system configurations such as line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight setups. First they configured an indoor experiment in order to determine the “path loss exponent” or PLE – a measure of transmission degradation – resulting from solar radio emissions. Then, they compared those results with measurements gathered at two sunny outdoor locations in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia – a hilly region with high-rise buildings and vegetation, and similar terrain with very little vegetation. In hot and sunny weather, PLE values increased by 9.0 to 15.6%, compared to measurements captured at night in cool, clear weather. In other words, the integrity of transmissions were negatively affected by strong sunshine.

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