Gopala Namburi
Solutions Marketing Manager

Ten Myths About 5G - Debunked

June 30, 2017 by Gopala Namburi


Evolution. Revolution. Reality.

    Telecommunications           IoT & Connected Vehicles                     AR/VR

5G is revolutionary, evolutionary and a reality. 5G is also speed, scale and complexity all at the same time. Naturally, when a technology like 5G is evolving, myths around it grow proportionately. Ixia exposes ten common myths about 5G – and we clue you in to the reality behind them.

Ixia's Kalyan Sundhar, VP of Mobility, Virtualization and Applications exposes these myths in the "5G for Dummies" book that is available to our readers as a downloadable resource.

5G is all about higher speeds to the user. Although one of the key goals of 5G is to provide extreme bandwidth (high-speed data) to users, low latency and massive scale are other key goals of 5G. So, 5G isn’t just about speed!

5G requires less than one millisecond latency. Although less than one millisecond of latency is a goal of 5G, 5G networks will be deployed before that target is achieved.

Smartphones will lead the charge to 5G. The iPhone and Android were born in the 3G era and virtually exploded (literally, in some cases) during the 4G LTE era. However, 5G will not only enable faster and better smartphones — it will also lead to mass-market consumer VR and AR devices, sensors and applications for smart homes and cars, industrial robots, and billions of other Internet of Things (IoT) devices yet to be conceived.

5G will be commercially available in 2017. Although Verizon plans to roll out 5G fixed mobility in 2017 and Olympic 5G trials will be underway during the 2018 Winter Olympics, 5G standards will not be finalized until the end of 2017. Thus, although some early, pre-standard versions of 5G will be coming soon, the 5G standard is not complete. Standards-compliant 5G will be coming much later.

5G is only for short-range, line-of-sight communication. In addition to other frequency bands, 5G uses mmWave bands, which are ideal for very short ranges. However, plenty of ongoing experiments demonstrate how techniques such as beamforming can achieve greater ranges to users in challenging environments beyond line-of-sight.

5G will be used only in very high bands. Although 5G will be deployed in very high millimeter wave (mmWave) bands, it will also re-use spectrum in lower bands, both licensed and unlicensed.

5G will replace 4G LTE. 5G will coexist with 4G LTE for a long time to come. 4G has plenty to offer for many current applications such as voice, data, and even IoT.

5G will be a revolution, not an evolution. Although 5G brings in a new physical layer (in 5G New Radio, or 5G NR), there is plenty of evolution from LTE-A Pro technologies such as carrier aggregation (CA), massive multiple input/multiple output (MIMO), quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), unlicensed spectrum (LTE in unlicensed spectrum or LTE-U, License Assisted Access or LAA, and MulteFire, among others), IoT, and virtualization.

5G will be required to drive IoT. IoT will initially be driven by LTE-A Pro where NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) is specified. In addition, other low-power technologies, such as Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) and Sigfox, have been defined for IoT.

The 5G winners will be the operators and vendors. Mobile network operators (MNOs), network equipment manufacturers (NEMs), and smartphone manufacturers were the primary business beneficiaries of 4G LTE. However, 5G will transform many industries, including car manufacturing, agriculture, health and medicine, transportation and logistics, and many more.

While the technologies that will constitute 5G are still being worked on, the ITU-R has identified three main usage scenarios for 5G: Enhanced mobile broadband with up to 20 Gbps peak data rate, massive machine-type communications, ultra-reliable and low latency communications.

Accelerate Your 5G Designs and Deployments - Be The Leader

Being first and best in 5G depends on tools that let you explore new services, scenarios and topologies. Ixia’s 5G test solutions are ready to enable deeper insights as development of the standard evolves. In 5G design and test, our solutions help you innovate across new and existing technologies as you transform ideas into reality. The race is on and Ixia will help you take the lead—from evolution to revolution to reality.

Explore new services, scenarios and topologies with Ixia’s IxLoad® LTE XAir2 for 5G test. IxLoad LTE XAir2 combines scale and performance testing, with realistic subscriber emulation and quality of experience (QoE) validation, for applications and services. Please refer to the recent press release to understand the capabilities of our RAN (Radio Access Network) test product. Additionally, IxLoad LTE XAir2 can be used for testing LTE on the unlicensed spectrum. Emulate entire networks in support of these test scenarios. Create the system you need for 5G test—faster—with reference solutions to test areas such as

  • Subscriber experience of enhanced mobile broadband services (eMBB)
  • Massive machine type communications (mMTC)
  • Ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC)

Ixia’s XAir2 with high session counts, versus bandwidth per session, offers operators the first step in supporting diverse types of IoT tests.

We can also advise, assist and augment your teams: all around the world, you can tap into the expertise of Ixia consultants and application engineers who are deeply familiar with the latest wireless technologies. Our expertise is also readily available through white papers, application notes and webcasts posted on