Fifth generation (5G) digital cellular networks have arrived. As carriers begin to deploy the first phases of 5G to provide enhanced download speeds and reduced latency, buildout is underway. However, 5G is not just a speed upgrade. It is a fundamental change in network architecture, a shift to more software-defined networking, and designed for fast downstream data and higher capacity upstream data.
Because it impacts physical networks, 5G means network densification of microcell sites (small cells) and upgrades to in-building distributed antenna systems (DAS). Likewise, building owners stand to benefit by providing mounting locations to deploy outdoor small cells, which can attach to the existing network and use the building’s broadband connection for backhaul, while DAS utilizes a separate network overlay with independent backhaul connections.