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5G Terms explained

Read our helpful guide to 5G terminology so you can learn more about how this new technology can improve your business

5G is here, bringing with it all kinds of exciting possibilities for New Zealand businesses. It’s also brought with it a new range of terms that might seem strange.

Can’t tell MEC from LED? That’s OK. We’ve prepared an easy to read guide to help you learn the key terms. So, you’ll be explaining massive-MIMO technology to your colleagues in no time.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet – ‘the cloud’.

  • Made up of a huge, interconnected network of powerful servers, the cloud can be public or private, and is safe and secure.
  • If you’re using web-based services like Microsoft Office 365, you’re using cloud computing. And with 5G this is easier than ever, even for critical applications.

Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC)

Multi-Access Edge Computing reduces congestion on mobile networks by managing online traffic in a smarter way.

  • This technology shifts the data load of cloud computing closer to the end user, using

purpose-built Edge Technology Centres.

  • These reduce the distance the signal has to travel, for faster response.
  • MEC can enable many applications that rely on real-time data processing (for example, autonomous cars).

New spectrum

Spectrum is the range of frequencies contained in 3G, 4G and 5G signal. The higher the frequency, the larger the bandwidth, and the more you can get done, faster.

  • 5G will eventually operate across a range of frequencies. Here in NZ we have Initially launched our 5G network with the 3.5Ghz spectrum. Compared with 4G 700Mhz which we use for greater reach in rural areas (RBI), the 3.5Ghz spectrum will have a smaller coverage footprint. This is why we are focussing on more populated areas such as cities with our initial rollout. As more spectrum becomes available Vodafone will continue to roll out more and more coverage with appropriate spectrum for each scenario.

Massive-MIMO technology

This is a new form of radio antenna that can provide multiple beams of signal and direct them where needed.

  • With Massive-MIMO, uses over 100 antennas at each cell site, meaning more signal paths, higher capacity and faster connections.
  • Many more users and devices can connect to 5G simultaneously without loss of speed or consistency (great news next time you’re at a crowded conference).

Network slicing

With 5G, network slicing will make it possible for carriers to offer specific services to different customers with virtual ‘network slices’ or allocations over the same physical network.

  • IoT applications usually require a large number of connections but with low throughput (rate of processing). Mobile broadband solutions require a small number of connections but a large bandwidth. Network slicing lets carriers offer customers a service best suited to their needs.
  • Network slicing is expected to become popular in the manufacturing industry because it can provide dedicated connectivity to the machines and devices that keep production going smoothly.

Mobile Private Network (MPN)

Network slicing technology can also be combined with a 5G connection to set up a virtual Mobile Private Network. It allows you to run voice services to mobile handsets over a private network, giving you increased security.

  • Get control over your own private 5G network, set up to meet your specific business needs and enable better real-time performance.
  • Greater security, with built-in encryption and on-premise data.

Software-Defined Networking (SDN)

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) allows you to manage your network centrally, giving you more agility, more control and more bandwidth when you need it.

  • It uses 5G’s increased capabilities and potential for network slicing to deliver a secure, flexible connection for business without disruption.

Business to the power of 5G

We hope that our guide has helped translate 5G jargon into something you can understand. Feel free to share it with your colleagues and peers.

Vodafone’s 5G network is helping to unlock the potential of businesses across the country.

Explore the future of 5G

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