What is Advanced 5G: one step closer to 6G


The Spanish mobile infrastructure has experienced a period of change rarely seen until now. The transition in fourth generation mobile connections (4G) towards the fifth generation that we have now ( 5G) has meant the adaptation of antennas and other network elements. This to make the well-known 5G NSA possible. Now, in addition, we are beginning to enjoy 5G SA or 5G+ thanks to the almost complete renewal of the mobile network. And, if that were not enough, we are starting to talk about Advanced 5G , a previous evolution towards the sixth generation (6G).

When using the concept 5G to name several close but not identical technologies, it is easy to get confused. 4G was just 4G. But the complexity of the fifth generation has meant that its implementation has been, and is still being done today, in phases. 5G technology arrived in Spain taking advantage of the infrastructure already available, that of 4G mobile connectivity, known as 5G NSA –NSA means Non Standalone or No Independent–. And it offered great improvements over 4G: speeds of more than 1 Gbps, latency of 15 to 30 milliseconds.

But to take advantage of the full potential of the 5G standard, it was necessary to completely change the mobile network . Now yes, with new generation 5G components in all parts. Something not easy and expensive. Not only that. It was also necessary to have the radio spectrum released to have the frequencies that make it possible to exploit 5G. Something that has not been possible until very recently as they have been occupied by digital terrestrial television and other technologies. So it was not until recently that we began to glimpse all the possibilities of 5G thanks to 5G+ or SA ( Standalone or Independent SA).

Advanced 5G: on the path between 5G and 6G

Although it took time from when the fifth generation of mobile communications was announced until we were able to start having it on our mobile phones, in recent years everything has gone much faster . Something that has been happening in many sectors, especially technological.

Soon, 5G+ coverage will reach everywhere. And the next step will be the aforementioned 5G Advanced or 5G Advanced . What does it consist of and what relationship does it have with the 5G that we have seen so far?

Advanced 5G is an improved version of the 5G standard. A step prior to the next generation, 6G, which has already been worked on for some time. Even from Spain . What’s more: to facilitate its implementation, the European Union and the Government of Spain have created several initiatives. In Spain, the UNICO R&D 5G Advanced and 6G Program . On its official website it explains that “Advanced 5G maintains the speed of 5G , but implements improvements such as making the passage between user antennas transparent even at high speeds, the possibility of using free bands for communication between terminals or the reduction of battery consumption”.

Companies in the sector such as Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, ZTE or Qualcomm are working to implement Advanced 5G in the coming years. A study published last year dared to predict that by 2030, 5G Advanced technology would be implemented in 75% of the mobile network.