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NJIT Engineering Online Telecommunications networks are cracking at the seams due to the exponential growth of Internet of Things (IoT). This expansion is expected to continue as experts estimate that networks will handle 1,000 times more data when compared to the current traffic volumes. The increase is accompanied by the introduction of more complex applications. If not managed properly, the disruptive developments may affect the quality of connections, which translates to regular service outages and slower connections.

Experts are concerned that the potential impact of an increase in data volumes may extend to phone users due to overwhelming pressure on network infrastructure. The demand for high bandwidth communications networks means that players in the sector should prepare for anticipated growth. The traditional copper wire communications infrastructure faces significant constraints when handling bandwidth-intensive applications. As more people get connected, algorithms capable of automating large chunks of everyday life will take over the handling of mundane tasks.

The majority of telecommunications carriers prefer employing alternative technologies because the cost of rewiring individual customer premises with fiber-optic cable is prohibitive. It is common for service providers to optimize the use of existing copper wire infrastructure. Many telecommunications specialists are convinced that smart antennas operating on the millimeter-wave band provide a viable solution. When implemented, the antennas will connect billions of subscribers through wide-ranging devices, which are linked to a communication center that uses multi-level frequency routes.

Talking Cars

Connected cars are also adding to the pressure on telecommunications infrastructure since most automobiles available on the market today come with a built-in mobile connection. Vehicles using streaming navigation data or a Wi-Fi connection are all linked to mobile network towers. They are fast becoming the largest growing segment, in terms of connected devices, that are piling the pressure on communications networks in many countries, including the United States. This growth is expected to peak from 2020 and beyond as more car owners use ubiquitous automobiles as mobile communication platforms. America’s AT&T handles up to 8 million vehicles on its mobile infrastructure, which shows the extent of the growth. The service provider offers a wide variety of mobile communication solutions (business) that include 4G LTE hotspots built into the vehicle, over-the-air updates, telematics, vehicle-to-vehicle functionality and in-car entertainment apps. The growth in connected-car technologies is driven by the manufacturers’ goals of introducing autonomous driving features and an assortment of new digital services. The key aspects of these services entail automated links to various objects or devices, including tracking devices, smartphones, other vehicles, traffic lights and even home appliances.

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The Future of 5G and Telecommunications

The 5th generation mobile networks, or 5G, is a proposed standard for mobile telecommunications that will take over from the current 4G/IMT advanced standard. The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance lists a number of variables that qualify a mobile network as 5G, including significantly reduced latency when compared to LTE, data rates of tens of megabits per second for multitudes of users, spectral efficiency and much more. 5th generation wireless systems are designed to enable telecommunications networks to cope with the proliferation of devices that contribute to an increase in data traffic. The range of devices tapping into mobile networks includes dog collars, home appliances, connected cars, wearables, door locks and security cameras. The list is almost endless. Research has shown that up to 20.8 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020 as opposed to an estimated 6.4 billion devices currently tapping into the mobile networks. Although LTE brought a faster and more consistent functionality to the 4th generation mobile networks, the technology will not be sufficient by 2020. On the other hand, 5G will make it simpler for people to upload and download Ultra HD and 3D video.