The rationale for the development of the 5th generation of mobile communications (5G) was not only to expand the broadband capabilities of mobile networks, but also to provide advanced wireless connectivity for a wide variety of vertical industries, such as the manufacturing, automotive and agricultural sectors. To achieve this, 5G supports three essential types of communication: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communication (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC).
eMBB provides extremely high data rates (of up to several Gb/s) and offers enhanced coverage, well beyond that of 4G. mMTC is designed to provide wide-area coverage and deep indoor penetration for hundreds of thousands of IoT devices per square kilometer. In addition, mMTC is designed to provide ubiquitous connectivity with low software and hardware requirements from the devices, and will support battery-saving low-energy operation. URLLC can facilitate highly critical applications with very demanding requirements in terms of end-to-end (E2E) latency (down to the millisecond level), reliability and availability.This includes, for example, high-performance connectivity for applications in industrial automation and control. Some of the target key performance indicators of 5G as specified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are summarized below. In order to support the three service types defined above and the diverse requirements of the anticipated 5G use cases by a common cellular infrastructure, network slicing, a new concept introduced in 5G, will allow simultaneous but isolated provisioning of diverse services by the same network infrastructure.