What is 5G NR?

-April 25, 2017


OFDM can be scaled to much lower latency as compared to LTE today (Figure 5).

Figure 5 OFDM is more scalable to lower latency than LTE’s 8 HARQ interfaces (Image courtesy of Reference 2)


Forward compatibility must be designed into 5G so that we can flexibly phase in future features and services (Reference 2 slides 12, 13, and 14). 5G NR must be scalable enough to address diverse services and devices. These include massive IoT, mission critical control, and enhanced mobile broadband. See the following band allocation examples:

Low bands

Allocated in the low band area of 1 GHz are such bands as 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 850/900 MHz. These bands are typically for longer range such as in massive IoT (An example: Ericsson for AT&T) and mobile broadband.

Mid bands

The mid band area is from 1 GHz to 6 GHz with such bands as 3.4-3.8 GHz, 3.8-4.2 GHz, and 4.4-4.9 GHz. These bands are typically used for such uses as mission-critical applications and eMBB

High bands

The high band area lies above 24 GHz (mmWave) and these are denoted to be used as ‘extreme bandwidths’ like 24.25-27.5 GHz, 27.5-29.5 GHz, 37-40 GHz, and 64-71 GHz.

New technologies will need to be developed to meet 5G NR requirements. Watch EDN’s 5G Design Center for more technical and educational articles coming soon.


  1. Making 5G NR a reality,” Qualcomm
  2. 5G Vision and Design, Dr. John Smee, Sr. Director of Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., IEEE 5G Summit Silicon Valley, Nov. 15, 2015
  3. LTE Radio Interface Part 1, Eduardo Del Valle
  4. E225C – Lecture 16 OFDM Introduction, Berkeley Wireless Research Center
  5. Waveform and Numerology to Support 5G Services and Requirements, Ali A. Zaidi, Robert Baldemair, Hugo Tullberg, Håkan Björkegren, Lars Sundström, Jonas Medbo, Caner Kilinc and Icaro Da Silva, Ericsson Research, Sweden
  6. Signal Chain Basics #81: OFDM Basics, Planet Analog

Steve Taranovich is a senior technical editor at EDN with 45 years of experience in the electronics industry.

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