One of the key advantages of 5G is the potential for Ultra-reliable Low Latency Communication (uRLLC). Low latency describes a network optimised to process a high volume of data with minimal delay – this delay is what we refer to by the word latency. Such networks are designed to access near real-time databases with rapidly changing data. They are suitable for time-critical applications that require very short latency times along with high reliability of data transmission. Typically, these are applications in M2M environments – although consumers might be familiar with the concept from online gaming, which requires a stable and quick connection to work well.
Creating a network based on uRLLC can help for mission-critical applications that require uninterrupted and robust data exchange. It could also support requirements of vertical industries, such as autonomous vehicles for the automotive industry, remote surgery for eHealth, and cloud robotics for industry 4.0. These applications all require reduced latency, high reliability (stable connections), high availability (overall network coverage), and high security.
In essence, uRLLC demands the following from the mobile network:
- Latency times in the range of one millisecond or less
- Low error and packet loss rates
- High availability of network technology
- Low probability of communication link failure
- High mobility of the network participants
Although uRLLC has not yet been implemented, the plan of the European Commission is to augment existing systems with new base stations capable of uRLLC up until 2025. This rollout is already taking place in campus networks, such as within companies.