Future 5G networks will be very different to those of previous generations of mobile technology. Concepts such as network slicing and virtualization, the use of heterogeneous access networks and close interworking with 4G LTE networks will support a very wide range of services and applications with hugely different performance requirements. This means that previous definitions of how and where we deliver coverage will fundamentally change. Current perceptions of service coverage are based largely on the idea of where 98% of people live and work, taking into account that people can move into a coverage area if needed. This does not work for many envisaged 5G use cases. Applications will have different requirements from the network, and many Internet of Things (IoT) devices like sensors or remote cameras will be static and won’t be able to move to a better signal area. What constitutes acceptable coverage, for regulatory purposes, or in practical terms, needs to be defined in terms of service performance at specific locations – for each application and use case.
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