Designing to Evolving 4G & Pre-5G Requirements

A tutorial presented at DesignCon 2017

  • Ghobad Heidari | President, GHB Intellect
  • Cary Snyder | 5G System Architecture Consultant, E2E Wireless
  • Raghu Rao | Principal Architect, Xilinx Inc.
  • Yogendra Shah | Senior Director, Interdigital Communications

There is universal agreement that the evolving 5G infrastructure market represents considerable opportunities for many market and product segments. At the same time, 5G technology is heavy on hype for a magical 2020 debut, whereas, the primary Mobile Network Operator (MNO) revenue will likely be generated by Pre-5G technology until 2023 or beyond . Translated into actionable design activity that generates a suitable ROI, just about all focus should be turned to LTE Advanced Pro features and capabilities that are part of 3GPP Releases 12, 13 and 14.

The road to a fully-capable 5G network deployment will undoubtedly be gated by multiple phases of evolutionary steps that allows MNOs to maximize their ROI along the way. For instance, initial 5G-Phase 1 deployment—based on 3GPP Release 15—will not implement new radio (NR) waveforms or the flexible framing/network slicing options that will be part of 5G-Phase 2 (Release 16).

Hence, understanding the industry forces that will lead the effort towards the final 5G deployments is very important for all product/network design engineers and managers. The distinguished panel of presenters chosen for this tutorial is made up of veterans of the mobile communication industry who are keenly involved with the engineering, marketing and standardization effort that is currently in progress towards the 5G eutopia. They will shed light on the myths, hypes and the practicalities of this journey. Their perspectives have been combined into a cohesive tutorial of the pre-5G and 5G network architecture, both from a technical and business perspectives.


Product/Network design engineers and managers attending this tutorial will learn what parts of the 5G cacophony are worth concentrating on to maximize chances of near-term product revenue without falling into one of the many rabbit holes. This tutorial is a review of what to expect for practical development and deployment of pre-5G and 5G networks in the coming years. The attendees will be able to understand the architectural evolution towards the 5G network. More importantly, they will be able to predict how the industry and standards may proceed towards the 5G network deployment and determine the best approach for development and deployment of various parts of the network to maximize return on investment.


Tutorial content will make more sense to those attendees with a basic understanding of the mobile networks that support existing 3G and 4G radio systems.


The tutorial focuses on required 4G and 5G baseband processing, networking, transport connections, security and small cell and WiFi radios that connect mobile and fixed user devices to the internet. Those interested in any part of end-to-end 4G and 5G Technology will benefit from this tutorial.


Is 5G Here Yet? It has become a regular topic of conversation for many people in the tech industry; “What are your thoughts on the approaching 5G transition?” There are many aspects to consider when approaching this question. GHB Intellect answers this question using a practical understanding of 4G and 5G Radio Access Networks (RAN).

Download the Full Tutorial


  • Introduction and Outline
  • Business Drivers
  • Network Architecture Evolution
  • Practical Deployment Considerations
  • Security Considerations
  • IP and Design Considerations
  • Summary & Conclusions