5G: What are eMBB, URLLC and mMTC?

5G: What are eMBB, URLLC and mMTC?

Mar 8, 2018 - 8:30 AM - Technology

During its 78th Plenary in Lisbon at the end of December 2017, the 3GPP standards body approved an interim set of specifications for 5G communications. This first set defined 5G New Radio (NR) in Non-Standalone operation (NSA), enabling 5G NR deployments using existing 4G systems.

The specifications of 5G NR in Standalone operation are due for completion in June 2018, which will provide a complete set of specifications for the 5G Core Network that goes beyond Non-Standalone. The ‘full’ 5G System includes:

  • eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband)
  • URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications)
  • mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications)

The initial phase of 5G Non-Standalone deployments focuses on eMBB, which provides greater data-bandwidth complemented by moderate latency improvements on both 5G NR and 4G LTE. This will help to develop today’s mobile broadband use cases such as emerging AR/VR media and applications, UltraHD or 360-degree streaming video and many more.

mMTC has been already developed as part of 3GPP Release 13/14 low power wide area (LPWA) technologies, which includes NB-IoT. These are expected to meet most 5G mMTC requirements, while others that require more bandwidth with ultra-reliable low latency (full URLLC) will require the 5G Core deployment for full end-2-end latency reduction. Mission critical applications that are especially latency-sensitive will also require wide coverage, which is highly unlikely in early 5G deployments, so this development will come later. 

MediaTek continues to heavily invest in the development of 5G products and is committed to accelerating its adoption. Our intention is to bring the technology to the mid-tier market from day one in accordance with our brand philosophy. This contrasts with the usual premium-first approach the rest of the industry often focuses on, and we believe we can offer a unique and powerful platform.