5G architectures will be software-defined platforms, in which networking functionality is managed through software rather than hardware. Advancements in virtualization, cloud-based technologies, and IT and business process automation enable 5G architecture to be agile and flexible and to provide anytime, anywhere user access. 5G networks can create software-defined subnetwork constructs known as network slices. These slices enable network administrators to dictate network functionality based on users and devices.
5G also enhances digital experiences through machine-learning (ML)-enabled automation. Demand for response times within fractions of a second (such as those for self-driving cars) require 5G networks to enlist automation with ML and, eventually, deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Automated provisioning and proactive management of traffic and services will reduce infrastructure cost and enhance the connected experience.
Radio Access Network: The Radio Access Network mainly includes 5G Small Cells and Macro Cells that form the crux of 5G Wireless Technology as well as the systems that connect the mobile devices to the Core Network. The 5G Small Cells are located in big clusters because the millimeter wave spectrum (that 5G uses for insanely high speeds!) can only travel over short distances. These Small Cells complement the Macro Cells that are used to provide more wide-area coverage.
Macro Cells use MIMO (Multiple Inputs, Multiple Outputs) antennas which have multiple connections to send and receive large amounts of data simultaneously. This means that more users can connect to the network simultaneously.
Core Network: The Core Network manages all the data and internet connections for the 5G Wireless Technology. And a big advantage of the 5G Core Network is that it can integrate with the internet much more efficiently and it also provides additional services like cloud-based services, distributed servers that improve response times, etc. Another advanced feature of the Core Network is network slicing (Which we talked about earlier!!!).
5G service is already available in some areas in various countries. These early-generation 5G services are called 5G non-standalone (5G NSA). This technology is a 5G radio that builds on existing 4G LTE network infrastructure. 5G NSA will be faster than 4G LTE. But the high-speed, low-latency 5G technology the industry has focused on is 5G standalone (5G SA). It should start becoming available by 2020 and be commonly available by 2022.
More info: Computer Network Technician