What is eMBB?

What is eMBB or Enhanced Mobile Broadband?

5G 
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Sep 11, 2021

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eMBB or Enhanced Mobile Broadband is one of the three services, defined by 3GPP, for 5G NR deployment to provide higher bandwidth and better latency for newer applications such as 4K media, AR, VR, etc. It is an extension to the 4G LTE networks and aims to provide higher data rates, improved latency and coverage area, among others for commercial telecommunications and applications like large-scale video streaming, and virtual reality. eMBB brings the advantages of 5G to the general public as it can deliver higher quality of service (QoS) internet access in previously challenging conditions.

Traditional telecom standards (2G, 3G, 4G) where designed as a “one solution for all” where a single network standard/architecture was used to cater to all the use cases. However, in recent years, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of wireless devices and their use cases. With billions of devices being used for different applications, a single solution cannot cater to all of the use cases efficiently. This led to the creation of application specific network designs to improve the performance and efficiency of the networks and mobile devices.

The three use cases defined by 3GPP for 5G networks are:

Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): It is a direct evolution of the 4G LTE networks and aims to provide higher bandwidth and better latency for newer applications such as 4K media, AR, VR, etc.

Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC): This solution has been developed for critical applications that require the lowest possible latency and high network reliability. Smart/autonomous vehicles and emergency services are ideal examples where URLLC will be critical. Click here to more about the need for low-latency in 5G.

Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC): mMTC is an advancement over the previous generation standards and is designed to be implemented in environments that require a large number of devices to be connected to each other. Industrial IoT setups, such as smart factories, are ideal scenarios where mMTC will provide high productivity and efficiency as these factories have thousands of devices that need to communicate with each other.

The initial phase of 5G deployment focused on eMBB to deliver a data rate of 1 Gbps and beyond. It also introduced higher spectrum frequency waves (mmWave) to provide reliable wireless connections in densely populated areas. eMBB was the first 5G service to be rolled out for real-world applications using two architectures – Non-Standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA).

The goal of eMBB is not only to provide a better entertainment experience to the masses. It aims to provide connectivity to devices other than smartphones and also bring a slew of improvements in the cloud-connectivity, remote operation (be it individual work or an entire office complex), Voice of IP, real-time video monitoring, etc.

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