Enhanced mobile broadband (EMB) is likely to deliver multi-Gbps, fiber-like throughput. Next to the categories of massive machine type (IoT) and ultra-reliable, low-latency communications, EMB is a major focus of 5G and standardized in 3GPP Rel-15 and later. EMB may be deployed at millimeter-wave frequencies, for example in the 24-30 GHz range, or in the sub-6 GHz range that is more favorable for the non-line-of-sight connections commonly encountered in mobile communications. The widest sub-6 GHz band defined by 3GPP for 5G new radio (NR) is n79, extending across 900 MHz from 3.3 to 4.2 GHz. Using 200 MHz of RF bandwidth, employing 4×4 MIMO spatial diversity, and modulating the data using 256-QAM allows a data rate of roughly 4.6 Gbps to be achieved — i.e. fiber-like throughput. The catch is, obviously, that at most 4 consumers can be granted such an RF bandwidth in any cell even in the widest sub-6 GHz frequency band.
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