The Potential 5G Use Cases & Requirements


5th Generation Mobile Network or simply 5G is the forthcoming revolution of mobile technology. The features and its usability are much beyond the expectation of a normal human being. With its ultra-high speed, it is potential enough to change the meaning of a cell phone usability.

5G will elevate the mobile network to not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices. It will deliver new levels of performance and efficiency that will empower new user experiences and connect new industries. 5G will deliver multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, massive capacity, and more uniform user experience.



The 5G network will support many commercial services (e.g., medical) and regional or national regulatory services (e.g., MPS, Emergency, Public Safety) with requirements for priority treatment. Some of these services share common QoS characteristics such as latency and packet loss rate, but may have different priority requirements.

For example, UAV control and air traffic control may have stringent latency and reliability requirements but not necessarily the same priority requirements. In addition, voice based services for MPS and Emergency share common QoS characteristics as applicable for normal public voice communications, yet may have different priority requirements. The 5G network will need to support mechanisms that enable the decoupling of the priority of a particular communication from the associated QoS characteristics such as latency and reliability to allow flexibility to support different priority services (that need to be configurable to meet operator needs, consistent with operator policies and corresponding national and regional regulatory policies).

The network needs to support flexible means to make priority decisions based on the state of the network (e.g., during disaster events and network congestion) recognizing that the priority needs may change during a crisis. The priority of any service may need to be different for a user of that service based on operational needs and regional or national regulations. Therefore, the 5G system should allow a flexible means to prioritise and enforce prioritisation among the services (e.g., MPS, Emergency, medical, Public Safety) and among the users of these services. The traffic prioritisation may be enforced by adjusting resource utilization or pre-empting lower priority traffic.

The network must offer a means to provide the required QoS (e.g., reliability, latency, and bandwidth) for a service and the ability to prioritize resources when necessary to meet the service requirements. Existing QoS and policy frameworks handle latency and improve reliability by traffic engineering. In order to support 5G service requirements, it is necessary for the 5G network to offer QoS and policy control for reliable communication with latency required for a service and enable the resource adaptations as necessary.

The potential 5G requirements contains more than 70 different use cases categorized in to different groups:

Image from 3GPP

1-Massive Internet of Things.

Massive Internet of Things focuses on use cases with massive number of devices (e.g., sensors and wearables). This group of use cases is particularly relevant to the new vertical services, such as smart home and city, smart utilities, e-Health, and smart wearables.

2-Critical Communications.

The main areas where improvements are needed for Critical Communications are latency, reliability, and availability to enable, for example, industrial control applications and tactile Internet.

3-Enhanced Mobile Broadband.

Enhanced Mobile Broadband includes a number of different use case families related to higher data rates, higher density, deployment and coverage, higher user mobility, devices with highly variable user data rates, fixed mobile convergence, and small-cell deployments.

4-Network Operation.

The use case group Network Operation addresses the functional system requirements, including aspects such as: flexible functions and capabilities, new value creation, migration and interworking, optimizations and enhancements, and security.


  • The 5G system shall allow flexible mechanisms to establish and enforce priority policies among the different services (e.g., MPS, Emergency, medical, Public Safety) and users.
  • The 5G system shall be able to provide the required QoS (e.g., reliability, latency, and bandwidth) for a service and support prioritization of resources when necessary for that service.
  • The 5G system shall allow decoupling of the priority of a particular communication from the associated QoS characteristics such as latency and reliability.
  • The 5G system shall be able to support a harmonised QoS and policy framework applicable to multiple accesses.
  • The 5G system shall be able to support E2E (e.g., UE to UE) QoS for a service.
  • The 5G system shall be able to support QoS for applications in a Service Hosting Environment.


The number of use cases for a next generation mobile communications system will grow rapidly and the scenarios will place much more diverse requirements on the system. In this White Paper we have outlined the use cases and requirements for 5G but also the key design principles – flexibility and reliability.

The future may seem far ahead but the phase for defining the requirements is now and what’s more, any new technology or system that we design for 5G needs to be future proof and last at least until 2030.
5G will come and even though we are still in an exploratory phase, Nokia is already setting out what 5G will deliver and how it will deliver it.

Source : 

  • 5G Use Cases and Requirements White Paper                                                                          
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